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Irish Players Look To Continue ITA Summer Circuit Success This Weekend at Notre Dame

July 18, 2003

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – For the 10th consecutive year, the University of Notre Dame will play host to an Intercollegiate Tennis Association Summer Circuit event this weekend at the Courtney Tennis Center. A number of Irish men’s and women’s players will be in action, with the opening rounds slated to begin Saturday at 9 a.m. and the finals to be contested on Monday. Various Notre Dame players already have had success in summer circuit events this month, highlighted by a tournament victory from sophomore-to-be Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.).

Eight Notre Dame student-athletes will compete on the women’s side. Rising seniors Emily Neighbours (Indianapolis, Ind./Park Tudor H.S.) and Alicia Salas (Englewood, Colo./Cherry Creek H.S.) and junior-to-be Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) will join a quintet who will be sophomores in the fall: Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.), Liz Donohue (Sioux Falls, S.D./O’Gorman H.S.), Kelly Nelson (St. Petersburg, Fla./Shorecrest Preparatory School), Jennifer Smith (Charlotte, N.C./South Mecklenburg H.S.), and Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy).

Langenkamp and two of his current Irish teammates will participate in the men’s portion of the tournament. Rising senior Matthew Scott (Oakton, Va./International School of Paris) and junior-to-be Nick Chimerakis (North Palm Beach, Fla./The Benjamin School) also will be in action.

The ITA Collegiate Summer Circuit is a series of tournaments around the country during July for collegiate players, though amateur juniors also may participate. Each event includes men’s and women’s singles and doubles draws.

Lauren Connelly reached the semifinals at Michigan before losing to Laura McGaffigan of Indiana. In the same tournament, rising junior Sarah Jane Connelly fell in the quarterfinals to Virgina’s Lauren Bruch. Donohue also played in the Michigan tournament, losing in the second round in singles to fourth-seeded Audra Falk of Vanderbilt, but reaching the quarterfinals in doubles.

In men’s action, Langenkamp will be looking for his second men’s singles title of the summer, after not dropping a set in winning the University of Michigan Summer Circuit event. Seeded third, he topped Louisville’s Mark Kennedy in the championship match.

Fellow rising sophomore Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.) also has played well this summer, advancing to the final in both singles and doubles in the Mission Viejo C.C. Summer Circuit event. The top seed in singles, Buchanan fell to San Diego’s Jeffrey Das in the title match before losing, along with partner Marco Borgas of Valdosta State, to Brett Van Linge and John Nguyen of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo in the doubles final. It marked the second year in a row he lost in the singles final of the event.

In the 2002 ITA Summer Circuit event at Notre Dame, Chris Varga, native of Granger, Ind. and a 1999 graduate of St. Joseph’s High School before going to Ball State, won the men’s singles, while Nick Goldberg (Brown Univ.) and David Kowalski (Univ. of New Mexico) won the men’s doubles. Gretchen Haynor of Purdue was triumphant in women’s singles, and the Illinois team of Lelia Cehajic and Eldina Fazlic took the women’s doubles crowns.