April 10, 2004
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – For the second year in a row, the University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team (10-7) held a two-point advantage only to see William & Mary (13-12) rally for a 4-3 victory, as the 43rd-ranked Tribe won all three three-set matches to upset the 23rd-ranked Irish Saturday afternoon at the Busch Tennis Courts. W&M freshman Kristen Dunbar delivered the decisive blow, defeating Notre Dame junior Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) at No. 6 singles with the score tied 3-3.
With the Irish leading 3-1, the Tribe comeback began when Megan Muth, ranked 25th nationally in singles, upset 11th-ranked Irish senior co-captain Alicia Salas (Englewood, Colo./Cherry Creek H.S.) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 at No. 1. It marked the second consecutive year that Muth registered a three-set win over Salas in a 4-3 Tribe triumph, though the Irish senior was victorious 6-4, 6-3 in a match in last fall’s qualifying round at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships.
Amy Wei won a third-set tiebreaker to even the score at 3-3. She defeated freshman Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (7-3) at No. 3.
In the final match on court, Dunbar held team match point, serving at 5-3 in the third set, when play was halted due to rain. Following a 20-minute delay and a three-minute warmup period, the Tribe freshman won the first point, clinching the William & Mary triumph with a 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 victory.
Notre Dame started off well, winning the doubles point for the 11th time this season with wins at the bottom two positions. Salas and sophomore Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) were off first, winning for the fifth time in their last six matches in an 8-3 decision against Lena Sherbakov and Lingda Yang at No. 2. The Irish duo is 18-7 this season, including 12-5 in dual matches at that position.
Sarah Jane Connelly and senior Emily Neighbours (Indianapolis, Ind./Park Tudor School), pairing together for the first time, then clinched the doubles point for Notre Dame by beating Alex de Guzman and Emily Mowery 8-2 at No. 3.
In the final doubles match, the nation’s 25th-ranked team – Muth and Wei – defeated the 57th-ranked pair of freshman twins Catrina and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) 8-2 at No. 1.
The Irish had previously went on to win the match after taking the doubles point in 18 consecutive matches, since last year’s loss to William & Mary. In matches other than against the Tribe, Notre Dame has gone on to win the match 20 times in a row after taking the doubles point.
Christian Thompson put the Irish up 2-0 with an upset of #109 Sherbakov at No. 2 singles. Her 6-4, 6-0 victory improved her record to 21-12 this season, and she has now won four of her last five contests. It was Thompson’s first singles win against a ranked player.
William & Mary got on the board when Yang beat sophomore Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) 6-2, 6-1 at No. 5.
Lauren Connelly then put Notre Dame within a point of victory by beating Mowery 6-0, 7-5 at No. 4. It was Connelly’s third consecutive victory.
Notre Dame will complete its Easter weekend road trip on Monday, traveling to Austin, Texas to face the 14th-ranked Longhorns at 5:30 p.m. (CDT).
#43 William & Mary 4, #23 Notre Dame 3
No. 1 #25 Megan Muth (W&M) d. #11 Alicia Salas (ND) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
No. 2 Christian Thompson (ND) d. #109 Lena Sherbakov (W&M) 6-4, 6-0
No. 3 Amy Wei (W&M) d. Catrina Thompson (ND) 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (7-3)
No. 4 Lauren Connelly (ND) d. Emily Mowery (W&M) 6-0, 7-5
No. 5 Lingda Yang (W&M) d. Kristina Stastny (ND) 6-2, 6-1
No. 6 !Kristen Dunbar (W&M) d. Sarah Jane Connelly (ND) 7-5, 5-7, 6-3
Order of finish: 2, 5, 4, 1, 3, 6!
No. 1 #24 Muth/Wei (W&M) d. #57 Thompson/Thompson (ND) 8-2
No. 2 L. Connelly/Salas (ND) d. Sherbakov/Yang (W&M) 8-3
No. 3 *S.J. Connelly/Emily Neighbours (ND) d. Alex de Guzman/Mowery (W&M) 8-2
Order of finish: 2, 3*, 1