May 18, 2006
No. 2 seed Notre Dame is now 27-1 ... The Irish got off to a 16-0 start and have now won their last 11 matches ... Only loss this season was to Vanderbilt on March 29 ... Irish are in final 16 for the sixth time and first since 2001 ... Notre Dame now advances to the quarter finals for only the second time in school history (only other time was in 1996) ... This was Kentucky's fifth straight appearance in the Round of 16.
Notre Dame Head Coach Jay Louderback Opening Statement: "I think that the big key to our match was the doubles. We were down at No. 3 doubles but came back and won, and our No. 2 team won a tight one. All year our confidence has been behind our doubles. Just the way they hung in there was a big factor in this match."
On the play of the Thompson twins: "Last week at the regionals they struggled a little and today they faced the Kentucky No. 1 team, which is a great doubles tandem. I thought the Thompsons hung in there well. They started up 4-1, but kind-of let Coventry take over. She was hitting big balls and took control of the match. I thought they played much better at No. 1 doubles today then they did last week."
On the quarterfinals: "I really felt good about the way we handled things today. This group has handled pressure really well all year. I thought we handled it well again today, especially in singles."
Kentucky Head Coach Carlos Drada Opening Statement: "Today was a great battle and Notre Dame did a great job. They have great competitors and did a good job of keeping the pressure on in the doubles and early part of the singles. They play really smart tennis and they play well under pressure. They were victorious because of that.
On the success of the Kentucky program in recent years: "A lot of it is just the standard that you hold yourself to. Right now we're expected to do well in the tournament and we worked hard toward that goal. This year is really special because it's my first year as a head coach. We lost three players from last year, and it's just amazing what we accomplished. I want to congratulate my players for their hard work and for fighting through the adversity that we had this year."
On next season: "We're losing just one senior and we hope to be very competitive next season. We hope to learn from this experience, and will work to be back here again next year."