Feb. 8, 2002
MADISON, Wis. – The 13th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team dropped a 5-2 decision to #4 Vanderbilt Friday in the quarterfinals of the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships in the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center. The Commodores, an NCAA finalist in 2001, won the doubles point and four of six singles matches to gain the victory. The Irish, who fall to 4-3, will play a consolation match Saturday against 16th-ranked North Carolina at 3:30 p.m. Vanderbilt (11-0) advances to the semifinals and will play #2 Duke at the same time.
Vanderbilt swept the doubles matches to take a 1-0 lead. Sarah Riske and Aleke Tsoubanos clinched the doubles point with an 8-3 win at No. 1, while Kate Burson and Annie Menees combined for an 8-6 win at No. 2 and the team of Jenny Miller and Kelly Schmandt won 8-3 at No. 3.
In singles action, matches at Nos. 2, 4 and 6 were played first with the remaining three following. The Commodores won the first three matches to gain the win. Miller gained a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 2 and Audra Falk notched a 6-3, 6-1 victory at No. 6 to set up the match-clincher. It was provided by Schmandt, who won 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 at No. 4. After the outcome was determined, 27th-ranked Sarah Riske registered a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 1 and two Notre Dame players got the Irish on the board. Senior Lindsey Green (El Cajon, Calif.) registered her second win over a ranked opponent in as many days. After defeating #91 Anita Loyola in Thursday’s win over USC, Green defeated 97th-ranked Kate Burson 6-3, 7-5 at No. 3. Sophomore Alicia Salas (Engelwood, Colo.) also won, turning in a 6-3, 6-2 victory at No. 5. Salas has a 10-0 career singles record in dual matches and has won her last 10 matches this season and 13 of her last 14.
The Irish and Tar Heels will meet for the sixth time on Saturday. North Carolina won the initial meeting, in 1991, but Notre Dame has taken the last four, including wins in each of the last two seasons. The Irish and Tar Heels will also meet in Chapel Hill, N.C. on April 2.
The National Team Indoor Championships is the premier national team indoor tournament. It features 16 of the top teams in the country and has been held each year since 1988. The Irish are competing for the ninth consecutive season, finished in a fifth-place tie last year and have compiled a 12-13 overall record, highlighted by quarterfinal appearances in 1994 and 2001. Fourteen of the 16 teams are ranked in the top 21 of the current ITA national rankings and the field includes six of the top seven teams nationally.
#4 Vanderbilt 5, #13 Notre Dame 2
No. 1: #27 Sarah Riske (V) d. #58 Becky Varnum (ND) 6-0, 6-2
No. 2: Jenny Miller (V) d. Nina Vaughan (ND) 6-1, 6-2
No. 3: Lindsey Green (ND) d. #97 Kate Burson (V) 6-3, 7-5
No. 4: Kelly Schmandt (V) d. Katie Cunha (ND) 7-6 (8-6), 6-3
No. 5: Alicia Salas (ND) d. Annie Menees 6-3, 6-2
No. 6: Audra Falk (V) d. Sarah Jane Connelly (ND) 6-3, 6-1
No. 1: Riske/Aleke Tsoubanos (V) d. #29 Green/Varnum (ND) 8-3
No. 2: Burson/Menees (V) d. #53 Connelly/Cunha (ND) 8-6
No. 3: Miller/Schmandt (V) d. Salas/Vaughan (ND) 8-3