Feb. 24, 2003
LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the third time in four days, the 19th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team (4-5) played tough against a highly-ranked team but came up short, falling to Kentucky, 4-3. The Irish started out strong, winning the doubles point, but the Wildcats, now 10-4 on the season, prevailed winning four of the six singles matches in straight sets. Notre Dame will return home this weekend with a pair of big matches, taking on No. 42 Wake Forest on Saturday and No.14 Texas on Sunday in the second annual Ace for the Cure benefit in the Eck Tennis Pavillion.
Picking up a win for the Irish in doubles were junior Alicia Salas (Englewood, Colo./Cherry Creek H.S.) and freshman Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) who won 8-6 at the No. 2 spot. Playing together for the first time, junior Caylan Leslie (Newport Beach, Calif/Corona del Mar H.S.) and freshman Jennifer Smith (Charlotte, N.C./ South Mecklenburg H.S.) posted an 8-5 victory at No. 3.
Leslie picked up her fifth straight victory at No. 2 singles and her fourth win over a ranked opponent this season beating No. 48 Nathalie Roels 6-3, 6-4. Freshman Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) grabbed the other singles win for the Irish, topping Shannon Stafford in straight sets 6-4, 6-1.
This was the sixth time in nine matches this season that the Irish faced a top-30 team. All five of Notre Dame’s losses have been to top-30 teams.
The Irish will return home this weekend for a pair of big matches. On Saturday, March 1 at 11 a.m. (EST), Notre Dame will play host to No. 42 Wake Forest, which advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals a year ago. The following day, the Irish will welcome No. 14 Texas at noon (EST) in the second-annual Ace For the Cure, which is a benefit match to increase the awareness of the deadly threat of colon cancer.
#25 Kentucky 4, #19 Notre Dame 3
No. 1: #37 Sarah Witten (UK) d. #124 Alicia Salas (ND) 6-1, 6-2
No. 2: Caylan Leslie (ND) d. #48 Nathalie Roels (UK) 6-3, 6-4
No. 3: Jill Buckley (UK) d. Katie Cunha (ND) 6-3, 6-4
No. 4: Kristina Stastny (ND) d. Shannon Stafford (UK) 6-4, 6-1
No. 5: Amy Trefethen (UK) d. Lauren Connelly (ND) 6-1, 6-4
No. 6: Shannon Stough (UK) vs. Sarah Jane Connelly (ND) 6-3, 6-2
No. 1: Trefethen/Wittten (UK) d. Cunha/Stastny (ND) 8-1
No. 2: L. Connelly/Salas (ND) d. Leigh Bradwell/Buckley (UK) 8-6
No. 3: Leslie/Jennifer Smith (ND) d. Roels/Stafford (UK) 8-5
— ND —