Drop Close Match to Irish
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The No. 35 Indiana women's tennis team dropped a close 4-3 decision to No. 31 Notre Dame on the IU Varsity Tennis Courts Sunday afternoon. The Hoosiers are now 11-9 on the year, while the Irish improve to 11-8.
Notre Dame claimed the all-important doubles point, as the squads split the six singles contests, en route to its win.
"I thought we got off to a slow start again in the doubles," Indiana head coach Lin Loring said. "I was very pleased with the singles. They [Notre Dame] just beat the 16th-ranked team [William & Mary] in the country yesterday, and we almost took four singles matches from them. If we can play at the level for the next two weekends, we will put ourselves in a good position for the Big Ten Championship."
The Irish won the first doubles match of the day as the team of freshman Brook Buck and junior Lauren Connelly defeated sophomore Laura McGaffigan and freshman Brianna Williams, 8-2, at the No. 2 position. The IU pair held serve, and broke Notre Dame's first serve to grab a 2-0 lead in the affair, but ND would garner the next eight games on its way to the win.
Notre Dame secured the doubles point with an 8-6 win from sophomores Catrina Thompson and Christian Thompson, ranked fourth in the nation, over senior Dominika Walterova and junior Sarah Batty at the top position. The Thompson's jumped ahead 2-0 in the match, but IU broke and held serve to even the contest. The Hoosiers broke serve again to lead 6-5, but the Irish claimed the next three games and the tilt.
"I was pleased with No. 1 doubles, they played the fourth-ranked team in the country very tough," Loring said.
The Hoosiers posted a doubles win at No. 3, as the team of senior Dora Vastag and sophomore Cecile Perton bested juniors Sarah Jane Connelly and Kristina Stastny by the score of 8-7 (3). IU battled back from being down 6-1, to tie the contest at 7-7. With the tandem point decided, the teams played a match tiebreaker to decide the outcome. The Hoosiers posted a 7-3 result in the 15th game. Perton and Vastag are now 17-8 overall and 11-6 in dual matches.
Notre Dame widened its lead to 3-0 as Christian Thompson downed McGaffigan, 7-5, 6-0, at No. 3, and Catrina Thompson, ranked 37th in the country, upended Vastag, ranked 101st, 6-1, 6-2, at No. 1.
The Hoosiers then picked up singles wins from Walterova, 6-4, 6-3, over Lauren Connelly at No. 4, and Perton at No. 6, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3, against Sarah Jane Connelly. Walterova notched her 13th win on the year, while Perton moves to 20-9 overall and 12-7 this spring.
"I was glad to see Dominika put back-to-back wins together," Loring said. "Cecile has put a lot of matches away in the third-set. She has been very steady at sixth for us."
Indiana tied the match when Batty won a three-set thriller over Buck, ranked 90th, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (4), at No. 2. It was the second ranked player that the Chesterfield, England, product has bested in as many matches, and she now has three conquests over ranked foes this year. Batty is now 13-7 in dual action.
"It's always good to beat a player with a national ranking," Loring said. "This was nice win for Sarah today."
Notre Dame would secure the final point it needed as Stastny tripped up Williams, in another three-set gem, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, at No. 5.
The Hoosiers will return to the courts on Friday, April 15, for a Big Ten contest at No. 65 Minnesota. The match is slated to begin at 3 p.m.
#31 Notre Dame 4, #35 Indiana 3
IU Varsity Tennis Courts
1. #37 Catrina Thompson (ND) def. #101 Dora Vastag (IND) 6-1, 6-2
2. Sarah Batty (IND) def. #90 Brook Buck (ND) 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (4)
3. Christian Thompson (ND) def. Laura McGaffigan (IND) 7-5, 6-0
4. Dominika Walterova (IND) def. Lauren Connelly (ND) 6-4, 6-3
5. Kristina Stastny (ND) def. Brianna Williams (IND) 6-2, 2-6, 6-4
6. Cecile Perton (IND) def. Sarah Jane Connelly (ND) 6-1, 1-6, 6-3
1. #4 Catrina Thompson/Christian Thompson (ND) def. Dominika Walterova/Sarah Batty (IND) 8-6
2. Brook Buck/Lauren Connelly (ND) def. Brianna Williams/Laura McGaffigan (IND) 8-2
3. Dora Vastag/Cecile Perton (IND) def. Kristina Stastny/Sarah Jane Connelly (ND) 8-7 (3)
Notre Dame 11-8; National ranking #31
Indiana 11-9; National ranking #35
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (3,1,4,6,2,5)
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