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Women’s Tennis: Irish upset North Carolina, edge Wake Forest

Dan Tapetillo | Monday, February 13, 2006

The Irish improved to 4-0 on the season with wins over No. 10 North Carolina and No. 23 Wake Forest over the weekend.

Sunday’s 5-1 upset over the Tar Heels was proof the Irish can compete with the nation’s top programs. The victory marks the first time Notre Dame has defeated a top-10 ranked program since the 2001-02 season against No. 7 USC.

The Irish got off to a strong start against North Carolina as they took the doubles point with wins at the Nos. 2 and 3 positions.

At No. 2, the pairing of sophomore Brook Buck and freshman Kelcy Tefft topped Caitlin Collins and Tanja Markovic in a comeback. At No. 3, the duo of seniors Kiki Stastny and team captain Lauren Connelly secured the victory after defeating the No. 50 ranked squad of Meg Fanjoy and Austin Smith 8-6.

Juniors Christian and Catrina Thompson suffered the lone doubles loss, as the nation’s No. 1 pair fell 8-3 to Sara Anundersen and Jenna Long.

First off the courts in singles was freshman Katie Potts after topping the Tar Heels’ Charlotte Tansill 6-2, 6-0 at No. 6, giving Potts her eighth consecutive win this season and fourth straight victory in dual matches.

Catrina Thompson, ranked No. 24 nationally, defeated No. 28 Long 7-5, 6-4. Thompson now holds a 13-6 record on the season, including seven wins against nationally-ranked opponents.

Christian Thompson followed her sister’s lead by topping Collins 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2. The final win for the Irish came from Stastny, who finished 7-5, 7-6 (7-2) over Markovic and continues her streak of not dropping a set since Nov. 4.

No. 22 Notre Dame 4, No. 23 Wake Forest 3

During Saturday’s 4-3 win over the Demon Deacons, Notre Dame’s fate depended on a clutch win from Potts at No. 6.

After posting a 5-2 advantage in the deciding third set, Potts failed to hold serve on her first attempt to close out the match against the Deacon’s Sierra Poske. Poske then held serve to bring the contest to 5-3, only to fall short in breaking Potts next attempt to serve out the match by finishing 7-6 (7-2), 4-6, 6-4.

The Irish accounted for the other three points from the coveted doubles point and two wins in singles from No. 4 Tefft and No. 5 Stastny.

In doubles, Notre Dame swept all three matches.

The No. 1 ranked Thompson sisters sparked the team’s momentum as they defeated Ashlee Davis and Alexandra Hirsch 8-1 at No. 1. They were followed by a win from Buck and Tefft at No. 2. The Irish underclassmen defeated the Demon’s Ana Jerman and Christian Tara 8-3.

The win not only secured the point for Notre Dame and gave the pairing its sixth consecutive win, it was also Buck’s 40th career doubles victory. Completing the sweep in doubles were Stastny and Connelly, who defeated Sierra Poske and Christine Simpson 8-6 at No. 3.

In singles, Stastny walked off the court first with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Jenna Loeb at No. 5.

Tefft’s 6-3, 6-4 victory over Tara at No. 4 gave the Irish a 3-0 lead in the match.

However, critical losses from Catrina Thompson, Christian Thompson and Buck at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 gave the Demons a possibility for a surprise comeback.

In the final match, Potts answered Wake Forest’s rally with her victory over Poske, pulling out the win for Notre Dame.

Notre Dame will be in action next against Michigan Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Ann Arbor.