The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



ND Women’s Tennis: Commodores look to avenge last year’s loss

Lorenzo Reyes | Friday, January 25, 2008

After a close 4-3 defeat last year, Vanderbilt is looking to avenge its loss against Notre Dame this weekend in Nashville, Tenn. The No. 9 Irish are aiming to thwart those plans as they face a very talented No. 16 Commodore team.

Coach Jay Louderback doesn’t want to overlook this weekend’s dual match against a solid opponent.

The Commodores are “very good,” Louderback said. “They’re ranked No. 16, but they’re better than that. They are definitely a top-10 team. Last year they didn’t finish in the top 10 because they had a couple of kids injured, but now that they’re back, they have a lot of depth. Another thing about them is that they have experience. Only one of them is a sophomore and the rest are juniors and seniors.”

Notre Dame is coming off a decisive 6-1 victory over Louisville last Sunday and wants to keep its momentum going.

To do that, the Irish will need big contributions and solid play from sophomore Cosmina Ciobanu, who is the highest-ranked player on the team at No. 62. Right behind her is senior Brook Buck, No. 64 in the nation. Three other Notre Dame players round out the top 100, including No. 82 junior Katie Potts, No. 88 sophomore Colleen Rielley and No. 89 sophomore Kali Krisik.

In addition, the powerful doubles duo of Buck and junior Kelcy Tefft remain the No. 3 combination in the country.

Despite Notre Dame’s individual talents, Louderback would rather have this weekend’s dual match be an overall team effort.

“For us all year it has been about everybody,” Louderback said. “Everyone is going to have to be in the match as opposed to one or two individual players. We are also very deep so we are extremely lucky, but we need everyone in the matches.”

This week gave the Irish an opportunity to jell as a team.

“We had a great week of practice,” Louderback said. “We were all fired up coming after the Louisville win and we had Sunday off. The rest of the week was great, though.”

Louderback wanted to focus on certain tactics to employ against Vanderbilt.

“This semester we started working on a couple of drills,” Louderback said. “These drills try to get our players to keep their balls deeper in the court closer to the baseline. This way, our opposition won’t be able to be as aggressive in their attack.”