Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Irish Off To USTA/ITA Indoor Championships

Feb. 16, 2000

The 17th-ranked Notre Dame women’s tennis team travels to Madison, Wis., for the 2000 USTA/ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championships. The Irish will meet 12th-ranked William & Mary in the first round on Thurs., Feb. 17, at 9:00 a.m. Notre Dame enters the tournament after wins over Maryland and Illinois last weekend at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.

Notre Dame and William & Mary will meet for the eighth time on Thursday in the first round of the 2000 USTA/ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championships. The teams also are scheduled to meet on April 9, at William & Mary. The Tribe leads the series 4-3 but lost 5-4 to the Irish at the Eck Tennis Pavilion in 1999.

Sophomore Delphine Troch is ranked 33rd in singles, while junior Carolyn Buis is 83rd. Troch and Buis are ranked 10th in doubles. Tribe head coach Brian Kalbas, a 1989 graduate of Notre Dame, played on the Irish men’s team and served as assistant coach of the Notre Dame men’s tennis team from 1990-92 before leaving to coach at William & Mary.

Notre Dame will making its seventh consecutive appearance and seventh overall in the USTA/ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championships since its first showing in 1994. The Irish are 8-10 all-time at the event. Notre Dame has wins over Alabama, Arizona, BYU, California, UC Santa Barbara, South Alabama, South Carolina and USC and losses to UCLA, Stanford (2), Georgia, Florida (2), Mississippi, Pepperdine and Vanderbilt (2). Its meeting with William & Mary marks its first at the USTA/ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championships, the 16th different opponent the Irish will have played.

The Irish dropped just one match in beating 39th-ranked Maryland 9-0 and 47th-ranked Illinois 9-0 last weekend at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Notre Dame lost just one match in beating 47th-ranked Illinois 8-1 on Sunday for their eighth consecutive victory against the Illini. Sophomore Lindsey Green (El Cajon, Calif.) won for the sixth time in as many matches in the spring dual-match season to clinch the win for the consecutive match after also recording the decisive point against Maryland on Friday. The Irish built a quick 3-0 lead by losing just 13 games at Nos. 1-3 singles with wins by junior All-American Michelle Dasso (Long Grove, Ill.), senior Kelly Zalinski (Greer, S.C.) and sophomore Becky Varnum (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Junior Kimberly Guy (Portola Valley, Calif.) put the Irish ahead 4-0 when she held on for a 6-2, 7-6 (7-2) win over Megan Wise at No. 6 singles after Wise twice served for the second set at 5-4 and 6-5. Green then saved six set points at 4-5 in the second set of her 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) win over Michelle Webb at No. 5 singles for an insurmountable 5-0 lead. Notre Dame completed the 8-1 win with a sweep of the doubles.

Against the Terrapins, Notre Dame lost just one set and took advantage of defaults at No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles in sweeping Maryland 9-0 on Friday. Guy, Zalinski and Green each won in straight sets to start the match. Green won the clincher 6-3, 6-4 over Chrissie Terrill at No. 4 singles as the Irish led 5-0. Notre Dame then survived two tight matches at Nos. 1 and 2 singles, as Dasso held on to beat Delila Causevic 7-5, 7-6 (7-1) at No. 1 singles after trailing 2-5 in the second set. Varnum rallied for a 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 win over Jessica Johnson at No. 2 singles. Notre Dame completed the sweep with wins at Nos. 1 and 2 doubles.

The Irish stand 17th among the 75 teams ranked by the ITA after finishing 1999 ranked 15th. Junior Michelle Dasso is ranked 82nd in singles and 33rd in doubles with Becky Varnum. Freshman Katie Cunha (Mercer Island, Wash.) and junior Kimberly Guy are the top-ranked team in the region at 17th.

Senior Kelly Zalinski needs just nine more singles wins and 27 more combined singles and doubles wins to match Jennifer Hall (1995-99) for the most singles and combined singles and doubles victories in Irish history. Zalinski enters the William & Mary match with 107 wins in singles wins and 75 in doubles for a total of 182. Hall compiled 116 singles wins and 209 singles and doubles. With five singles victories in the fall, Zalinski joined Hall and Marisa Velasco (1995-99) as the only Notre Dame women’s tennis players to win 100 singles matches under Jay Louderback.

Junior All-American Michelle Dasso enters the week as one of the top singles players in dual matches during the Jay Louderback era at Notre Dame. She has compiled a record of 51-9 (.850) during her two-plus seasons at mostly No. 1 singles. Only seven other Irish players have more dual singles matches under Louderback, including 65 by senior Kelly Zalinski.

After opening the season with two matches against top 25 teams, the Irish are scheduled to meet at least 14 more ranked teams, including matches at sixth-ranked Pepperdine, ninth-ranked Wake Forest and 12th-ranked William & Mary. Notre Dame’s 10-match home schedule features five matches against Midwest region teams, BIG EAST rival Miami (Fla.) and 22nd-ranked Kentucky. The Irish will make their seventh consecutive appearance at the USTA/ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championships at Wisconsin in February. Notre Dame will defend its 1999 BIG EAST championship April 20-23, at Miami.

Sophomore Lindsey Green remains unbeaten in both singles and doubles in the 2000 spring dual-match season. She began the 2000 season with three wins at No. 5 singles and pair of wins at No. 3 doubles with Kelly Zalinski in Hawaii. She rolled to a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Hawaii’s Georgeina Sesto and then dropped just two games in beating Duke’s 97th-ranked Brooke Siebel 6-2, 6-0. She wrapped up the weekend with a 7-6, 6-3 win over Washington’s Zeta Wagner. Green won three more matches in straight sets against Yale, Maryland and Illinois, including the clinching wins against Maryland and Illinois. Her singles record stands at 11-5 after her 5-5 mark during the fall season, which began with singles and doubles titles at the Indiana Invitational.

Green and Zalinski have teamed for a 3-0 mark at No. 3 doubles including a clinching win against Washington. Green teamed with senior Sarah Scaringe (Marietta, Ga.) for the clinching win against Yale at No. 3 doubles.

Sophomore Becky Varnum spent part of her mid-semester break preparing for the dual-match season as the fifth seed of the 1999 Cotton Bowl Classic in Dallas. Varnum dropped just 13 games in five matches on her way to winning the title. After a pair of 6-1, 6-1 wins, Varnum beat Tennessee’s top-seeded Alison Ojeda 6-0, 6-1 in the quarterfinals. Her toughest match was a 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 win over ninth-seeded Saber Pierce in the semifinals. Varnum claimed the title with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Northwestern’s sixth-seeded Shannon Duffy in the final.

Jay Louderback is in his 11th year as head coach of the Irish, compiling a 182-90 (.669) record at Notre Dame and a career mark of 386-268 (.590) in 19-plus seasons of coaching. His 1999 team won 23 dual matches, matching his ’95 Irish for Notre Dame’s most wins at the NCAA Division I level. He has guided the Irish to NCAA championship appearances in six of the last seven years, including a national quarterfinal appearance in 1996. His teams have finished among the top 20 teams in the country in five of the last seven 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, 1997 and 1999. His Notre Dame players have won 10 All-America honors in his 10 years.

Michelle Dasso and Becky Varnum played doubles together for the first time at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Midwest Region doubles championships and went 5-0 to win the regional doubles title, the first for a Notre Dame team since 1994. Dasso and Varnum beat Ohio State’s seventh-ranked and second-seeded Kristy Dascoli and Briana Harris 6-4, 7-5 in the semifinals and then won the 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 over Purdue’s Jennifer Embry and Shannon Taheny to win the championship.

The main draw doubles win came on the final day of the championship to complete a sweep of the doubles titles after Katie Cunha and Kimberly Guy won the consolation doubles title. Cunha and Guy, who posted a win over Iowa’s sixth-ranked Toni Neykova and Shera Wiegler earlier in the fall, lost in the first round of the main draw before advancing through six rounds of the consolation draw to win. They beat Cincinnati’s Kara Molony and Lisa Pruett 8-5 in the consolation final.

Caylan Leslie and Alicia Salas, two nationally ranked junior players, signed national letters of intent in November to attend Notre Dame next year. Leslie, a native of Newport Beach, Calif., will bring much experience to Notre Dame with a United States Tennis Association national girls’ 18s ranking of 19. The lefthander currently is a senior at Corona del Mar High School, the same high school as Irish sophomore Nina Vaughan. Salas, a native of Engelwood, Colo., hails from Cherry Creek High School, a perennial tennis power in Colorado, and is ranked 76th in USTA national rankings. She enters her senior year having won three state singles titles and will be looking for her fourth state crown in the spring. Only current Irish sophomore Becky Varnum, from Colorado Springs, Colo., won four Colorado High School singles titles.

Intercollegiate Tennis Association Rankings

This Rank ’99 Rank School Avg.
1. 1. Stanford 675
2. 2. Florida 665
3. 3. California 658
4. 4. Georgia 648
5. 6. Mississippi 638
6. 7. Pepperdine * 631
7. 5. Duke * 610
8. 9. Texas 605
T9. 10. Arizona State 593
T9. 11. Wake Forest * 593
11. 8. UCLA 592
12. 15. William & Mary * 589
13. 12. USC 570
14. 13. South Carolina 563
15. 14. Tennessee 548
16. 16. Vanderbilt 542
17. 17. NOTRE DAME 530
18. 18. Northwestern * 523
19. 19. Florida State 510
20. 20. South Alabama 505
21. 21. Arizona 495
22. 22. Kentucky * 487
23. 24. Washington * 469
24. 25. Fresno State 462
25. 26. Arkansas 456

* indicates Notre Dame opponents

Other Notre Dame opponents

This Rank ’99 Rank School Avg.
26. 21. Miami (Fla.) 1217
T27. 29. North Carolina 1191
36. 25. Iowa 1003
38. 52. Ohio State 941
39. 42. Maryland 892
40. 47. Illinois 889
42. 32. Kansas 877
50. 37. Wisconsin 612
55. NR Indiana 526
56. 69. BYU 483
65. NR Purdue 301
74. NR Michigan 109