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ND women’s Tennis: Rielley tops teammate in final

Chris Hine | Wednesday, October 25, 2006

It must be a special moment for a coach when one of his players wins a tournament. It is even more special when two of his players fight through a field of 64 to face each other in the finals.

That’s what happened this week in the ITA Midwest Regionals at Michigan State when freshman Colleen Rielley defeated fellow Notre Dame freshman Cosmina Ciobanu 7-5, 6-4 to grab the singles championship Tuesday.

“I don’t think we have ever had something like this happen before,” Irish coach Jay Louderback said. “It’s tough for freshmen to get to the finals in this.”

Rielley became the fourth player to grab the title at the event, the first since Michelle Dasso in 2000. She won all of her matches in straight sets except for the semifinals, when she beat Illinois’ Megan Fudge in a tight match 4-6, 6-1, 7-5.

“Colleen really competes well,” Louderback said. “She can volley and play big points well.”

Ciobanu took all of her matches in straight sets until faltering to Rielley in the finals.

“Cosmina has a great all-around game,” Louderback said. “They both can come in and volley. That will help them both in matches down the road.”

Junior Brook Buck and sophomore Kelcy Tefft claimed the doubles title for Notre Dame, defeating Northwestern’s Georgia Rose and Alexis Prousis 8-4. The performance qualified the pair for the ITA National Indoor Championships

“We played really aggressive. We won the first five games and then let them get the next four,” Buck said. “But on the change over we said, ‘OK, let’s get back to how aggressive we were in the first five.'”

Notre Dame’s top doubles team of seniors Christian and Catrina Thompson did not participate in the doubles portion of the tournament because they have already qualified for the Indoor Championships.

Catrina Thompson entered the singles event as the No. 1 seed, but fell to Northwestern’s Lauren Liu 6-2, 6-3 in the round of 32. Christian Thompson advanced to the round of 16 before losing to Iowa’s Mili Veselinovic 6-3, 6-2. Buck competed in singles play as well after winning the doubles tournament, entering as the No. 4 seed, but fell to Northwestern’s Suzie Matzenauer in the first round 6-4, 6-2.

“Catrina relies a lot on her serve and she just didn’t serve well.” Louderback said. “She missed a lot of first serves. Christian played alright, she just lost a close one.

“They and Brook have been playing a lot of doubles matches and haven’t had many singles matches lately and that hurt them a little bit.”

Rielley and sophomore Katie Potts, along with Ciobanu and freshman Kali Krisik each advanced to the round of 16 in doubles play.

Next up is the Eck Classic in Notre Dame’s Eck Tennis Pavilion starting Nov. 3.