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Cunha/Stastny Advances To Round Of 16 At OMNI HOTELS Midwest Championships

Oct. 25, 2002

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Senior Katie Cunha (Mercer Island, Wash.) and freshman Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo.) won two matches Friday to reach the round of 16 in doubles at the OMNI HOTELS Midwest Championships. Those two, along with three other players, will play in the singles main draw beginning on Saturday, as well as continuing doubles play.

Cunha and Stastny, one of the 9-16 seeds in the tournament, opened up with an 8-4 win over Xavier’s Bauer and Clary before downing Emily DeCamilla and Lindsay Williams of Ohio State 8-5. At 9:15 a.m. on Saturday, the Irish pair will take on the fourth-seeded team, Rebecca Hawkins and Lisa D’Amelio of Eastern Michigan.

Three other Irish teams lost on Friday in main-draw action. Junior Alicia Salas (Englewood, Colo.) and freshman Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla.) gained an 8-5 win over Lisa Maloney and Susie Schoenberger of Bowling Green before losing a close 9-7 decision to the tournament’s top seed, 13th-ranked Karie Schlukebir and Linda Tran of Indiana.

Freshmen Liz Donohue (Sioux Falls, S.D.) and Kelly Nelson (St. Petersburg, Fla.) lost in the first round before gaining a tiebreaker win over Xavier’s Clary and Weightman in consolation action. Sophomore Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and freshman Jennifer Smith (Charlotte, N.C.) lost 8-5 in the first round to a 9-16 seed, Jennifer McGaffigan and Michelle Webb from Illinois. The Irish team rebounded with an 8-1 win over Bernosky and Malena Remynse of Western Michigan in consolation action.

After winning a pair of matches on Thursday, Nelson and Smith each fell one match short of earning one of the eight qualifying spots into the singles main draw. Smith fell to sixth-seeded Jackie Lescovar 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 in the qualifying round, while Nelson lost 6-2, 6-2 to Purdue’s Brittany Reitz.

Five Notre Dame players will open play in the 64-player singles main draw on Saturday. Salas, ranked 86th and one of the 9-16 seeds, will face qualifier Kim Plaushines of Michigan. Cunha and both Connelly sisters will take on seeded players in the first round. The senior captain is slated to face a 9-16 seed, Northwestern’s Christella Grier. Meanwhile, Lauren Connelly will take on another 9-16 seed, 69th-ranked Erica Fisk, and Sarah Jane Connelly will meet the second seed, 40th-ranked Jennifer McGaffigan of Illinois. Stastny is slated to face lucky loser Melissa Roach of Ball State.

The OMNI HOTELS Midwest Championships are one of eight regional championships sponsored by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. This tournament continues through Tuesday, Oct. 29 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

Singles Qualifying — Qualifying Round

[6] Jackie Lescovar (Ohio State) d. [9-16] Jennifer Smith (Notre Dame) 6-3, 5-7, 6-1

[9-16] Brittany Reitz (Purdue) d. Kelly Nelson (ND) 6-2, 6-2

Doubles Main Draw — First Round

Lauren Connelly/Alicia Salas (ND) d. Lisa Maloney/Susie Schoenberger (Bowling Green) 8-5

Monica Ribero/Viviano Rivero (Toledo) d. Liz Donohue/Kelly Nelson (ND) 8-6

[9-16] Katie Cunha/Kristina Stastny (ND) d. Bauer/Lauren Clary (Xavier) 8-4

[9-16] Jennifer McGaffigan/Michelle Webb (Illinois) d. Sarah Jane Connelly/Jennifer Smith (ND) 8-5

Doubles Main Draw — Second Round

[1] #13 Karie Schlukebir/Linda Tran (Indiana) d. L. Connelly/Salas (ND) 9-7

[9-16] Cunha/Stastny (ND) d. Emily DeCamilla/Lindsay Williams (Ohio State) 8-2

Doubles Main Draw — Consolation

L. Donohue/Nelson (ND) d. K. Clary/Weightman (Xavier) 9-8 (8-6)

S.J. Connelly/Smith (ND) d. Bernosky/Malena Remynse (Western Michigan) 8-1

Note: Tournament seedings are in brackets. ITA national rankings immediately precede names.