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Notre Dame Wins Seven Of 10 On Day Two Of Illinois Midwest Blast

Nov. 8, 2003

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Notre Dame women’s tennis team won seven of 10 matches Saturday in the Atkins Tennis Center on day two of the Illinois Midwest Blast, the final event on the Irish fall schedule. Notre Dame will complete its fall season on Sunday, playing Virginia in doubles and the host team in singles.

Senior Emily Neighbours (Indianapolis, Ind./Park Tudor School), junior Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.), and sophomore Kelly Nelson (St. Petersburg, Fla./Shorecrest Preparatory School) led the way for the Irish on Saturday, each posting victories in singles and doubles. Neighbours and Nelson teamed for an 8-4 win over Illinois’ Emily Wang and Eva Choe. The former then beat Miami’s Natalie Mikolich 6-2, 0-6, 6-3 in singles, while Nelson topped Pavlina Akritas of Illinois 6-1, 6-2.

Connelly beat Miami’s Sara Robbins 6-1, 7-5 in singles after teaming with sophomore Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) for an 8-3 doubles win against Brianna Knue and Cynthia Goulet of the host team.

In other singles play, freshman Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) beat Staci Stevens of Miami 7-5, 6-2, while her twin sister Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) downed Hurricane Mari Toro 7-6, 6-3.

The Midwest Blast features a “hidden dual” format, in which teams play simulated dual matches against each other, but no team scores are recorded. All individual results are counted for ranking purposes.

Midwest Blast


Christian Thompson (ND) d. Staci Stevens (Miami) 7-5, 6-2

#48 Melissa Applebaum (M) d. Kristina Stastny (ND) 6-7, 6-4, 6-3

Catrina Thompson (ND) d. Mari Toro (M) 7-6, 6-3

Sarah Jane Connelly (ND) d. Sara Robbins (M) 6-1, 7-5

Emily Neighbors (ND) d. Natalie Mikolich (M) 6-2, 0-6, 6-3

Sihem Bennacer (M) d. Liz Donohue (ND) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6

Kelly Nelson (ND) d. Pavlina Akritas (Illinois) 6-1, 6-2


Isabel Jarosz/Tiffany Eklov (I) d. Thompson/Thompson (ND) 9-8 (7-4)

#43 S. Connelly/Stastny (ND) d. Brianna Knue/Cynthia Goulet (I) 8-3

Neighbours/Nelson (ND) d. Emily Wang/Eva Choe (I) 8-4