March 30, 2001
Notre Dame, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team, ranked seventh in the nation, beat 32nd-ranked Iowa 6-1 Friday afternoon at the Courtney Tennis Center to improve to 16-4. Iowa is now 7-6 in 2000-01. The Irish swept the doubles matches and lost just one singles contest en route to the victory. Notre Dame returns to action Sunday, when it takes on #42 William & Mary at 11:00 a.m. at the Courtney Tennis Center.
The win was the seventh in a row at home for Notre Dame and the Irish have now won 25 of their last 26 home regular season matches. Notre Dame improved to 6-0 against Iowa in regular season play, although the Hawkeyes defeated the host Irish in the second round of the 1999 NCAA Tournament. The 16-4 record after 20 matches is the third-best start for Notre Dame since becoming a Division I program in 1985-86. The Irish began with a 17-3 record in both 1985-86 and 1995-96.
Junior Becky Varnum and senior All-American Michelle Dasso, the fifth-ranked doubles team in the country, continued their dominance by winning their 12th consecutive match, defeating Deni Alexandrova and Toni Neykova 8-1 at No. 1 doubles. Juniors Lindsey Green and Nina Vaughan clinched the doubles point with an 8-4 win over Steffi Hoch and Erica Johnson at No. 3 doubles, their seventh triumph in a row. The No. 2 doubles team of senior Kimberly Guy and sophomore Katie Cunha completed the Irish sweep by beating Megan Kearney and Jody Scheldt 8-4.
Varnum gave Notre Dame a 2-0 lead by beating Alexandrova at No. 2 singles 6-1, 6-1. Dasso, the number-three player in the nation, then defeated Neykova 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 singles to improve to 7-0 in home matches this season. She has now won 29 consecutive home singles matches, dating back to the 1998-99 season. The win was the 130th singles victory of Dasso’s career, making her the first player in Notre Dame women’s tennis history to reach that figure. The all-time leader in singles wins and combined singles and doubles wins is also closing in on the school record of 101 career doubles victories, set by Susie Panther from 1982-86. Dasso has 98 doubles wins.
Guy clinched the victory for Notre Dame with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Kearney at No. 5 singles. With the outcome determined, Green registered a 7-6 (10-8), 6-2 win over Pascale Veraverbeke at No. 4 singles and Vaughan beat Johnson 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) at No. 3. The Hawkeyes avoided a shutout when Jennifer Hodgman beat Cunha 6-3, 6-4 at No. 6 singles.
#7 NOTRE DAME 6, #32 IOWA 1
No. 1: #3 Michelle Dasso (ND) def. Toni Neykova (UI) 6-0, 6-2
No. 2: Becky Varnum (ND) def. Deni Alexandrova (UI) 6-1, 6-1
No. 3: Nina Vaughan (ND) def. Erica Johnson (UI) 7-5, 7-6 (3)
No. 4: Lindsey Green (ND) def. Pascale Veraverbeke (UI) 7-6 (8), 6-2
No. 5: Kimberly Guy (ND) def. Megan Kearney (UI) 6-3, 6-2
No. 6: Jennifer Hodgman (UI) def. Katie Cunha (ND) 6-3, 6-4
No. 1: #5 Dasso/Varnum (ND) def. Alexandrova/Neykova (UI) 8-1
No. 2: Cunha/Guy (ND) def. Kearney/Jody Scheldt (UI) 8-4
No. 3: Green/Vaughan (ND) def. Steffi Hoch/Johnson (UI) 8-4