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Women’s Tennis: Blue and gold foes

Dan Tapetillo | Friday, April 7, 2006

This weekend, the No. 2 Irish face two challenges at home beginning with No. 73 regional rival DePaul today at 3:30 p.m. and Marquette Sunday at noon at the Courtney Tennis Center.

Notre Dame enters the matches after narrowly defeating No. 9 Northwestern 4-3 last Wednesday.

In doubles, the Irish trailed early but won two of the three matches to get out to an early 1-0 lead against the Wildcats. The No. 4 duo of juniors Christian and Catrina Thompson downed Northwestern’s Feriel Esseghir and Alexis Prousis 8-4 at No. 1.

The second win came from seniors Lauren Connelly and Kiki Stastny who topped Nazlie Ghazal and Jamie Peisel 8-5 at No. 3. The twosome now stands at 18-1 in dual action this season.

The only loss in doubles came from the No. 39 duo of sophomore Brook Buck and freshman Kelcy Teftt at No. 2. The pairing was upset by Alexis Conill and Georgia Rose 8-5.

“Doubles has really best one of our strengths [all season],” junior Catrina Thompson said. “We are hoping it’ll take us far as we finish out the season at the Big East [Tournament] and the NCAA [Tournament].”

In singles, the Irish found wins in the middle of their lineup to capture the victory early-on.

The most impressive win came from Buck, who upset No. 24 Alexis Prousis 6-3, 6-3 at No. 3. Her win was followed by Tefft at No. 4 over Jamie Peisel 6-3, 6-1. Tefft now holds a 14-4 record in duals matches. The final win came from Stastny at No. 5 who downed Esseghir 6-3, 6-0.

“It was definitely a hard fought win,” Tefft said. “We are hoping that we can take the momentum [from this win] to close out the season.”

Although Notre Dame has demonstrated their full potential this season, the Irish will encounter a DePaul program that has made an impressive debut in the Big East Conference this season. The Blue Demons are coming off a 4-3 victory over Syracuse last Saturday.

Their team is led by Beatrix Csordas at No. 1 and Gergana Ganeva at No. 2.

“Even though they are not ranked as high as us, it is always hard to compete against a team in [your conference],” Catrina Thompson said. “We just have to compete like we have been all season.”

The Golden Eagles are 7-12 in dual meets this year. They struggled early in the season, starting 2-11, but had won five straight before a 7-0 home loss to Syracuse Sunday.

They are led at No. 1 by Maria Calbeto and at No. 2 by Lauren Little.