Oct. 19, 2001
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Senior All-American Becky Varnum (Colorado Springs, Colo.) beat a top-15 opponent for the second straight match, but it was not enough as the University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team lost to USC 5-2 Friday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Nos. 4-6 singles were played first, followed by all three doubles matches and Nos. 1-3 singles in order to accomadate the concurrent Notre Dame-USC men’s tennis match.
Varnum, ranked 48th nationally in singles, delivered a dominating victory over two-time All-American #15 Jewel Peterson 6-1, 6-3 at No. 1 singles. Varnum’s previous match was on the final day of the Georgia Invitational where she knocked off 12th-ranked Anne Nguyen of Georgia 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. The Irish captain is 3-0 this season against ranked opponents.
The Irish got off to a good start Friday when sophomore Alicia Salas (Engelwood, Colo.) beat Bernadette Bayani 6-1, 6-1 at No. 6 singles, but the rest of the evening was not as successful for Notre Dame.
After the Trojans captured the other two singles matches in the first wave, the Irish drew first blood in the quest for the doubles point. Senior Nina Vaughan (Corona del Mar, Calif.) and sophomore Caylan Leslie (Newport Beach, Calif.) jumped out to a 6-1 lead on their way to downing Bayani and Maureen Diaz 8-5 at No. 3 doubles. Notre Dame appeared on the verge of claiming the doubles point until the fourth-ranked doubles team of Peterson and Tiffany Brymer beat the #23 team of Varnum and classmate Lindsey Green (El Cajon, Calif.) 7-3 in a tiebreaker. Moments later, Anita Loyola and Luana Magnani beat freshman Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and junior Katie Cunha (Mercer Island, Wash.) 8-6 at No. 2 doubles to win the point.
After Varnum kept the Irish hopes alive by upsetting Peterson, Magnani clinched the Trojan win with a 6-4, 7-5 triumph over Green at No. 3 singles.
Earlier in the day, Connelly posted an 0-6, 6-1, 1-0 (9-7) victory over Caroline Christian at No. 7 singles.
The match does not officially count as a dual match in either team’s record, although all individual results are official for ranking purposes. The Irish return to action next week at the Omni Hotels/ITA Midwest Championships in Madison, Wisc. from Oct. 25-30.
USC 5, Notre Dame 2
No. 1: #48 Becky Varnum (ND) d. #15 Jewel Peterson (USC) 6-1, 6-3
No. 2: #89 Anita Loyola (USC) d. Caylan Leslie (ND) 0-6, 6-4, 6-3
No. 3: Luana Magnani (USC) d. Lindsey Green (ND) 6-4, 7-5
No. 4: #45 Maureen Diaz (USC) d. #61 Nina Vaughan (ND) 6-2, 6-0
No. 5: Tiffany Brymer (USC) d. Katie Cunha (ND) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
No. 6: Alicia Salas (ND) d. Bernadette Bayani (USC) 6-1, 6-1
(No. 7: Sarah Jane Connelly (ND) d. Caroline Christian (USC) 0-6, 6-1, 1-0 (9-7))
No. 1: #4 Brymer/Peterson (USC) d. #23 Green/Varnum (ND) 9-8 (7-3)
No. 2: Loyola/Magnani (USC) d. Connelly/Cunha (ND) 8-6
No. 3: Leslie/Vaughan (ND) d. Bayani/Diaz (USC) 8-5