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ND Women’s Tennis: Irish drop two in Madison

Lorenzo Reyes | Monday, February 11, 2008

After dropping its first-round match of the ITA Women’s National Indoor Team Championships Thursday against No. 6 Georgia, No. 19 Notre Dame wanted to make the most of its remaining time at the tournament in Madison, Wisc.

The Irish ended up splitting their weekend matches.

Notre Dame 4, William and Mary 3

In a tight contest with No. 13 William and Mary Friday, Notre Dame held a 3-1 advantage before the Tribe battled back to even the dual match at 3-3. It all came down to junior Kelcy Tefft, who needed three sets to dispose of Tribe sophomore Ragini Acharya 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 and give Notre Dame the victory.

William and Mary took the doubles point by winning two of the three matches and defeating the No. 3 doubles tandem in the nation, senior Brook Buck and Tefft. The Tribe also topped the tag team of sophomore Cosmina Ciobanu and freshman Kristen Rafael.

After falling in the doubles portion of the match, the Irish quickly won the first three singles matches to build their lead.

No. 89 sophomore Kali Krisik convincingly ousted sophomore Carmen Pop in straight sets 6-0, 6-1 to even the match and improve her overall record to 14-3 and 5-1 in dual match play on the season.

Keeping the Irish momentum rolling, No. 88 sophomore Colleen Rielley won a three-set victory 6-2, 2-6, 6-1. Rielley shook off her loss from the previous day against Georgia to improve her record to 9-5 overall and 3-2 in dual match action.

Buck, who also lost a three-set match against the Bulldogs, came away with a three-set victory of her own. After dropping the first set, Buck fought back and took down junior Katarina Zoricic 4-6, 6-4, 6-0.

The Tribe sensed the match slipping away and fought back to take two straight singles wins, thanks to senior Megan Moulton-Levy and sophomore Lauren Sabacinski. With the match now in a deadlock, Tefft made sure the Irish would not drop back-to-back matches in consecutive days.

Baylor 5, Notre Dame 1

After pulling out the victory against William and Mary in dramatic fashion, Notre Dame concluded its tournament play against No. 11 Baylor Saturday.

The Baylor Bears nearly upset top-seeded Stanford in the first round, and continued to play consistent and solid tennis Saturday, defeating the Irish 5-1.

Notre Dame dropped the first match of doubles play, but then came out on top for the second as sophomore teammates Ciobanu and Rielley defeated freshman pair Taylor Ormond and Jelena Stanivuk 9-8, 7-3.

The Bears secured the point in the third doubles match to put the score at 1-0 in their favor. The final match paired two of the top doubles teams in the nation as Tefft and Buck lost to No. 4 sophomore Lenka Broosova and senior Zuzana Zemenova.

The Irish dropped their first chance at a singles point after Zemenova defeated Buck in straight sets 6-0, 6-2.

With the score at 2-0, Notre Dame needed to produce some victories to stay in the match. Unfortunately for the Irish, they picked up just one point on the day, sealing the Baylor victory.

Tefft, playing in her third-straight three-set match of the tournament, overcame an Ormond onslaught in the second set and eventually defeated the sophomore in the deciding frame 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

Baylor ran the rest of the table and secured its third victory of the season.

Although the Irish did not finish as they had intended, one of their upperclassmen took home some hardware recognizing her athletic skill and sportsmanship. Brook Buck claimed the ITA Sportsmanship Award, which is chosen by the 16 participating coaches of the tournament.

Buck is the third Irish player to receive the recognition, joining 1999 winner Jennifer Hall and 1994 winner Wendy Crabtree.