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Women’s Tennis: Team rides early lead to 4-3 win vs. Purdue

Joe Meixell | Monday, April 3, 2006

Notre Dame proved its strength and depth this weekend with a 4-3 win Sunday over Purdue.

The No. 2 Irish (18-1) took a giant leap forward in confidence thanks to this weekend’s victory. Freshman Katie Potts said the team needed to prove to itself that it can perform under pressure.

“After losing to Vanderbilt 4-3, we had lost some of the momentum we had been carrying all season [to remain undefeated after 16 matches into the season],” Potts said. “When the match came down to a pressure situation, we were able to pull through as a team. That really helped us mentally [as the team heads into the last stretch of the season].”

Notre Dame started the match strong as the Irish swept the doubles matches to earn a one-point advantage as they headed into the singles frame. The Irish have yet to drop the doubles point all season.

The No. 3 duo of juniors Catrina and Christian Thompson defeated Purdue’s pair of sophomore Brooke Beier and freshman Mallory Voelker 8-2 at No. 1.

“It was splendid to be able to have a great match against a strong doubles team,” Christian Thompson said. “[Purdue] also has such a superb record indoors at home, because they have fast courts and make the game a lot quicker.”

Playing at No. 2 for the Irish was the No. 29 twosome of sophomore Brook Buck and freshman Kelcy Tefft, which downed the Boilermakers’ Stephanie Wooten and Randi Schuler, 8-4. The last team playing for Notre Dame who completed the sweep was seniors Lauren Connolly and Kiki Stastny, who topped Purdue’s Brittany Minna and Anna Dzeva, 8-4.

In singles, No. 30 Catrina Thompson needed three sets to earn the 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 win over No. 60 Randi Schuler.

Following Thompson at No. 2 was No. 74 Christian Thompson, who suffered a 6-4, 0-6, 6-2 upset from Beier.

“It was a heartbreaking loss,” Thompson said. “I had a great second set, but just couldn’t pull out the win.”

Buck downed Voelker 7-5, 7-6 at No. 3. Her doubles partner Tefft found difficulties in her match as she was upset by Wooten 6-0, 2-6, 7-6 at No. 4. In the final two Irish matches, Stastny was defeated by Dzeva 4-6, 7-6, 1-0 (10-8) at No. 5. The fourth Irish point came from Potts as she downed Minna, 6-1, 6-0.

“[Katie] has really pulled through for us this season,” Thompson said. “She has played a big role in several matches for us [this season].”

The Irish return home to face Northwestern at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Courtney Tennis Center.