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Notre Dame Upsets #35 Ohio State 5-2 For Third Straight Win

March 29, 2003

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team (11-7) beat a ranked Big Ten squd for the third time in five days, picking up a 5-2 road victory against #35 Ohio State (9-5) Saturday afternoon in the Jesse Owens West Recreation Center. After posting just two wins over teams currently in the national rankings prior to this week, the Irish, ranked 48th, defeated #28 Michigan and #55 Purdue on Tuesday and Wednesday before beating the Buckeyes. Notre Dame has won eight straight against Ohio State and will play at #17 Illinois on Wednesday.

Due to having only four courts available for simultaneous play, the match was still undecided with only the bottom three contests remaining. But Notre Dame’s Connelly sisters delivered convincing straight-set wins at Nos. 5 and 6 to clinch the victory for the Irish. With her team leading 3-1, Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) continued her hot play with a 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 5 over Meaghan Colville. Connelly has won seven straight matches and is 20-10 overall this season, including 12-5 in dual matches. Freshman Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.), in the last match remaining, finished a 6-1, 7-5 victory against Emily DeCamilla at No. 6 for her seventh win in the last nine matches.

Heading into Saturday, Ohio State had won the doubles point 12 times in 13 matches this spring. But the Irish won at the bottom two spots to take a 1-0 lead for the fifth straight match and eighth time in the last 10 contests. The point came down to a tiebreaker in the No. 2 match, in which Connelly and Alicia Salas (Englewood, Colo./Cherry Creek H.S.) pulled out a win over Erica Fisk and Jackie Leskovar. Salas and Connelly are 4-1 this season as the last match on-court with the doubles point hanging in the balance. The Irish pair has won eight of its last nine matches and is 14-7 overall this season, including 11-5 in dual matches.

The teams split the first wave of singles matches. Salas delivered a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 2 against Erica Fisk to improve to 20-13 this season and Notre Dame senior captain Katie Cunha (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island H.S.) beat Lindsay Williams 6-1, 7-5 at No. 3 to put the Irish up 3-0. At No. 1 singles, #53 Sadhaf Pervez upset 33rd-ranked Caylan Leslie (Newport Beach, Calif./Corona del Mar H.S.) 7-5, 6-2. Pervez is 14-0 at No. 1 this season. After Connelly clinched the Irish win, Ohio State’s Jackie Leskovar outlasted Irish freshman Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) 6-1, 1-6, 7-6 (7-3) at No. 4 in the only three-set match of the day.

Stastny and Sarah Jane Connelly, who were paired together for the first time in Wednesday’s match vs. Purdue, got an 8-1 win at No. 3 in the first doubles match completed. Sadhaf Pervez and Lindsay Williams then notched an 8-6 victory at No. 1 to put the fate of the initial point in the hands of the No. 2 teams.

#48 Notre Dame 5, #35 Ohio State 2


No. 1: #53 Sadhaf Pervez (OSU) d. #33 Caylan Leslie (ND) 7-5, 6-2

No. 2: #77 Alicia Salas (ND) d. Erica Fisk (OSU) 6-4, 6-2

No. 3: Katie Cunha (ND) d. Lindsay Williams (OSU) 6-1, 7-5

No. 4: Jackie Leskovar (OSU) d. Kristina Stastny (ND) 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (7-3)

No. 5: *Sarah Jane Connelly (ND) d. Meaghan Colville (OSU) 6-1, 6-1

No. 6: Lauren Connelly (ND) d. Emily DeCamilla (OSU) 6-1, 7-5

Order: 2, 3, 1, 5*, 4, 6


No. 1: Pervez/Williams (OSU) d. Cunha/Jennifer Smith (ND) 8-6

No. 2: *L. Connelly/Salas (ND) d. Fisk/Leskovar (OSU) 9-8

No. 3: S.J. Connelly/Stastny (ND) d. Lindsey Adams/Colville (OSU) 8-1

Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2*