Sept. 22, 2002
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Notre Dame’s Alicia Salas (Engelwood, Colo.) lost a hard-fought match in the singles final of the OSU/Prince Cup Sunday afternoon, splitting sets before falling in a match tiebreaker played instead of a third set. Other Irish players also played well on the final day of the season-opening tournament, led by freshmen Liz Donohue (Sioux Falls, S.D.) and Kelly Nelson (St. Petersburg, Fla.), who captured the consolation doubles title.
Salas, the third seed in the tournament, advanced to the final with a 6-1, 0-6, 1-0 (10-7) win over the second seed, 69th-ranked Erica Fisk of Ohio State. The Irish junior then lost in the title match to a No. 5-8 seed, Lisa D’Amelio of Eastern Michigan, 6-7 (4-7), 2-6, 1-0 (10-5). Salas, ranked 86th in the country in singles, was 4-1 in the tournament. A year ago, the Irish MVP posted a 31-6 mark. She has won 31 of her last 35 matches, dating back to last year.
After falling in Friday’s opening round of the main draw, Donohue and Nelson ran off three straight victories to win the backdraw doubles tournament. In Sunday’s final, the Irish freshmen dominated Barbora Blahutiakova and Alison Bradley of Baylor by an 8-2 score.
Notre Dame players also registered five wins in consolation action on Sunday, including three singles wins by first-year players. Kristina Stastny (St. Lous, Mo.) defeated a No. 5-8 seed, Rocio Fantilli of LSU 7-5, 6-1, while Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla.) dropped another Tiger, Marina Chiarelli 6-1, 6-4. Donohue was 2-0 on the day, defeating Ohio State’s Emily Howard 6-2, 6-3 in singles. Also winning for the Irish was sophomore Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla.), who topped Emily DeCamilla of Ohio State 6-4, 6-4.
In consolation doubles action, Lauren Connelly and junior Emily Neighbours (Indianapolis, Ind.) beat DeCamilla and Jackie Leskovar of Ohio State 8-6.
A number of Irish players had strong starts to the 2002-03 season. Salas was 6-2 overall, advancing to the singles final and the doubles semifinals, along with Stastny, who was 2-1 in singles. Sarah Jane Connelly also was 6-2. highlighted by a quarterfinal appearance with Jennifer Smith in doubles. Lauren Connelly finished her first collegiate tournament with a 3-1 mark in singles, while Nelson and Liz Donohue were 3-1 in doubles.
Notre Dame will be back in action next week, traveling to the adidas Classic in Atlanta, Ga. The tournament runs from Friday through Sunday and will feature a number of strong teams.
#86  Alicia Salas (ND) d. #69  Erica Fisk (Ohio State) 6-1, 0-6, 1-0 (10-7)
[5-8] Lisa D’Amelio (Eastern Michigan) d. #86  Salas (ND) 6-7 (4-7), 2-6, 1-0 (10-5)
Kristina Stastny (ND) d. [5-8] Rocio Fantilli (LSU) 7-5, 6-1
Stephanie Balzert (Baylor) d. Kelly Nelson (ND) 6-1, 6-2
Sarah Jane Connelly (ND) d. Emily DeCamilla (OSU) 6-4, 6-4
Lauren Connelly (ND) d. Marina Chiarelli (LSU) 6-1, 6-4
Prapaiphan Kansuthi (EMU) d. Emily Neighbours (ND) 6-2, 6-0
Liz Donohue (ND) d. Emily Howard (OSU) 6-2, 6-3
Taryn Bowen (OSU) d. Maggie Donohue (ND) 6-1, 1-6, 1-0 (10-5)
L. Donohue/Nelson (ND) d. Barbora Blahutiakova (BU) 8-2
Neighbours/L. Connelly (ND) d. DeCamilla/Jackie Leskovar (OSU) 8-6
Note: Number before players is national ranking. Number in brackets is tournament seeding.