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ND Women’s Tennis: Notre Dame continues winning ways in Texas

Lorenzo Reyes | Wednesday, March 26, 2008

No. 24 Notre Dame extended its winning streak to five games over the Easter weekend, ousting two solid opponents from the Lone Star State. The Irish beat No. 27 Texas A&M and SMU on the two-game road swing.

In a tight contest, the Irish had to rely on some singles performances to pull out the win over the Aggies. Sticking to its strength, Notre Dame used impressive doubles play to start the match off with the important doubles point, sweeping all three matches.

The No. 1 tandem of senior Brook Buck and Kelcy Tefft continued their dominating play, winning their tenth match in a row – a streak dating back to Valentine’s Day.

With Notre Dame nursing a 1-0 lead, singles play would prove to be more challenging. No. 38 Tefft looked in top shape, handling sophomore Elze Potgieter, 6-3, 6-0, improving the junior’s record to 15-3 in dual match play. More importantly, however, the Irish took a 2-0 lead in the contest.

After the Irish dropped the first point, Rielley quickly put Notre Dame up 3-1 with her 6-1, 6-3 victory.

The Aggies took the next two matches to even the score at 3-3, so it all came down to Buck.

With the pressure of the match riding on her shoulders, Buck endured through a hard-fought, three-set 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 win clinching the match for Notre Dame. After dropping the first set, Buck took the final two sets, marking her fourth-consecutive singles win at the No. 2 spot.

Against SMU, for the first time since becoming the nation’s top-ranked doubles duo, Buck and Tefft lost their match at the hands of junior Natalia Bubien and sophomore Pavi Francis, 8-7, 7-4. The hard-fought tiebreak match also ended their ten-game win streak as a team.

Tefft’s four-game win streak at No. 1 singles ended at the hands of Bubien, 7-5, 6-3, tying the score at 1-1, and marking the only point the Mustangs would get all match.

The Irish benefited from a short-handed SMU squad that could not field any players in the No. 4-6 doubles, giving Notre Dame three points, clinching the match at 5-1.

Buck and Francis were engaged in a close match, but as the dual match had already been decided, both teams chose to leave the match unfinished.

Notre Dame returns home Sunday to face Indiana at noon.