March 6, 1999

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 16th-ranked Notre Dame womens tennis team won four of six singles matches and swept the doubles to defeat ninth-ranked Wake Forest 7-2 on Saturday at thr Eck Tennis Pavilion. The win improves the Irish to 8-4 while the Demon Deacons fall to 2-5. Notre Dame travels to 12th-ranked Arizona State on Wed., March 10, for a 1:30 p.m. match. Wake Forest will travel to 49th-ranked Michigan on Sunday.

The two teams split the first four singles match before the Irish won the final two matches to take a 4-2 lead after singles. Irish junior Kelly Zalinski beat Annemarie Milton 6-3, 6-1 at No. 5 singles for the first point of the match. Wake Forest came back as Janet Bergman beat Jennifer Hall 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 at No. 2 singles. Notre Dame went up 2-1 when Marisa Velasco won 6-3, 6-1 over Maren Haus at No. 1. Jackie Houston rallied from 1-4 in the first set to beat Irish freshman Becky Varnum 7-6 (7-1), 6-4.

Notre Dame then used wins at the top and bottom of the lineup to pull away from Wake Forest. Tenth-ranked Irish sophomore Michelle Dasso beat sixth-ranked Deacon sophomore Mariel Verban 7-5, 6-4 at No. 1 singles for a 3-2 lead. Sophomore Kim Guy then rallied for a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 win over Lea Miller at No. 6 singles. Miller came back from 3-5 down the third set and saved a match point at 4-5 and three more match points at 5-6 before Guy closed out the match for a 4-2 Notre Dame lead.

Dasso and Hall then clinched the win with an 8-3 win over Bergman and Verban at No. 1 doubles after racing to a 5-0 lead. Varnum and Velasco rallied from 0-3 and 1-4 to beat Haus and Caroline Ullring 8-5 at No. 2 doubles. Zalinski and Lindsey Green beat Houston and Miller at No. 3 doubles.

The last time Notre Dame beat a team ranked higher than ninth came in 1996 when the Irish edged fifth-ranked Texas 5-4. Notre Dame also beat Wake Forest last year in Winston-Salem, N.C., downing the 10th-ranked Deacons 8-1.

#16 NOTRE DAME 7, #9 WAKE FOREST 2

Singles
No. 1: #10 Michelle Dasso (ND) def. #6 Mariel Verban (WF) 7-5, 6-4
No. 2: #T40 Janet Bergman (WF) def. #93 Jennifer Hall (ND) 7-6 (3), 6-1
No. 3: Marisa Velasco (ND) def. Maren Haus (WF) 6-3, 6-1
No. 4: Jackie Houston (WF) def. #T40 Becky Varnum (ND) 7-6 (1), 6-4
No. 5: Kelly Zalinski (ND) def. Annmarie Milton (WF) 6-3, 6-1
No. 6: Kim Guy (ND) def. Lea Miller (WF) 4-6, 6-3, 7-5

Doubles
No. 1: #22 Dasso/Hall (ND) def. Bergman/Verban (WF) 8-3
No. 2: Varnum/Velasco (ND) def. Haus/Caroline Ullring (WF) 8-6
No. 3: Lindsey Green/Zalinski (ND) def. Houston/Milton (WF) 8-5