May 26, 1999
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Notre Dame’s No. 5-8 seeded doubles team of senior Jennifer Hall and sophomore Michelle Dasso lost their NCAA doubles championship quarterfinal match to Georgia’s top-seeded and top-ranked Marissa Catlin and Vanessa Castellano 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday at the University of Florida. Dasso and Hall end the season with a 28-10 record. Despite the loss, the Irish duo have earned doubles All-America honors by meeting two of the three criteria, earning one of eight seeds in the 32-team draw and by reaching of the quarterfinals. A final Intercollegiate Tennis Association ranking among the top 10 doubles team also would qualify for All-America honors.
“I think we played well,” said Dasso, who was making her first appearance in the NCAA doubles championship. “They were by far the best team we’ve played this year. They have great hands. We had some chances in the second to go up, and we just didn’t use them. It was a good match. We were pretty happy they way we played.”
“They were a tough team,” said Hall, who was competing in her third straight NCAA doubles championships. “We missed shots that we normally would have put away. We had a couple of games that we didn’t play our best when we could have gotten on top of them. We had to take advantage of those opportunities.”
“I think they came out looking pretty strong,” said Catlin. “We just kept at it. We served pretty well. We hung in there and returned well.”
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first set before taking the opening set by a score of 6-3. In the second set, Georgia broke serve at 3-3 and went on to a 6-4 win to close out the match. Dasso and Hall reached the quarterfinals with a pair of straight-set wins in the first two rounds. They took out South Carolina’s 25th-ranked team of Katarina Markovski and Celine Regnier 6-1, 6-0 in the first round and won 7-5, 6-4 over 30th-ranked Kaysie Smashey and Sandy Sureephong of Texas in the second round.
The quarterfinal appearance marks the second consecutive for Hall after reaching the same round a year ago with former partner Tiffany Gates. Hall concludes her Notre Dame as a three-time All-American, twice in doubles (’98 and ’99) and once in singles (’96) and finishes her career as the all-time winner in singles wins with a 116-59 record and in combined singles and doubles wins with a 209-107 record. After earning a No. 8 seed in singles this year, Dasso becomes the first Notre Dame player to earn singles and doubles All-America honors in the same year since Wendy Crabtree in 1994.