April 13, 2002
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The 25th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team captured its second victory over a top-20 opponent this season, downing No. 14 William & Mary, 5-2, Saturday afternoon at the Busch Tennis Courts in Williamsburg, Va. It’s the second consecutive win for the Irish, who improve to 13-11 this year, while the Tribe falls to 15-7.
Senior Lindsey Green (El Cajon, Calif.), junior Katie Cunha (Mercer Island, Wash.), sophomore Alicia Salas (Engelwood, Colo.) and freshman Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla.) all were double winners for Notre Dame, which was playing a ranked opponent for the 21st time in 24 matches this season. The Irish now have 10 victories over ranked foes this spring, including a 5-2 conquest of seventh-ranked USC back on Feb. 7.
“This is a huge win for us because it gives us two top-20 wins,” Notre Dame head coach Jay Louderback said. “We’ve come so close to getting some other big wins, so for us to get this one, it definitely helps our confidence going into the (BIG EAST Conference) tournament.”
For the third consecutive match, the Irish got off on the right foot, picking up the critical doubles point. On Saturday, Notre Dame took two of the three doubles matches, as Cunha and Green won 8-2 at the No. 1 flight, and Connelly and Salas rallied from a 5-6 deficit to claim an 8-6 victory at the No. 3 spot. For Cunha and Green, it was their fourth win in six matches since Louderback shuffled his doubles lineup and paired the two veterans together. Meanwhile, Connelly and Salas continue to be a solid up-and-coming tandem, improving to 13-4 this season and 12-2 at the third doubles position.
“I thought a big key to our win was getting the doubles point,” Louderback said. “Our No. 3 team was down late in their match and fought back well to win the last three games. And, our No. 1 team has been playing unbelievably well lately and they also looked very good.”
With a 1-0 lead already in hand, Notre Dame added to its tally when Connelly opened the singles competition with a 6-2, 6-3 win at the No. 6 flight. William & Mary answered with victories at the No. 1 and No. 3 singles positions, evening the match at 2-2. However, the Irish quickly went back in front when Green closed out a 6-2, 6-4 win over Delphine Troch at the No. 2 position. It was the 96th career singles win for Green, moving her into a tie for eighth place in school history.
On the verge of claiming the match victory, Notre Dame turned to Cunha, who already owned a team-high five match-clinching wins this season. She added her sixth on Saturday, dispatching Lena Sherbakov, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 5 singles. Moments later, Salas put the finishing touches on the victory with a 7-5, 6-4 triumph at the No. 4 flight, improving to 29-5 overall and 22-2 in dual matches this season. Salas also jumped into a tie for eighth place on the Irish single season dual-match wins list, two away from the school record (24) held by four different players.
Notre Dame will wind up its two-match road swing Monday at 5:30 p.m. (CDT) when it squares off with No. 10 Texas in the regular-season finale at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center in Austin, Texas. The Irish then will look ahead to the BIG EAST Championships which begin Friday in Coral Gables, Fla. Notre Dame is the defending champion after winning its fourth title in six years with a 4-1 victory over Miami last season.
#25 Notre Dame 5, #14 William & Mary 2
No. 1: #111 Candice Fuchs (W&M) d. #86 Becky Varnum (ND) 6-2, 6-2
No. 2: Lindsey Green (ND) d. Delphine Troch (W&M) 6-2, 6-4
No. 3: Angela Buergis (W&M) d. #121 Nina Vaughan (ND) 6-3, 7-5
No. 4: Alicia Salas (ND) d. Amy Wei (W&M) 7-5, 6-4
No. 5: Katie Cunha (ND) d. Lena Sherbakov (W&M) 6-3, 6-3
No. 6: Sarah Jane Connelly (ND) d. Nina Kamp (W&M) 6-2, 6-3
No. 1: Cunha/Green (ND) d. Sherbakov/Troch (W&M) 8-2
No. 2: Buergis/Fuchs (W&M) d. Varnum/Vaughan (ND) 8-5
No. 3: Connelly/Salas (ND) d. Kari Olsen/Wei (W&M) 8-6
— ND —