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ND Women’s Tennis: Irish shoot down Cardinals

Chris Hine | Monday, February 12, 2007

Notre Dame was able to rest key players while putting a short-handed Louisville squad to rest 6-1 Friday at home for its first Big East win of the season.

“This was good, especially coming back after the [ITA National Team Indoors],” Irish coach Jay Louderback said.

Senior Christian Thompson and sophomore Kelcy Tefft sat out the match for the No. 3 Irish. Due to team injuries, No. 71 Louisville had only five players for the six singles and three doubles matches. The Cardinals forfeited No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles, giving Notre Dame an opening 1-0 lead and a breather for Thompson and Tefft.

“We got to get them out of the lineup,” Louderback said. “They had to sit out a match anyway because they played too much in the fall.”

With the forfeit of the Cardinals’ No. 3 doubles, the Irish only needed to win one of the two remaining matches to claim the doubles point. Senior Catrina Thompson – playing without her regular partner Christian Thompson – and junior Brook Buck defeated Louisville junior Robyn White and senior Natalie Laszkowski 8-2 to give the Irish the doubles point and a 2-0 match lead.

“They had never played doubles together before,” Louderback said. “They’re both just good doubles players and playing together they were very tough.”

Catrina Thompson gave the Irish a 3-0 lead with her win over White in No. 1 singles 6-0, 4-1. White was forced to retire before the match was over due to an injured shoulder.

“I thought Catrina played well. She was up 6-0, 4-1 quickly,” Louderback said. “Indoors, at our courts especially, she’s just very, very tough.”

Freshman Cosmina Ciobanu clinched the match for Notre Dame with her swift 6-0, 6-0 defeat of Cardinals freshman Jo-Anne Van Aerde. Ciobanu preserved her spotless play in dual match competition (7-0) and improved her over overall record to 17-4.

“It was nice to get those two matches over very quickly and win the match,” Louderback said.

The bright spot for the Cardinals was Laszkowski’s victory over No. 31 Colleen Rielley 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-8). Rielley lost her third straight and dropped to 2-5 in dual match play.

Irish sophomore Katie Potts defeated Louisville sophomore Natalie Baez 6-1, 6-4, and Buck beat Cardinals sophomore Bianca Gorbea 6-3, 6-4 to round out the scoring for Notre Dame.

The Irish will use Monday and Tuesday to prepare for No. 21 Michigan, which faces Notre Dame Wednesday at 4 p.m. at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.