Nov. 7, 2000
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Senior All-American and 18th-ranked Michelle Dasso, seeded first in both singles and in doubles with junior Becky Varnum, swept the titles on Tuesday at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Midwest Region Championships in Ann Arbor, Mich. Dasso defeated Ohio State’s second-seeded and 33rd-ranked Kristy Dascoli 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) to win her second regional title and first since her freshman season. Earlier in the day, she teamed with Varnum as the seventh-ranked Irish beat eighth-ranked and second-seeded Dascoli and Monica Rincon 8-3. With the victories, Dasso and Varnum earn spots in the singles and doubles draws at the Rolex National Indoor Championships in Febraury in the third leg of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association grand slam.
Dasso, who had lost a tight three-set match to Dascoli in the semifinals last year, built a 6-2, 5-2 lead before Dascoli rallied to win four straight games. After Dasso was able to force a tiebreaker, she came back from 1-4 in the tiebreaker and saved a set point at 5-6 to close out the match 8-6 in the tiebreaker.
Dasso and Varnum successfully defended the regional doubles title they won a year ago in their first event together as a doubles team. They built a 5-0 lead in the set before Ohio State won three straight games. Dasso and Varnum then won the final three games to claim the title. Seeded fifth last year, Dasso and Varnum beat second-seeded Dascoli and Briana Harris in the ’99 semifinals.
Their wins mark the first time the Notre Dame women’s tennis team has swept both the Midwest singles and doubles titles in the same season and caps off a strong fall season for Dasso. She opened her fall by reaching the final of the first grand slam event of the season at the T. Rowe Price National Clay Court Championships to become the first Irish women’s tennis player to advance to a grand slam singles final. In the second grand slam of the season, she beat the third-seeded and fourth-ranked Kristina Kraszewski of Washington in the first round on her way to the quarterfinals.