Oct. 16, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team continued its strong fall play on Saturday afternoon in the Eck Tennis Pavilion, claiming victories in four of seven singles matches and two of three doubles contests against players from Ohio State in the Eck Classic, the lone home tournament on the Irish fall schedule. Notre Dame will be busy on Sunday, the final day of the event, as it takes on players from Kansas at 9 a.m. (EST) before returning to the courts for doubles vs. the Jayhawks and singles against Michigan State at 1:30 p.m.
Three Irish players – senior captain Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) and juniors Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) and Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) – were unbeaten on Saturday. The younger Connelly defeated Lindsey Adams 6-4, 6-2, after taking three sets to top the Buckeye senior at No. 4 singles in dual-match play last spring. Connelly stands at 5-0 on the season, and she has now won 10 consecutive sets after dropping her first of the fall. Over those 10 sets, she has lost only 18 games, an average of 1.8 per frame. Connelly holds a career record of 26-16 in indoor matches as a collegian. Traditionally a fast starter in the fall, Connelly boasts her best career record after five singles matches, after she was 4-1 at this point in each of the last two seasons.
Connelly then paired with freshman Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School) to top Adams and rookie Caitlin O’Keefe by an 8-5 score in doubles. Connelly and Buck are 5-1 this fall in doubles action.
Stastny and Sarah Jane Connelly also won for the fifth time in six doubles matches this season, claiming an 8-5 win against senior Emily DeCamilla and junior Emily Howard. The Irish veterans are now 22-15 as a team, including 15-7 indoors.
Both of them won in match tiebreakers in singles. Connelly beat Kristin Messmer 6-4, 1-6, 1-0 (10-8) to stay unbeaten in five matches this fall. Only one of her victories was decided in straight sets. Connelly won a match tiebreaker for the second time in as many days and has now won eight of 11 in her career. She also improved to 29-13 (.690) in singles matches at home. Connelly’s hot start is a return to the form of her first two seasons, when she began 6-1 and 5-1, respectively, after she opened the 2003-04 season with three straight defeats.
Stastny rallied for a 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (11-9) win against O’Keefe in singles play. The Irish junior is 4-1 this fall, and she came back to win after dropping the opening set for the sixth time in her career. Stastny trailed 9-7 in the match tiebreaker, but saved a pair of match points and then won two more points to claim victory. She is off to her best career start after five matches, having opened 2-3 as a freshman and 3-2 a season ago.
Notre Dame’s other victory came from junior Liz Donohue (Sioux Falls, S.D./O’Gorman H.S.), who defeated Sonia Ruzimovsky 6-2, 6-1 in singles play. She has now won six of eight career singles matches in the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
The Irish, who are playing without their top two players this weekend, continued to be strong in “hidden dual” action, a format in which teams play simulated dual matches, but no team scores are reported. If team scores would be taken from these matchups, Notre Dame would be unbeaten in six hidden duals this fall, after having faced Colorado, Denver, and Auburn in the Colorado Invitational, as well as Virginia and Ohio State in the Eck Classic.
Saturday, October 16
Emily DeCamilla (OSU) def. Brook Buck (ND) 6-2, 6-3
Lauren Connelly (ND) def. Lindsey Adams (OSU) 6-4, 6-2
Kristina Stastny (ND) def. Caitlin O’Keefe (OSU) 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (11-9)
Lindsay Bryan (OSU) def. Jennifer Smith (ND) 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)
Sarah Jane Connelly (ND) def. Kristin Messmer (OSU) 6-4, 1-6, 1-0 (10-8)
Liz Donohue (ND) def. Sonia Ruzimovsky (OSU) 6-2, 6-1
Silvia Prajescu (OSU) def. Bailey Louderback (ND) 8-0
Brook Buck/Lauren Connelly (ND) def. Lindsey Adams/Caitlin O’Keefe (OSU) 8-5
Sarah Jane Connelly/Kristina Stastny (ND) def. Emily DeCamilla/Emily Howard (OSU) 8-5
Kristin Messmer/Sonia Ruzimovsky (OSU) def. Liz Donohue/Bailey Louderback (ND) 8-1