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Two Irish Singles Players, Two Doubles Teams Still Alive in ITA Midwest Championships

Oct. 26, 2003

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – A pair of Notre Dame singles players and two doubles teams went unbeaten on the day to stay alive in the main draws of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Women’s Tennis Midwest Championships on Saturday. Senior Alicia Salas (Englewood, Colo./Cherry Creek H.S.) and freshman Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) are both still in the main draws in both singles and doubles.

Salas, ranked 63rd in the nation and the tournament’s second seed, dropped just six games in winning two matches on Saturday. She beat Sarah Batty of Indiana 6-0, 6-1 before topping Northwestern’s Andrea Yung, ranked 69th, 6-2, 6-3. Salas is 9-3 this fall, with six wins over ranked opponents. The Irish senior will play #79 Shana McElroy of Wisconsin on Sunday in the round of 16.

Salas and sophomore Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.), ranked 36th nationally and one of the 5-8 seeds, beat Victoria Domina and Kendra Clark of Eastern Michigan 8-5 to reach the quarterfinals of the doubles draw. The Notre Dame team will take on the second-seeded and 28th-ranked Indiana pair of Karie Schlukebir and Linda Tran on Sunday. The winner of that match will move on to a Sunday contest against either Illinois’ third-seeded and 31st-ranked team of Cynthia Goulet and Jennifer McGaffigan or Notre Dame’s pair of Thompson and Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.).

The Thompsons prevailed 8-6 against one of the tournament’s 5-8 seeds, Katri Miller and Liina Suurvarik of Illinois State, on Saturday in the round of 16.

Christian Thompson had a pair of singles wins, as well, defeating Schlukebir 6-3, 6-3 in the opening round prior to triumphing over Jackie Leskovar of Ohio State 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. She is 6-3 this fall.

Another Irish doubles team, junior Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) and sophomore Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy), fell 8-5 in the round of 16 to the No. 1 seeds, sixth-ranked Christelle Grier and Jessica Rush of Northwestern.

Four Notre Dame players lost in the first round of the singles draw, but came back to win consolation matches. In the main draw, Lauren Connelly lost to the event’s fourth seed, #42 Rush, 6-4, 6-0, while Sarah Jane Connelly fell 6-2, 6-0 to #62 Frederika Girsang of Western Michigan, a 5-8 seed. Catrina Thompson lost in three sets to Goulet 3-6, 6-4, 6-0, while Stastny dropped a tight two-setter to Kavitha Tipernini of Michigan 7-6, 6-4.

ITA Midwest Championships

Singles – First Round

Christian Thompson (ND) d. Karie Schlukebir (Indiana) 6-3, 6-3

Cynthia Goulet (Illinois) d. Catrina Thompson (ND) 3-6, 6-4, 6-0

Kavitha Tipernini (Michigan) d. Kristina Stastny (ND) 7-6, 6-4

[4] #42 Jessica Rush (Northwestern) d. Lauren Connelly (ND) 6-4, 6-0

[5-8] #62 Frederika Girsang (Western Michigan) d. Sarah Jane Connelly (ND) 6-2, 6-0

[2] #63 Alicia Salas (ND) d. Sarah Batty (Indiana) 6-0, 6-1

Singles – Second Round

Christian Thompson (ND) d. Jackie Leskovar (Ohio State) 3-6, 6-2, 6-2

[2] #63 Salas (ND) d. #69 Andrea Yung (Northwestern) 6-2, 6-3

Singles – Consolation

Catrina Thompson (ND) d. Ruth Barnes (Northwestern) 3-6, 6-1,

Stastny (ND) d. Gretchen Haynor (Purdue) 6-2, 7-5

L. Connelly (ND) d. Martina Grimm (Indiana) 6-4, 6-2

S.J. Connelly (ND) d. Kara Zeder (Indiana) 6-0, 6-1

Doubles – Round of 16

[1] #6 Christelle Grier/Jessica Rush (Northwestern) d. #43 S.J. Connelly/Stastny (ND) 8-5

Thompson/Thompson (ND) d. [5-8] Katri Miller/Liina Suurvarik (Illinois State) 8-6

[5-8] #36 L. Connelly/Salas (ND) d. Victoria Domina/Kendra Clark (Eastern Michigan) 8-5

Doubles – Consolation

Liz Donohue/Kelly Nelson (ND) d. de Bruyn/Stefanovic 8-4