March 25, 1999

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 13th-ranked Notre Dame women’s tennis team lost just one match combined in wins over Iowa and Michigan this week at the Eck Tennis Center. The Irish hit the road this weekend for a pair of matches at 12th-ranked Tennessee and 18th-ranked Kentucky.

THIS WEEK FOR THE IRISH: Notre Dame and Tennessee will meet for the 11th time on Sat., March 27, at 12:00 p.m. The Lady Vols, who sport a 12-3 record, lead the series with the Irish 6-4 with the home team winning the last six meetings. Notre Dame beat Tennessee 5-4 last year at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Freshman Agnes Wiske is ranked 89th in singles for Tennessee, which is 32-13 at Nos. 4-6 singles. Notre Dame heads to Lexington, Ken, for a Sun., March 28, match at 11:00 a.m. at 18th-ranked Kentucky, which has an 8-5 record prior to a Friday match against Louisville. The Wildcats lead the series with the Irish 4-3 thanks to a pair of 5-4 wins in 1998 and 1997. Kentucky seniors Massoumeh Emani and Christy Sigurski are ranked 31st and 88th in singles, while Emani and senior Kelly Brown are 13th in doubles.

HALL ONE WIN FROM SCHOOL RECORD: Senior two-time All-American Jennifer Hall (Oklahoma City, Okla.) needs just one more win to match the Notre Dame record for career singles wins. Her current record of 106-55 stands just one win behind the 107 singles matches Mary Colligan won from 1982-86. Hall became the first Irish player to reach 100 wins under head coach Jay Louderback on Feb. 19, when she beat UCLA’s Annica Cooper 7-5, 6-3.

IOWA, MICHIGAN RECAP: Notre Dame won five of six singles matches and swept the doubles to beat 53rd-ranked Iowa 8-1 on Saturday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Four singles matches went to three sets, with the Irish winning three of them. The Irish built a 3-0 lead with singles wins at the top and bottom of the lineup. Freshman Lindsey Green (El Cajon, Calif.) beat Erin Wolverton 6-1, 6-1 at No. 6 singles for the first point. Hall then rallied for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 win over Natalya Dawaf at No. 2 singles. Michelle Dasso (Long Grove, Ill.) put Notre Dame ahead 3-0 by beating 97th-ranked Toni Neykova 7-6 (9-7), 6-4 in a tight match. Leading 3-0, Notre Dame put away Iowa by winning two of three close three-set matches. The Hawkeyes won in three sets at No. 3 singles when Shera Wiegler won the final three games of the match to beat Marisa Velasco (Chula Vista, Calif.) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4. Irish junior Kelly Zalinski (Greer, S.C.) put Notre Dame ahead 4-1 by beating Erica Johnson 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 at No. 5 singles. Freshman Becky Varnum (Colorado Springs, Colo.) then clinched the win in a seesaw match at No. 4 singles. She lead 6-2, 5-3 and served for the match but lost three match points as Emily Bampton won the second set 7-5. Bampton then served for the match at 5-4 in the third set but Varnum rallied for a 7-5 win in the decisive set. The Irish dropped just one set in six singles matches and swept the doubles for a 9-0 win over Michigan on Wednesday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Notre Dame has beaten Michigan five consecutive times and for the eighth time in the last nine meetings. Velasco rallied from 1-4 and 3-5 deficits in the first set to beat Szandra Fuzesi 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 at No. 3 singles to clinch the win. Zalinski and Green put Notre Dame ahead 2-0 with two quick wins at Nos. 5 and 6 singles. Dasso held on for a 6-2, 6-4 win over 97th-ranked Danielle Lund at No. 1 singles. Dasso led 5-0 in the second set but Lund rallied and served at 4-5 before Dasso broke serve for the win. Hall fought off a tough second set to beat Brooke Hart 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) at No. 2 singles. After Velasco clinched the win for the Irish, Varnum rallied for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Jennifer Boylan to complete the singles sweep, holding off 15-40 in each of her final two service games to close out the match. In doubles, the eighth-ranked Irish team of Hall and Dasso beat 24th-ranked Hart and Lund 8-3 at No. 1 singles as Notre Dame swept the doubles for the second straight match.

IRISH EXTEND MIDWEST DOMINANCE: Notre Dame upped its winning streak against Midwest region opponents to 15 matches with wins against Iowa and Michigan. The Irish have won 15 consecutive matches against other Midwest teams, a streak that dates back to a loss to Wisconsin in the 1997 NCAA Midwest Regional. The Irish have rolled through their regional foes recently, building a 37-4 record against other Midwest teams since the ’95 season, including 30 wins against Big 10 teams.

IRISH IN THE RANKINGS: Notre Dame is ranked 13th in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, up one spot from 14 after beginning the year ranked 16th. Sophomore Michelle Dasso jumped from 11th to a career-best ranking of eight, while freshman Becky Varnum is 56th and senior Jennifer Hall 61th. The doubles team of Dasso and Hall remain in the top 10 at eighth.

HALL HONORED AT USTA/ITA NATIONAL TEAM INDOOR: Jennifer Hall was selected as the recipient of the USTA Sportsmanship Award by the 16 coaches participating in the event. Hall is the second Notre Dame player to win the award, following 1994 winner Wendy Crabtree.

SINGLES LINEUP SOLID: Only three teams have beaten the Irish singles lineup in 1999, top-ranked Florida, second-ranked Duke and 13th-ranked Arizona State. Against the Blue Devils, the Irish had won two of four matches before losing two three-set matches 6-4 in the final sets. Notre Dame won four of six singles matches against 15th-ranked Pepperdine, 13th-ranked USC, 32nd-ranked Northwestern and ninth-ranked Wake Forest and split six matches with eighth-ranked UCLA. The Irish won five singles matches against Ohio State, Kansas and Iowa and swept Michigan, Clemson, Oklahoma, Kansas State and DePaul. Overall, the Irish are 67-28 in singles in dual matches.

VARNUM, ZALINSKI TOUGH TO BEAT: The middle of Notre Dame’s singles lineup has been solidified by the play of Becky Varnum and Kelly Zalinski. Each have compiled 12-4 singles records in dual matches in 1999 with Varnum playing at No. 4 singles and Zalinski at No. 5. Overall, Varnum is 25-9 in singles and Zalinski 24-9. Notre Dame is 9-3 when Varnum wins in singles, 10-2 when Zalinski wins and 7-2 when both Varnum and Zalinski win.

DASSO TOUGH IN DUAL MATCHES: Michelle Dasso has been tough to beat in dual singles matches in her short career, amassing a 36-7 record and a 12-4 mark in 1999. She won her first 20 dual matches as a freshman in a streak that included wins over M.C. White of Florida and Christina Moros of Texas. Dasso ended her freshman season with a 24-3 dual match record.

HEAD COACH JAY LOUDERBACK: Jay Louderback is in his 10th year as head coach of the Irish, compiling a 165-87 (.655) record at Notre Dame and a career mark of 369-265 (.582) in 19-plus seasons of coaching. He has guided the Irish to NCAA championship appearances in five of the last six years, including a national quarterfinal appearance in 1996. His teams have finished among the top 20 teams in the country in four of the last six years and in the top 30 in all but two of his years at Notre Dame. The Arkansas City, Kan., native, and 1976 graduate of Wichita State has been named the ITA regional coach of the year twice in 1995 and 1998 and was named BIG EAST coach of the year after leading the Irish to BIG EAST championship titles in 1996 and 1997. His Notre Dame players have won All-America honors seven times in his nine years.

DASSO/HALL DUO POST BIG WINS: The first-year doubles team of Michelle Dasso and Jennifer Hall moved to No. 8 in the rankings thanks to a number of recent wins. The duo went 3-0 at the USTA/ITA National Women’s Team Indoor, with wins over sixth-ranked Lehnhoff and Nickitas of Florida, eighth-ranked Basica and Cooper of UCLA and 19th-ranked Huber and Warkentin of USC. The duo also beat seventh-ranked Dascoli and Harris of Ohio State for three wins over top 10 teams and most recently beat 24th-ranked Brooke Hart and Danielle Lund of Michigan. Dasso and Hall are 12-4 in dual matches and 17-6 overall.

DASSO WINS ROLEX CONSOLATION SINGLES: Michelle Dasso rallied from a first-round loss to win the singles consolation draw at the Rolex National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, the third leg of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association collegiate grand slam. After Washington’s 22nd-ranked Kristina Kraszewski bounced Dasso 6-3, 6-3 in the first round, Dasso won three straight matches to win the consolation singles. She beat Arkansas’ 43rd-ranked Tara Reid 6-3, 6-1, USC’s 13th-ranked Ditta Huber 6-3, 7-6 (7-1) and Cal’s 32nd-ranked Amanda Augustus 7-6 (8-6), 3-2, retired. Dasso took advantage of another injury when Petra Gaspar of BYU-Hawaii could not play in the singles consolation final due to injury.

FRESHMEN SPARK IRISH: Notre Dame’s freshman class of Berica Day (San Antonio, Texas), Lindsey Green, Becky Varnum and Nina Vaughan (Corona del Mar, Calif.) combined for a 38-22 record during an impressive fall season. Green, Varnum and Vaughan all saw action in Notre Dame’s first two matches of the season, the biggest immediate contributions for a freshman class since the 1993 freshman class of Wendy Crabtree, Holyn Lord and Sherri Vitale all played in the singles or doubles lineup in their first dual match.

IRISH FACE TOUGH SLATE: The Irish, who finished 20-10 a year ago, will play at least 22 matches against ranked teams and nine ranked teams at home. BYU, Duke, Wake Forest and William & Mary, four of the 16 teams that came to Courtney Tennis Center for the 1998 NCAA championships, return to Notre Dame to face to the Irish this year. All five of Notre Dame’s losses have come against higher ranked teams.

1998-99 Notre Dame WOMEN’S TENNIS (11-5)

September18-20 Eck Classic  NTS24-27 at T. Rowe Price National Clay Courts NTS 
October9-11 at Ohio State Invitational NTS16-18 at Michigan Invitational NTS22-25 at ITA All-American NTS
November5-8 ITA Midwest Singles/Doubles NTS
January22 Fri. vs. DePaul W, 9-0 (Minneapolis, Minn.)23 Sat. vs. #15 Pepperdine L, 4-530 Sat. vs. #58Kansas State W, 9-0 (Oklahoma City, Okla.)31 Sun. at #45 Oklahoma W, 9-0
February4-7 Th.-Sun. at Rolex National Indoor NTS (Dallas, Texas)12 Fri. #59 Ohio State W, 8-113 Sat. Clemson W, 9-014 Sun. #2 Duke L, 3-618-21 Th.-Sun. at USTA/ITA National Team Indoor (Madison, Wis.) Thurs. vs. #1 Florida L, 2-7 Fri. vs. #8 UCLA L, 4-5 Sat. vs. #13 USC W, 5-3
March3 Wed. at #32 Northwestern W, 5-46 Sat. #9 Wake Forest W, 7-210 Wed. at #13 Arizona State L, 1-813 Sat. at #23 Kansas W, 8-120 Sat. #53 Iowa W, 8-124 Wed. Michigan W, 9-027 Sat. at Tennessee 12:00 p.m.28 Sun. at Kentucky 11:00 a.m.31 Wed. Illinois 3:30 p.m.
April3 Sat. Purdue, Illinois St. 10 a.m./3 p.m.5 Mon. at Wisconsin 2:00 p.m.9 Fri. BYU 3:30 p.m.11 Sun. William & Mary 12:00 p.m.15 Thurs. at Indiana 3:00 p.m.22-25 Th.-Sun. at BIG EAST Champ. (Miami, Fla.)
May15-16 Sat.-Sun. NCAA 1st and 2nd Rounds20-28 Sat.-Sun. NCAA Championship (Gainesville, Fla.)
Home matches in bold held at the Courtney TennisCenter or Eck Tennis Pavilion.

Senior All-American Jennifer Hall is ready to break Irish records for career singles wins and combined singles and doubles wins set in 1986.

Jennifer Hall (1995-)         Mary Colligan (1982-86)Singles: 106 (29 wins/yr.)    Singles: 107 (27/yr.)Doubles: 82 (21 wins/yr.)     Doubles: 88 (22/yr.)Combined: 188 (50 wins/yr.)   Combined: 195 (49/yr.)

Intercollegiate Tennis Association Rankings

Team  Release: March 9, 1999This  Last   School           TotalRank  Year  1.    1.   Florida *         375  2.    2.   Duke *            370  3.    3.   Georgia           365  4.    4.   California        360  5.    5.   Stanford          355  6.    6.   Texas             349  7.   10.   William & Mary *  341  8.   11.   Vanderbilt        340  9.    6.   Mississippi       339 10.    8.   UCLA *            329 11.   13.   USC *             326 12.   15.   Pepperdine *      315 13.   12.   Arizona State *   313 14.   16.   Notre Dame        309 15.   21.   South Carolina    308 16.    9.   Wake Forest *     307 17.   14.   Arkansas          306 18.   23.   Kentucky *        284 19.   20.   VCU               281 20.   26.   Tennessee *       279T21.   42.   Washington        263T21.   38.   Fresno State      263T23.   17.   Kansas *          262T23.   25.   Arizona           262 25.   19.   South Alabama     254
* indicates Notre Dame opponents
Singles Release: March 9, 1999This Last Name SchoolRank Rank 1. 1. Zuzana Lesenarova San Diego 2. 2. Marissa Irvin Stanford 3. 5. Vanessa Webb Duke 4. 4. Agnes Muzamel Mississippi 5. 9. Teryn Ashley Stanford 6. 6. Mariel Verban Wake Forest 7. 3. Marissa Catlin Georgia 8. 8. Anousjka Van Exel Tulsa 9. 13. Cristina Popescu UCLA 10. 7. Dora Djilinova Fresno State 11. 10. Michelle Dasso Notre Dame 12. 12. Mirela Vladulescu UAB 13. 27. Lioudmila Skavronskaia Miami 14. 25. Anita Kurimay CaliforniaT15. 60. Whitney Laiho FloridaT15. 18. Kris Sell Kansas 17. 16. Kristina Kraszewski Washington 18. 17. Celeste Frey Mississippi 19. 48. Stephanie Hazlett Florida 20. 14. Julie Ditty Vanderbilt 21. 15. Elisa Penalvo Marquette 22. 11. Vanessa Castellano Georgia 23. NR Sandy Sureephong Texas 24. 21. Traci Green Florida 25. 30. Baili Camino Florida 47. T40. Becky Varnum Notre Dame 54. 93. Jennifer Hall Notre Dame
doubles Release: March 9, 1999This Last Name SchoolRank Rank 1. 1. Catlin/Castellano Georgia 2. 2. Ashley/Irvin Stanford 3. 3. Augustus/Jensen California 4. 4. Goldstein/Webb Duke 5. 6. Lehnoff/Nickitas Florida 6. 22. Dasso/Hall Notre Dame 7. 5. Ondrejkova/Puflerova So. Ala. 8. 9. Eberle/Frey Mississippi 9. 8. Basica/Cooper UCLA 10. 7. Fernandez/Penalvo Marquette

1998-99 Notre Dame women’s tennis statistics

SinglesPlayer           Open   Dual  Overall  Career '98 Fall  '99 SpringMichelle Dasso    9-5   12-4    21-9    61-17    6-4       15-5 Berica Day        4-8    4-8     4-8      4-8Lindsey Green    11-4    6-4    17-8     17-8   11-4        6-4Kimberly Guy      9-6    2-2    11-8    22-15    9-6        2-2 Jennifer Hall     5-6   14-2    19-8   106-55    5-6       14-2 Sarah Scaringe    6-7    6-7   21-18      6-7 Becky Varnum     13-5   12-4    25-9     25-9   13-5       12-4Nina Vaughan     10-5    1-0    11-5     11-5   10-5        1-0Marisa Velasco    3-4    8-8   11-12    90-42    3-4        8-8Kelly Zalinski   12-5   12-4    24-9    88-33   12-5       12-4Totals          82-55  67-28  149-83  445-210  79-54      70-29

ITA Rankings

Michelle DassoPreseason: 17Fall: 23Winter: 10Spring 1: 11Spring 2: 8
Jennifer HallPreseason: 23Fall: 100Winter: 93Spring 1: 54Spring 2: 61
Becky VarnumPreseason: NRFall: 51Winter: 40Spring 1: 47Spring 2: 56
Marisa VelascoPreseason: 54Fall: NRWinter: NRSpring 1: NRSpring 2: NRDasso/HallPreseason: 18Fall: 39Winter: 22Spring 1: 6Spring 2: 8
Vaughan/ZalinskiPreseason: NRFall: 37Winter: 46Spring 1: NRSpring 2: NR

1998-99 Notre Dame women’s tennis (11-5)

SeptemberFri.-Sun. 18-20 Eck Classic NTSThurs.-Sun. 24-27 at T. Rowe Price National Clay Courts (Baltimore, Md.) NTS
OctoberFri.-Sun. 9-11 at Ohio State Invitational NTSFri.-Sun. 16-18 at Michigan Invitational NTSThurs.-Sun. 22-25 at Riviera All-American (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) NTS
NovemberThurs.-Sat. 5-8 ITA Midwest Region Singles and Doubles Championships NTS
JanuaryFri. 22 (16) vs. DePaul (Minneapolis, Minn.) W, 9-0Sat. 23 (16) vs. Pepperdine (15) (Minneapolis, Minn.) L, 4-5Sat. 30 (16) vs. Kansas State (58) (Oklahoma City, Okla.) W, 9-0Sun. 31 (16) vs. Oklahoma (45) (Oklahoma City, Okla.) W, 9-0
FebruaryThurs.-Sun. 4-7 at Rolex National Indoor (Dallas, Texas) NTSFri. 12 (16) Ohio State (59) W, 8-1Sat. 13 (16) Clemson W, 9-0Sun. 14 (16) Duke (2) L, 3-6
Thurs.-Sun. 18-21 at National Team Indoor (Madison, Wis.) Thurs. (16) vs. Florida (1) L, 2-7Fri. (16) vs. UCLA (8) L, 4-5Sat. (16) vs. USC (13) W, 5-3
MarchWed. 3 (16) at Northwestern (32) W, 5-4Sat. 6 (16) Wake Forest (9) W, 7-2Wed. 10 (14) at Arizona State (13) L, 1-8Sat. 13 (14) at Kansas (23) W, 8-1Sat. 20 (14) Iowa (53) W, 8-1Wed. 24 (13) Michigan W, 9-0Sat. 27 at Tennessee 12:00 p.m.Sun. 28 at Kentucky 11:00 a.m.Wed. 31 Illinois 3:30 p.m.
AprilSat. 3 Purdue, Illinois State 10 a.m./3 p.m.Mon. 5 at Wisconsin 2:00 p.m.Fri. 9 BYU 3:30 p.m.Sun. 11 William & Mary 12:00 p.m.Thurs. 15 at Indiana 3:00 p.m.
Thurs.-Sun. 22-25 at BIG EAST Championship (Miami, Fla.) All day
MaySat.-Sun. 15-16 NCAA First and Second Rounds All daySat.-Sun. 20-28 NCAA Championship (Gainesville, Fla.) All day
Home matches in bold held at Eck Tennis Pavilion or Courtney Tennis Center. All times are local. Number to left of opponents is Notre Dame ITA ranking and number to right is opponent ranking at time of match. NTS -- No team scoring.