Feb. 2, 2002
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 13th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team suffered its first loss of the season Saturday, a 4-3 decision to #24 Kentucky at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Wildcats claimed the doubles point and the teams split six competitive singles matches. In singles, a total of eight sets were decided either in tiebreakers or by 7-5 scores, including at least one in each match. Kentucky improves to 6-1 this season, while the Irish fall to 3-1. Notre Dame will return to action Sunday, taking on #40 Indiana at 11 a.m. in the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
The Wildcats won a closely-contested doubles point to go ahead 1-0. The team of Leigh Bradwell and Lauren Rookledge, ranked 49th nationally, notched an 8-4 victory at No. 2 to lead things off. The Irish responded with senior Nina Vaughan (Corona del Mar, Calif.) and sophomore Alicia Salas (Engelwood, Colo.) registering an 8-4 upset win over the 27th-ranked team of Jill Buckley and Amy Trefethen at No. 3. Carolina Mayorga and Sarah Witten, the seventh-ranked doubles pair in the country, broke serve in the final game of the match to gain an 8-6 win at No. 1 to clinch the doubles point.
Kentucky won the first three matches off the court to clinch the match victory before Notre Dame captured the final three. Buckley was the first Wildcat to finish, gaining a 6-0, 7-6 (7-4) win at No. 6 singles. Witten, ranked 53rd, then won 7-5, 6-2 at No. 2 before 30th-ranked Mayorga clinched the Wildcat victory with a 7-5, 6-4 triumph at No. 1. Vaughan got the Irish on the board moments later with a 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-3) win at No. 3. With her wins in singles and doubles, she is 7-0 this spring in combined matches. Junior Katie Cunha (Mercer Island, Wash.) registered a 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-1 upset win over 92nd-ranked Amy Trefethen at No. 4. It marked Cunha’s first career victory over a ranked player. Salas pulled the Irish within one with a 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 7-5 win at No. 5 — her seventh consecutive singles win and 10th in her last 11 matches.
#24 Kentucky 4, #13 Notre Dame 3
No. 1: #30 Carolina Mayorga (UK) d. #58 Becky Varnum (ND) 7-5, 6-4
No. 2: #53 Sarah Witten (UK) d. Lindsey Green (ND) 7-5, 6-2
No. 3: Nina Vaughan (ND) d. Lauren Rookledge (UK) 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-3)
No. 4: Katie Cunha (ND) d. #92 Amy Trefethen (UK) 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-1
No. 5: Alicia Salas (ND) d. Leigh Bradwell (UK) 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 7-5
No. 6: Jill Buckley (UK) d. Sarah Jane Connelly (ND) 6-0, 7-6 (7-4)
No. 1: #7 Mayorga/Witten (UK) d. #29 Green/Varnum (ND) 8-6
No. 2: #49 Bradwell/Rookledge (UK) d. #53 Connelly/Cunha (ND) 8-4
No. 3: Salas/Vaughan (ND) d. #27 Buckley/Trefethern (UK) 8-4