Oct. 9, 2003
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – Notre Dame senior co-captain Alicia Salas (Englewood, Colo./Cherry Creek H.S.), ranked 63rd nationally in singles, lost to #27 Tammy Encina of Tennessee Thursday at the Riviera Tennis Club in the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships, the first leg of the collegiate grand slam. Salas and the rest of the Notre Dame women’s tennis team will return to action on Friday, October 17 in an exhibition match against rival USC in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Action is tentatively slated to begin at 4 p.m. (EST).
After winning three matches against ranked players to qualify for the main draw of the All-American Championships, Salas lost 6-4, 6-0 on Thursday. She is 5-2 on the young season, with both defeats coming against top-30 players.
In qualifying, Salas beat #85 Ashley Schellhas of Vanderbilt 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 and #33 Alix Lacelarie of Clemson 6-1, 6-0 on Tuesday before defeating #39 Megan Muth of William & Mary 6-4, 6-3 in Wednesday’s qualifying round.
Salas was the first Notre Dame player to reach the 32-player main draw of the All-American Championships since current Irish assistant coach Michelle Dasso advanced to the quarterfinals of the tournament as a senior in 2000.
The Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships, the Nov. 6-9 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, and the year-end NCAA Singles & Doubles Championships are college tennis’ three national championship events. From 1986 until 2000-01 there were four national tournaments, but the ITA National Clay Court Championships is no longer played.
The main draw (Thurs.-Sun.) was preceded by two sets of qualifying tournaments. The 64-player (32 doubles) prequalifying tournament was last weekend at UCLA and eight players and four doubles teams advanced from there to the 64-player qualifying tournament at Riviera (where eight players and four doubles teams advanced to the main draw).
The premier hard court event of the fall collegiate season, the All-American Championships feature the top players in NCAA Division I tennis. Several past champions have gone on to professional careers. The famous Riviera Tennis Club has played host to this event since 1988.
RadioTennis.com plans to broadcast the weekend semifinals and finals.
Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships
Singles — First Round
#27 Tammy Encina (Tennessee) d. #63 Alicia Salas (Notre Dame) 6-4, 6-0