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Irish Duo Still Alive at NCAA Doubles Championships

May 24, 1999

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Notre Dame senior Jennifer Hall and sophomore Michelle Dasso dropped opening round singles matches but rebounded for a quick doubles win on the first day of the NCAA singles and doubles championships at the University of Florida. The No. 5-8 seeded and eighth-ranked duo of Dasso and Hall made quick work of South Carolina’s 25th-ranked team of Katarina Markovski and Celine Regnier, winning 6-1, 6-0 in just 1:02, the shortest doubles match of the day.

“It was definitely a good win after both of us had disappointing mornings,” said Hall. “We just got the momentum early and were able to keep it going. Once we got ahead, things just fell into place. It was kind of a revenge from our losses this morning.”

Up next for the Irish is the 30th-ranked Texas pair of Kaysie Smashey and Sandy Sureephong, winners over Kentucky’s Kelly Brown and Massoumeh Emami 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

“We know that they are a very strong team,” said Dasso. ” We just have to play like we did today and concentrate, but I think we’re ready.”

Hall began the day making her fourth consecutive appearance in the NCAA singles championship, a first for a Notre Dame player. The all-time Irish career singles leader wrapped up her storied career dropping a 6-2, 6-3 match to 77th-ranked Francesca La’O from California. The 58th-ranked Hall finishes her singles career with a 116-59 record.

The No. 5-8 seeded Dasso went ahead quickly 6-0 in the first set against 96th-ranked Katarina Valkyova of San Diego but dropped the next two sets 6-3, 6-3 in losing in the NCAA first round for the second consecutive year. Despite the loss, Dasso earns All-America honors for the first time on the basis of earning a seed in the 64-player draw.

“She started to make a lot (of shots),” said Dasso. “She didn’t make many in the first set and I let her back in it. She picked up her level of play and mine went down.”

“I was very nervous at the beginning,” said Valkyova. “I couldn’t get one single ball in. I was shaking, but then things just started to get better from there.”