Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Irish Fall To No. 5 North Carolina 5-2

Feb. 1, 2003

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Despite winning the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead, the 21st-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team could not convert in singles, dropping five of six matches to lose 5-2 to No. 5 North Carolina (3-0) Saturday afternoon in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Irish took the first two doubles matches off the court, but sophomore Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) was the only Notre Dame player who could deliver a point in singles. Notre Dame (2-2) will not be in action again for 13 days, when it plays host to Virginia Tech on Friday, Feb. 14 at 4 p.m. (EST) in the Eck Tennis Pavilion.

Connelly and freshman Jennifer Smith (Charlotte, N.C./South Mecklenburg H.S.) delivered an 8-4 victory at No. 3 doubles to improve to 11-6 this season. The team of senior captain Katie Cunha (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island H.S.) and freshman Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) then gave the Irish a 1-0 lead in the match with an 8-6 upset of the No. 19 team in the country, Kendrick Bunn and Kate Pinchbeck, at No. 1. Cunha and Stastny were down a service break, trailing 6-5, before running off three straight games to clinch the doubles point.

North Carolina stormed back by winning each of the first five singles matches off the court. Aniela Mojzis, ranked 61st, was off first with a 6-0, 6-3 win at No. 3, which was followed by #11 Kate Pinchbeck’s 6-2, 6-3 victory at No. 2 and #38 Marlene Mejia’s 6-3, 6-2 triumph at No. 1. Kendall Cline clinched the Tar Heels’ third straight win over the Irish with a 6-2, 6-3 decision at No. 4. After the outcome was determined, Kendrick Bunn rallied from losing the first set to win 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 at No. 6 over Smith. In the last match on-court, Connelly finished a 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) win over Lee Bairos on No. 5.

#5 North Carolina 5, #21 Notre Dame 2


No. 1: #38 Marlene Mejia (UNC) d. #124 Alicia Salas (ND) 6-3, 6-2

No. 2: #11 Kate Pinchbeck (UNC) d. Caylan Leslie (ND) 6-2, 6-3

No. 3: #61 Aniela Mojzis (UNC) d. Kristina Stastny (ND) 6-0, 6-3

No. 4: Kendall Cline (UNC) d. Lauren Connelly (ND) 6-2, 6-3

No. 5: Sarah Jane Connelly (ND) d. Lee Bairos (UNC) 7-5, 7-6 (7-5)

No. 6: Kendrick Bunn (UNC) d. Jennifer Smith (ND) 2-6, 6-4, 6-2


No. 1: Katie Cunha/Stastny (ND) d. #19 Bunn/Pinchbeck (UNC) 8-6

No. 2: #50 Mejia/Mojzis (UNC) d. L. Connelly/Salas (ND) 9-7

No. 3: S.J. Connelly/Smith (ND) d. Bairos/Cline (UNC) 8-4