Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Irish Finish Regular Season at Indiana

April 14, 1999

  • Notre Dame beats second top-10 opponent of the year
  • Dasso one of five players ranked eighth in both singles and doubles

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The 15th-ranked Notre Dame women’s tennis team wrapped up its regular-season home schedule with a pair of wins over BYU and ninth-ranked William & Mary. The Irish finish the regular at 65th-ranked Indiana on Thurs., April 15, before heading to the BIG EAST championship April 22-25, in Miami, Fla.

THIS WEEK FOR THE IRISH: Notre Dame plays its final match of the 1999 regular season when it travels to Indiana (9-9) for a 3:00 p.m. match on Thurs., April 15. The Irish and Hoosiers have met 12 times with Notre Dame’s only wins in the series coming in each of the last three seasons, a 7-0 victory in 1996, 5-4 in ’97 and 7-2 in ’98. The Hoosiers are led by junior Jessica Anderson who is 24-9 in singles and 25-8 in doubles. Hoosier sophomore Kelly Blanch handed Irish sophomore Michelle Dasso one of her three singles losses in ’98 dual matches

NOTRE DAME BEATS BYU, WILLIAM & MARY: The Irish won four of six singles matches and blitzed to an 8-0 win at No. 1 doubles to beat ninth-ranked William & Mary 5-4 on Sunday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Irish seniors Jennifer Hall (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and Marisa Velasco (Chula Vista, Calif.), playing in their final regular-season dual matches at home, sparked Notre Dame to its second win of the year over a ninth-ranked team. Velasco matched her biggest win of the year as she beat 38th-ranked Carolijn van Rossum 6-2, 6-3 at No. 3 singles after also beating UCLA’s then 38th-ranked Amanda Basica earlier in the year. Hall teamed with sophomore Michelle Dasso (Long Grove, Ill.) as Notre Dame’s eighth-ranked No. 1 doubles team blanked William & Mary’s 14th-ranked Tari Ann Toro and Laura Tsaggaris 8-0 to clinch the win with a 5-2 Irish lead. The Tribe then won a pair of close matches at No. 2 and 3 doubles for the 5-4 final.

Notre Dame came out strong in singles, winning four matches in straight sets. Junior Kelly Zalinski (Greer, S.C.) and freshman Becky Varnum (Colorado Springs, Colo.) gave the Irish a quick 2-0 lead. Zalinski beat Lindsay Sullivan 6-2, 6-1 at No. 5 singles, while the 69th-ranked Varnum beat 79th-ranked Delphine Troch 6-3, 6-1 at No. 4 singles. Jessyca Arthur gave the Tribe their first point of the match with 6-2, 6-3 win at No. 6 singles over Irish sophomore Kim Guy (Portola Valley, Calif.). Velasco and Dasso then won a pair of tight matches to give Notre Dame a 4-1 lead. After Velasco’s upset of van Rossum, Dasso edged 42nd-ranked Toro in a tight match at No. 1 singles. Dasso served for the first set at 5-3 but Toro saved set points for a service break and then held serve to rally to 5-5, but Dasso won the final two games of the set. In the second set, it was Toro who went ahead, leading 4-1 before Dasso rallied to force the set into a tiebreaker, which she won 7-4 for Notre Dame’s fourth team point of the match. Carlijn Buis then kept William & Mary alive in the only three-set singles match as she outlasted 62nd-ranked Hall 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 at No. 2 singles.

Notre Dame won six singles in straight sets and swept the doubles match to roll to a 9-0 win over visiting BYU on Friday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Irish freshman Lindsey Green (El Cajon, Calif.) was first off the court with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Shari Smith at No. 6 singles. Zalinski then closed out Tara Ferguson 6-2, 6-2 at No. 5 singles. Dasso won nine consecutive games before BYU’s Gee Gee Garvin retired with an injury at 6-4, 5-0 at No. 1 singles. Varnum beat Kim Kelly 6-1, 6-2 at No. 4 singles as Notre Dame’s 69th-ranked freshman won five straight games to win the match. Hall clinched the win by winning the last nine games of the match to beat Jodi Richardson 7-5, 6-0 at No. 2 singles. Velasco held on for a 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) win at No. 3 singles to complete the singles sweep for Notre Dame, marking the eighth time in 23 matches this year the Irish have won all six singles matches. Notre Dame then swept the doubles to complete the 9-0 win.

IRISH MIDWEST WINNING STREAK ON THE LINE: Notre Dame enters its match against Indiana having won 19 consecutive matches against Midwest region opponents, a streak that dates back to a loss to Wisconsin in the 1997 NCAA Midwest Regional. The Irish have beaten all nine regional opponents in ’99, winning those matches by a combined score of 71-10. Since the ’95 season, the Irish have rolled through their regional foes, building a 41-4 record against other Midwest teams, including 33 wins against Big 10 teams.

CRAZY 8s FOR DASSO: Since March 23, Irish sophomore Michelle Dasso has held the eighth spot in both the Intercollegiate Tennis Association singles and doubles rankings and has lost just one match at Nos. 8. She boasts a 9-0 singles record and 7-1 doubles mark with Jennifer Hall since climbing to her career-high rankings. She joins Georgia’s Marissa Catlin, Stanford’s Marissa Irvin and Teryn Ashley and Duke’s Vanessa as the only five players ranked in the top 10 in both singles and doubles.

VELASCO APPROACHES 100: After beating William & Mary’s 38th-ranked Carolijn van Rossum last week, senior Marisa Velasco is quickly approaching 100 career singles win. She enters the Indiana match with a 96-44 record and could reach the century mark next week at the BIG EAST championship.

HONORS CONTINUE FOR HALL: As Jennifer Hall wraps up her storied career at Notre Dame, the two-time senior All-American added another accolade when she was named one of five recipients of the Byron V. Kanaley Award, the most prestigious honor awarded to Notre Dame senior student-athletes who have been exemplary both as students and leaders. Hall is just the fourth women’s tennis player and the first since Wendy Crabtree in 1996 to win a Kanaley Award, which have been presented each year since 1927. Earlier this year, Hall was selected as the recipient of the USTA Sportsmanship Award at the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor by the 16 coaches participating in the event. Hall is the second Notre Dame player to win the award, following 1994 winner Crabtree.

IRISH FACE TOUGH SLATE: The Irish have played 19 of their 24 matches against ranked teams, including nine teams in top 15 at the time of the match. The Irish have played eight of the 14 teams currently ranked ahead of Notre Dame in the April 6, ITA rankings. All six of Notre Dame’s losses have come against teams ranked ahead of the Irish.

The win over ninth-ranked William & Mary marked Notre Dame’s second of the year over a ninth-ranked team. The Irish also beat Wake Forest 7-2 on March 6, when the Deamon Deacons were ranked ninth.

HALL REACHES 200 WINS: Senior two-time All-American Jennifer Hall won a singles and two doubles match last week to bring her school-record combined career singles and doubles to 200. She boasts a 112-57 singles record and 88-45 doubles record. Hall earlier in the season broke 13-year-old records of 195 combined wins and 107 singles wins by Mary Colligan from 1982-86. Hall’s win over Illinois’ Stacy Schapiro marked her 108th singles win at Notre Dame and moved her past Colligan for the most singles wins in Irish history. Hall became the first Irish player to reach 100 wins under head coach Jay Louderback on Feb. 19, when she beat UCLA’s Annica Cooper 7-5, 6-3.

IRISH IN THE RANKINGS: Notre Dame is ranked 15th in the latest ITA rankings, down two spots from 13 after beginning the year ranked 16th. Sophomore Michelle Dasso remains a career-high ranking of eight, while senior All-American Jennifer is ranked 62nd for the second consecutive ranking. Freshman Becky Varnum (Colorado Springs, Colo.) slipped to 69th from 56th. The doubles team of Dasso and Hall remain in the top 10 at eighth.

SINGLES LINEUP SOLID: Only four teams have beaten the Irish singles lineup in 1999, top-ranked Florida, second-ranked Duke, 12th-ranked Tennessee and 13th-ranked Arizona State. Against the Blue Devils, the Irish had won two of four matches before losing two three-set matches 6-4 in the final sets. Notre Dame split six matches with eighth-ranked UCLA and won four of six singles matches against 15th-ranked Pepperdine, 13th-ranked USC, 32nd-ranked Northwestern, ninth-ranked Wake Forest, 18th-ranked Kentucky, 62nd-ranked Illinois, 55th-ranked Wisconsin and ninth-ranked William & Mary. The Irish won five singles matches against Ohio State, Kansas and Iowa and swept BYU, Purdue, Illinois State, Michigan, Clemson, Oklahoma, Kansas State and DePaul.

Overall, the Irish are 103-40 in singles in dual matches for an average lead after singles of 4.3 to 1.7 per match. Notre Dame has won at least four singles matches in 19 of the 24 dual matches.

DASSO TOUGH IN DUAL MATCHES: Michelle Dasso has been tough to beat in dual singles matches in her short career, amassing a 44-7 record and a 20-4 mark in 1999 at No. 1 singles. She won her first 20 dual matches as a freshman in a streak that included wins over M.C. White of Florida and Christina Moros of Texas. Dasso ended her freshman season with a 24-3 dual match record at No. 2.

HEAD COACH JAY LOUDERBACK: Jay Louderback is in his 10th year as head coach of the Irish, compiling a 172-88 (.662) record at Notre Dame and a career mark of 374-266 (.584) in 19-plus seasons of coaching. He has guided the Irish to NCAA championship appearances in five of the last six years, including a national quarterfinal appearance in 1996. His teams have finished among the top 20 teams in the country in four of the last six years and in the top 30 in all but two of his years at Notre Dame. The Arkansas City, Kan., native, and 1976 graduate of Wichita State has been named the ITA regional coach of the year twice in 1995 and 1998 and was named BIG EAST coach of the year after leading the Irish to BIG EAST championship titles in 1996 and 1997. His Notre Dame players have won All-America honors seven times in his nine years.

DASSO/HALL DUO POST BIG WINS: The first-year doubles team of Michelle Dasso and Jennifer Hall stand No. 8 in the rankings thanks to eight wins over ranked teams. The duo went 3-0 at the USTA/ITA National Women’s Team Indoor, with wins over sixth-ranked Lehnhoff and Nickitas of Florida, eighth-ranked Basica and Cooper of UCLA and 19th-ranked Huber and Warkentin of USC. The duo also beat seventh-ranked Dascoli and Harris of Ohio State for three wins over top 10 teams and most recently beat 14th-ranked Tara Ann Toro and Laura Tsaggaris of William & Mary. Dasso and Hall are 18-5 in dual matches and 23-7 overall.

FRESHMEN SPARK IRISH: Notre Dame’s freshman class of Berica Day (San Antonio, Texas), Lindsey Green, Becky Varnum and Nina Vaughan (Corona del Mar, Calif.) combined for a 38-22 record during an impressive fall season. Green, Varnum and Vaughan all saw action in Notre Dame’s first two matches of the season, the biggest immediate contributions for a freshman class since the 1993 freshman class of Wendy Crabtree, Holyn Lord and Sherri Vitale all played in the singles or doubles lineup in their first dual match.

IRISH AT HOME: Notre Dame finished the 1999 regular season with a 10-1 record, its the best home mark since the Irish were 8-0 at home in 1990 in Jay Louderback’s first year at Notre Dame. Second-ranked Duke was the only team to defeat Notre Dame at home this year, while the Irish picked up wins over six ranked teams, including two top-10 teams.

DASSO WINS ROLEX CONSOLATION SINGLES: Michelle Dasso rallied from a first-round loss to win the singles consolation draw at the Rolex National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, the third leg of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association collegiate grand slam. After Washington’s 22nd-ranked Kristina Kraszewski bounced Dasso 6-3, 6-3 in the first round, Dasso won three straight matches to win the consolation singles. She beat Arkansas’ 43rd-ranked Tara Reid 6-3, 6-1, USC’s 13th-ranked Ditta Huber 6-3, 7-6 (7-1) and Cal’s 32nd-ranked Amanda Augustus 7-6 (8-6), 3-2, retired. Dasso took advantage of another injury when Petra Gaspar of BYU-Hawaii could not play in the singles consolation final due to injury.

Irish Recordbook
Senior All-American Jennifer Hall has surpassed Mary Colligan’s Notre Dame career records for singles and combined singles and doubles wins:

Jennifer Hall (1995-99)     Mary Colligan (1982-86)Singles: 112 (29 wins/yr.)  Singles: 107 (27/yr.)Doubles: 88 (21 wins/yr.)   Doubles: 88 (22/yr.)Combined: 200 (50 wins/yr.) Combined: 195 (49/yr.)

Intercollegiate Tennis Association Rankings

Team    Release: April 6, 1999This   Last School              TotalRank   Year1.      1.  Florida *           58.572.      3.  Georgia             44.933.      2.  Duke *              44.054.      6.  UCLA *              43.425.      5.  Stanford            36.396.      11. Pepperdine *        34.817.      4.  California          33.508.      14. Mississippi         31.739.      7.  William & Mary *    30.5210.     12. Tennessee *         30.0011.     15. Arizona State *     28.4612.     8.  Vanderbilt          28.3813.     9.  Texas               28.3314.     10. USC *               26.9915.     13. Notre Dame          26.2216.     16. South Carolina      24.2317.     30. Arkansas            19.1918.     20. Florida State       17.4119.     17. Wake Forest *       16.6320.     18. Kentucky *          16.51
* indicates Notre Dame opponents
Singles Release: April 6, 1999This Last Name SchoolRank Rank1. 1. Zuzana Lesenarova San Diego2. 2. Marissa Irvin Stanford3. 3. Vanessa Webb Duke4. 5. Agnes Muzamel Mississippi5. 4. Teryn Ashley Stanford6. 6. Marissa Catlin Georgia7. 12. Whitney Laiho Florida8. 8. Michelle Dasso Notre Dame9. 10. Dora Djilinova Fresno State10. 9. Mariel Verban Wake Forest62. 62. Jennifer Hall Notre Dame69. 57. Becky Varnum Notre Dame
Doubles Release: April 6, 1999This Last Name SchoolRank Rank1. 1. Catlin/Castellano Georgia2. 2. Ashley/Irvin Stanford3. 3. Goldstein/Webb Duke4. 4. Augustus/Jensen California 5. 5. Lehnoff/Nickitas Florida6. 6. Basica/Cooper UCLA7. 7. Ondrejkova/Puflerova So. Ala.8. 8. Dasso/Hall Notre Dame9. 9. Eberle/Frey Mississippi10. 10. Lawrence/Senoglu Pepperdine

Irish Singles leaders Under Louderback

Of the many players who have played at Notre Dame in the 10-year era of head coach Jay Louderback, four of the top 11 singles players are members of the 1998-99 team.

   Name                 Record  Years1. Jennifer Hall        112-57  1996-992. Holyn Lord           99-43   1993-963. Wendy Crabtree       97-52   1993-964. Marisa Velasco       96-44   1996-995. Lisa Tholen          95-41   1991-946. Melissa Harris       95-37   1990-937. Kelly Zalinski       93-35   1997-99    Kim Pacella         93-52   1988-919. Christy Faustmann    91-52   1991-9410. Laura Schwab        81-59   1992-9511. Michelle Dasso      69-17   1998-99