Oct. 27, 2001
MADISON, Wisc. – The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team had a pair of players advance to the round of 16 in singles and two doubles teams reach the quarterfinals as Irish competitors won eight matches Saturday at the Omni Hotels Region IV Championships.
Junior Katie Cunha (Mercer Island, Wash.) and sophomore Alicia Salas (Engelwood, Colo.) each won two matches Saturday to advance to the round of 16. Cunha, who won three matches in qualifying earlier this week to gain entry into the main draw, defeated lucky-loser Joanne Musgrave of Michigan 6-1, 6-4 in the first round and then upset another Wolverine, Chrissie Nolan, 6-3, 6-4. Nolan was one of the eight 9-16 seeds in the draw. Salas began the day with a win over another of the 9-16 seeds, Indiana’s Amanda Field, 1-6, 6-2, 6-2. Salas then downed Frederika Girsang of Western Michigan 6-0, 6-3 in second-round action. On Sunday, Salas will take on Rebecca Hawkins of Eastern Michigan at 1:15 p.m., while Cunha faces the third seed, 34th-ranked Lia Jackson of Northwestern, at the same time. Cunha is now 8-0 in the tournament in combined singles and doubles play.
The top-seeded doubles team of seniors Becky Varnum (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Lindsey Green (El Cajon, Calif.) won a pair of matches to reach the quarterfinals. The pair defeated McElroy and McGaffigan of Wisconsin 8-6 in the second round before downing Michigan’s DaCosta and Rutherford 8-5 in the round of 16. Varnum is now 17-1 in doubles action at the Region IV Championships. She won the title in each of the past two years with Michelle Dasso and reached the semifinals in 1998.
Joining the 23rd-ranked team in the quarterfinals is the pair of Cunha and freshman Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla.). They beat the fifth seed, Lia Jackson and Maring Piriou of Northwestern 8-6 in the second round and then defeated Mues and Vojnov of Wisconsin 8-6.
Both teams will play in the quarterfinals Sunday at 9:15 a.m. with possible semifinal matches (not against each other) at 10:30 a.m. Green and Varnum will face the eighth seed, Minnesota’s Vladea and Havelkova, while Connelly and Cunha are scheduled to play the second seed, 32nd-ranked Hawkins and D’Amelio from Eastern Michigan. Also in action in doubles on Sunday will be Salas and Emily Neighbours (Indianapolis, Ind.), who will face Choe and Cehajic at 9:00 a.m. in a consolation match.
Saturday was a day of upsets in the singles draw as 12 of the 16 seeded players did not make it through the first day of play and only two of the top eight seeds advanced to the round of 16.
Four Irish singles players, including two seeds, lost in first-round action. Varnum, the top seed, lost to Northwestern’s Andrea Yung 7-5, 6-3, while sixth-seeded Nina Vaughan (Corona del Mar, Calif.) fell to Purdue’s Lara Burgarello 6-3, 6-2. Also, Green lost to fifth-seeded Maring Piriou of Northwestern 6-2, 6-1 and Connelly fell victim to another Wildcat, Jessica Rush, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2. Varnum advanced to the semifinals, round of 16 and quarterfinals in her three previous appearances at the Region IV Championships.
All four Notre Dame players will be in action in the consolation bracket Sunday at 11:45 a.m. Varnum will face Drake’s Annali de Bruyn, while Green is scheduled to take on Lisa D’Amelio of Eastern Michigan. Vaughan will play Wisconsin’s Lindsay Martin and Connelly is also scheduled for action.
The Omni Hotels Region IV Championships consist of a 64-player singles draw and a 64-team doubles draw featuring the top players in the midwest in indoor action. A 64-player qualifying tournament in singles is also held with eight advancing to the main draw to join the 56 players receiving automatic berths. Three victories are needed to move through qualifying. 16 singles players and eight doubles teams are seeded in the main draws. The singles finalists and the doubles champion of the main draw of each regional championship advance to the Nov. 8-11 Omni Hotels National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in Dallas, Texas, the premiere indoor collegiate tennis event of the season.
The tournament will go through Tuesday with the singles round of 16 and the quarterfinals and semifinals in doubles scheduled for Sunday. The quarterfinals and semifinals of singles and the doubles final will be played Monday, while the singles final is scheduled for Tuesday.
Omni Hotels Region IV Championships
Andrea Yung (Northwestern) d. (1) #48 Becky Varnum (ND) 7-5, 6-3
Alicia Salas (ND) d. (9-16) Amanda Field (Indiana) 1-6, 6-2, 6-2
(5) Maring Piriou (Northwestern) d. Lindsey Green (ND) 6-2, 6-1
Lara Burgarello (Purdue) d. (6) #61 Nina Vaughan (ND) 6-3, 6-2
Katie Cunha (ND) d. Joanne Musgrove (Michigan) 6-1, 6-4
Jessica Rush (Northwestern) d. Sarah Jane Connelly (ND) 2-6, 6-2, 6-2
Salas (ND) d. Frederika Girsang (Western Michigan) 6-0, 6-3
Cunha (ND) d. (9-16) Chrissie Nolan (Michigan) 6-3, 6-4
(1) #23 Green/Varnum (ND) d. McElroy/McGaffigan (Wisconsin) 8-6
Connelly/Cunha (ND) d. (5) Jackson/Piriou (Northwestern) 8-6
Round of 16
(1) #23 Green/Varnum (ND) d. DaCosta/Rutherford (Michigan) 8-5
Connelly/Cunha (ND) d. Mues/Vojnov (Wisconsin) 8-6
Note: Numbers in parentheses indicate seeding. Numbers preceding name are ITA national rankings.