Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Women's Tennis Faces Busy Week

March 30, 1999

  • Hall ties school record for career singles wins
  • Notre Dame beats #18 Kentucky, falls to #12 Tennessee

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 13th-ranked Notre Dame womens tennis team will play four matches in six days this week after losing at 12th-ranked Tennessee and beating 18th-ranked Kentucky this past weekend.

THIS WEEK FOR THE IRISH: Notre Dame will have a busy week with home matches against Illinois, Purdue and Illinois State and a road match at Wisconsin. The Irish will welcome 62nd-ranked Illinois to the Courtney Tennis Center on Wed., March 31, for a 3:00 p.m. match. The Illini enter the match with a 6-8 record following wins over UC Santa Barbara and Boise State. Notre Dame has beaten Illinois six straight times and leads the series 11-7.

Notre Dame will take on 71st-ranked Purdue and Illinois State in a pair of home matches on Sat., April 3. The Irish and Boilermakers will square off at 10:00 a.m. followed by Illinois State at 3:00 p.m. Notre Dame has beaten Purdue nine straight times and in 13 of 17 previous meetings. The Irish have won both previous meetings with the Redbirds.

Notre Dame travels to 55th-ranked Wisconsin on Mon., April 5 for a 2:00 p.m. match. The Irish and Badgers will meet for the 13th time with Notre Dame holding a 7-5 edge in the series. The two teams have met in each of the last two NCAA Midwest Regionals, with Wisconsin winning in 1997 and Notre Dame winning in 1998. The Badgers 5-2 win in the 1997 NCAA Midwest Regional semifinals marked the last time a Midwest regional opponent has beaten Notre Dame.

HALL MATCHES SCHOOL RECORD FOR SINGLES WINS: Senior two-time All-American Jennifer Hall (Oklahoma City, Okla.) needs just one more win to break the Notre Dame record for career singles wins. Her current record of 107-56 matches the 107 singles wins by Mary Colligan from 1982-86. Hall became the first Irish player to reach 100 wins under head coach Jay Louderback on Feb. 19, when she beat UCLAs Annica Cooper 7-5, 6-3.

TENNESSEE, KENTUCKY RECAP: Notre Dame dropped four singles matches, including three in straight sets, and won just one doubles match as 12th-ranked Tennessee beat the visiting Irish 6-3 on Saturday. Irish sophomore and eighth-ranked Michelle Dasso (Long Grove, Ill.) and senior Marisa Velasco (Chula Vista, Calif.) won the only singles matches for Notre Dame. Dasso beat 89th-ranked Agnes Wiski 6-2, 6-4 at No. 1 singles. Velasco won 6-4, 6-3 over Dana Noel at No. 3 singles. The Lady Vols used wins at Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 6 to take a 4-2 lead into doubles. Tennessee then won at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles to clinch the win. Notre Dames eighth-ranked team of Dasso and Hall beat Noel and Wiski 9-7 at No. 1 doubles.

The Irish won four of six singles and won at No. 3 doubles to edge 18th-ranked Kentucky 5-4 on Sunday at the Boone Tennis Center. Hall won her 107th career singles match to tie Mary Colligan (1982-86) for the most singles wins in Notre Dame womens tennis history. Freshman Lindsey Green (El Cajon, Calif.) and junior Kelly Zalinksi (Greer, S.C.) beat Kentuckys Carolina Mayorga and Shannon Stafford 8-6 at No. 3 doubles to clinch the win for the Irish. Notre Dame swept the Wildcats in the top half of the singles lineup. Dasso rallied for a 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 win over 31st-ranked Massoumeh Emami at No. 1 singles, marking the first time in 10 matches this season that she has won after dropping the first set. Halls 107th win came at No. 2 singles as she beat Mayorga 6-4, 6-3. Velasco held on for a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 win over 88th-ranked Christy Sigurski at No. 3 singles. Zalinski won 6-4, 6-2 over Brooke Skeen at No. 5 singles but Kentuckys Kelly Brown and Stafford won at Nos. 4 and 6 as the Irish led 4-2 after singles. The Wildcats won at Nos. 1 and 2 doubles but Green and Zalinski won at No. 3 doubles to clinch the win.

IRISH PUT MIDWEST STREAK ON THE LINE: Notre Dames winning streak against Midwest region opponents stands at 15 matches after recent wins against Iowa and Michigan, a streak that dates back to a loss to Wisconsin in the 1997 NCAA Midwest Regional. The Irish will face four regional opponents in six days this week after playing five Midwest teams in the previous 18 matches of the season. 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 (Colorado Springs, Colo.) is 56th and senior Jennifer Hall 61th. The doubles team of Dasso and Hall remain in the top 10 at eighth.

SINGLES LINEUP SOLID: Only four teams have beaten the Irish singles lineup in 1999, top-ranked Florida, second-ranked Duke, 12th-ranked Tennessee 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, ninth-ranked Wake Forest and 18th-ranked Kentucky 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 73-34 in singles in dual matches.

GREEN/ZALINSKI TEAM POST BIG WINS: The doubles team of Lindsey Green and Kelly Zalinski first teamed up on March 3 and won the clinching match in a 5-4 win at Northwestern. The duo has a 4-2 record in six matches and two of their four wins have clinched matches for the Irish. In addition to the Northwestern win, Green and Zalinski beat Kentuckys Mayorga and Stafford 8-6 to clinch Notre Dames 5-4 win over the Wildcats.

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.

DASSO TOUGH IN DUAL MATCHES: Michelle Dasso has been tough to beat in dual singles matches in her short career, amassing a 38-7 record and a 14-4 mark in 1999 at No. 1 singles. 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 166-88 (.654) record at Notre Dame and a career mark of 370-266 (.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 stand No. 8 in the rankings thanks to a number of recent wins. The duo went 3-0 at the USTA/ITA National Womens 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 13-5 in dual matches and 18-7 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 Washingtons 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, USCs 13th-ranked Ditta Huber 6-3, 7-6 (7-1) and Cals 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 Dames 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 Dames 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.

Irish Recordbook

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:  107  (29 wins/yr.)   Singles:  107  (27/yr.)Doubles:   83  (21 wins/yr.)   Doubles:   88  (22/yr.)Combined: 190  (50 wins/yr.)   Combined: 195  (49/yr.)

Intercollegiate Tennis Association Rankings


  This   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


This   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


This  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