May 4, 2000

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The 13th-ranked Notre Dame women’s tennis team has been selected as one of 16 first- and second-round sites for the 64-team NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championships. In first-round matches at the Courtney Tennis Center, the Irish will take on Illinois-Chicago on Sat., May 13, at 10:00 a.m., and South Carolina and Western Michigan will play at 2:00 p.m. First-round winners will play a second-round match on Sun., May 14, at noon with the winner advancing to the round of 16 at Pepperdine University. Tickets can be purchased through the Notre Dame ticket office at (219) 631-7356 at a cost of $5 for adults and $3 for college students with identification, senior citizens over 55 and children 16 and under.

“We’re really excited to be selected as a host of the first and second rounds,” said Irish head coach and BIG EAST coach-of-the-year Jay Louderback. “There are three talented teams coming to Notre Dame so it should be three great matches.”

Junior All-American Michelle Dasso has been selected to participate in her third NCAA singles championship and her second NCAA doubles championships. Dasso and sophomore Becky Varnum will make their first NCAA appearance together, while Dasso reached the quarterfinals in 1999 with former Irish All-American Jennifer Hall. Notre Dame received an at-large bid into the tournament with a 21-6 record and will be making its fifth consecutive appearance. Dasso is ranked 22nd in singles and 15th in doubles with Varnum. Freshman Katie Cunha and junior Kimberly Guy are 47th in doubles.

UIC enters the postseason with a 10-12 record and earned an automatic bid into the tournament by winning the Midwestern Collegiate Conference crown for their second NCAA bid in as many seasons. The Irish beat the Flames 9-0 last year at the Courtney Tennis Center in UIC’s first NCAA appearance and have won all six previous meetings with the Flames.

South Carolina currently is ranked 21st in the country with a 15-11 record and received an at-large bid for its sixth consecutive appearance in the NCAA championships. Sophomore Katarina Markovski is ranked 25th in singles and 38th in doubles with Jennifer Radman. The Gamecocks will be making their second NCAA appearance at Notre Dame, after 16th-ranked South Carolina lost to Wisconsin in the 1997 Midwest Regional final after beating Indiana and Marquette in its first two matches. Notre Dame has won two of three meetings with South Carolina, including a 6-2 win in the most recent match in 1996.

Western Michigan is ranked 63rd in the country with a 19-6 record and won the Mid-American Conference championship to earn an automatic bid. The Broncos will be making their second NCAA championship appearance. Notre Dame has won nine of 13 matches against Western Michigan and last played the Broncos in 1996, winning 8-1.

This marks the fourth straight year Notre Dame has played host to NCAA women’s tennis matches. Notre Dame also was selected as a first- and second-round host in 1999 as a No. 12 seed. The Courtney Tennis Center served as site of the NCAA national tournament in 1998 and the NCAA Midwest Regional in 1997.