Oct. 27, 2002
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Irish junior Alicia Salas (Englewood, Colo.) lost in straight sets to the tournament’s top seed on Sunday in the round of 16 of the OMNI HOTELS Midwest Championships in the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility. Northwestern’s Marine Piriou, ranked 23rd in the nation in singles, topped Salas 6-2, 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals. Notre Dame will return to action in two weeks, completing its fall schedule by playing host to the Eck Classic Nov. 8-10.
Salas was the lone remaining Irish player in the regional indoor tournament of the top players in the midwest. She was one of the 9-16 seeds and won a pair of matches on Saturday. Salas, ranked 86th in the nation in singles, is 7-4 this fall after posting a 31-6 mark a year ago.
Four other Irish players participated in the tournament’s main draw on Saturday. Freshmen Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo.) each won first-round matches before losing. Classmates Jennifer Smith (Charlotte, N.C.) and Kelly Nelson (St. Petersburg, Fla.) each came one win from reaching the main draw, winning a pair of qualifying matches on Thursday before falling.
In doubles action, Stastny and senior Katie Cunha (Mercer Island, Wash.) advanced to the round of 16, while Connelly and Salas won a match before falling 9-7 to the tournament’s top-seeded team.
The OMNI HOTELS Midwest Championships are one of eight regional championships sponsored by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The event features a 64-player singles qualifying draw followed by a 64-player singles main draw and 64-team doubles main draw. The tournament continues through Tuesday and the singles finalists and doubles champion will earn berths to the second leg of the collegiate tennis grand slam, the OMNI HOTELS National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, slated for Nov. 7-10 in Dallas.
OMNI HOTELS Midwest Championships
Round of 16
 #23 Marine Piriou (Northwestern) d. [9-16] #86 Alicia Salas (ND) 6-2, 6-3
Note: Tournament seedings are in brackets. ITA national rankings immediately precede names.