Feb. 1, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s tennis team improved to 2-1 with a 7-0 win over #64 Wisconsin (3-1) Sunday afternoon in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Irish did not drop a set while handing the Badgers their first loss of the young season. Notre Dame will have a break of nearly two weeks before returning to the courts on Friday, Feb. 13, facing #16 Virginia Commonwealth in Richmond.
The Irish took the doubles point with the nation’s 39th-ranked doubles team, senior senior co-captain Alicia Salas (Englewood, Colo./Cherry Creek H.S.) and sophomore Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.), first off the court, posting an 8-2 victory over Wisconsin’s Teresa Gonzaga and Shana McElroy at the No. 2 position. Salas and Connelly improved to 9-2 on the season.
Moments later, junior Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) and sophomore Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) clinched the doubles point, beating the Badgers’ No. 2 team of Kaylan Caiati and Lexi Goldin 8-5.
At the No. 1 spot, freshmen twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) rallied from a 5-3 deficit to win five consecutive games in an 8-5 defeat of Lindsay Martin and Katie McGaffigan 8-5.
In singles, Lauren Connelly won nine of the final 11 games after being down a service break in the first set, giving the Irish a 2-0 advantage with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Gonzaga at the No. 4 spot. Connelly improved to 3-0 in dual-match play, having yet to lose a set
Stastny picked up a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Wisconsin’s Goldin at the No. 6 postion,while Catrina Thompson delivered the clinching win for the second day in a row, beating Martin 6-3, 6-0 at the No. 3 spot.
Sarah Jane Connelly was victorious for the first time this spring, knocking off Caiati in a second-set tiebreaker, 6-0, 7-6 (9-7) at No. 5.
Salas, the nation’s No. 14 singles player, remained unbeaten this spring and is 15-6 overall after defeating McGaffigan 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 at the No. 1 postion. The win provided a measure of revenge for Salas against McGaffigan, who prevailed in three sets the last time the two met, at No. 4 singles in Wisconsin’s 4-2 triumph in the first round of the 2002 NCAA tournament. The loss was one of just three suffered by Salas that spring enroute to matching the school record for dual-match singles victories in a season (24).
Christain Thompson, ranked 88th, completed the sweep with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over the Badgers’ McElroy at No. 2, improving to 14-6 on the season. McElroy was Wisconsin’s No. 1 singles player a year ago and entered this season ranked 79th nationally in singles.
Notre Dame has won each of the last eight regular-season matches against the Badgers. In four of thefive regular-season contests since 2000, the Irish have registered shutout victories.
The win was the first 7-0 triumph for the Irish since Wisconsin’s last visit to Notre Dame, on March 1, 2002.
#21 Notre Dame 7, #64 Wisconsin 0
No. 1: #14 Alicia Salas (ND) d. Katie McGaffigan (W) 7-6 (7-3), 6-3
No. 2: #88 Christian Thompson (ND) d. Shana McElroy (W) 7-5, 6-4
No. 3: *Catrina Thompson (ND) d. Lindsay Martin (W) 6-3, 6-0
No. 4: Lauren Connelly (ND) d. Teresa Gonzaga (W) 6-4, 6-2
No. 5: Sarah Jane Connelly (ND) d. Kaylan Caiati (W) 6-0, 7-6 (9-7)
No. 6: Kristina Stastny (ND) d. Lexi Goldin (W) 6-0, 6-4
Order of Finish: 4, 6, 3*, 5, 1, 2
No. 1: Thompson/Thompson (ND) d. Martin/McGaffigan (W) 8-5
No. 2: #39 L. Connelly/Salas (ND) d. Gonzaga/McElroy (W) 8-2
No. 3: *S.J. Connelly/Stastny (ND) d. Caiati/Goldin (W) 8-5
Order of Finish: 2, 3*, 1
* denotes clinching match