May 5, 2003
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame was well-represented when the 2003 BIG EAST Conference All-Tournament Teams were announced. A total of eight Irish student-athletes — five women and three men — were awarded all-tournament honors, the most from any conference school this season.
The 21st-ranked Notre Dame women, who defeated Miami in the BIG EAST Championship match, 4-3, on April 27, had two players earn all-tournament laurels in both singles and doubles. Sophomore Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) was one of those double winners, going a perfect 3-0 in the conference tournament (2-0 singles, 1-0 doubles). She also teamed with freshman Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) to garner all-BIG EAST Tournament recognition in doubles after the Irish tandem won the clinching match in the conference final vs. Miami. Meanwhile, junior Alicia Salas (Englewood, Colo./Cherry Creek H.S.) won both of her singles matches at the BIG EAST tourney, including a three-set triumph over 54th-ranked Melissa Applebaum of Miami in the finals. Salas and freshman Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) also received all-tournament honors in doubles.
Junior Caylan Leslie (Newport Beach, Calif./Corona del Mar H.S.) rounded out the Irish women’s award winners, earning all-tournament status in singles play. Leslie is ranked 39th in the nation with a 17-9 singles record that includes nine wins over ranked opponents this year.
On the men’s side, junior tri-captain Matthew Scott (Oakton, Va./International School of Paris) was honored for his work in both singles and doubles action at the BIG EAST Championship. Scott went 3-1 in four matches at the conference tournament (2-0 doubles, 1-1 singles), and paired with sophomore Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School) to win the clinching doubles match in Notre Dame’s 4-3 upset of No. 41 Virginia Tech in the conference semifinals. Junior tri-captain Luis Haddock (Caguas, P.R./Notre Dame H.S.) also earned all-tournament honors in singles, picking up a three-set win over Virginia Tech’s Francis Huot in the semifinals.
The BIG EAST men’s title match between the Irish and Miami was rained out, with the conference championship declared vacant and the Hurricanes earning the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. Notre Dame (10-12) finished its season ranked 51st in the nation.
The Irish women (15-8) have advanced to the NCAA Championships for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons, earning a first-round match against No. 38 Missouri Friday at 10 a.m. (CDT) in Nashville, Tenn., at the Brownlee O. Currey Tennis Center. The host team, No. 15 Vanderbilt, will meet America East Conference champion Boston University in the other first-round match Friday at 2 p.m. (CDT). The winners will play Saturday at 3 p.m. (CDT) for the right to move on to the NCAA round of 16 Thursday, May 15, in Gainesville, Fla.
— ND —