April 8, 1999

NOTRE DAME, Ind – The 15th-ranked Notre Dame womens tennis team won four matches in six days last week over Illinois, Purdue, Illinois State and Wisconsin to improve its record to 16-6. The Irish wrap up their home schedule this weekend against BYU and ninth-ranked William & Mary.

  • Hall sets school records for singles and combined singles and doubles wins
  • Notre Dame beats Illinois, Purdue, Illinois State and Wisconsin last week

THIS WEEK FOR THE IRISH: Two of the 16 teams that played in the 1998 NCAA championships held at Notre Dame return this weekend to take on the Irish. Notre Dame and BYU will meet for the sixth time on Fri., April 9, at 3:30 p.m. The Cougars, who have won three of the five meetings with the Irish, enter the match with a 5-12 record after beating Utah 7-2 in their last match.

Notre Dame will play its fifth top-10 opponent of the season on Sun., April 11, in a 12:00 p.m. match against ninth-ranked William & Mary. The Tribe, who have won four of six meetings with the Irish including two straight, enter the week with a 16-5 record and will play BYU at Notre Dame on Saturday before facing the Irish on Sunday. Junior Carolijn van Rossum is ranked 38th in singles, while senior Tari Ann Toro is 40th and freshman Delphine Troch 79th. Toro and senior Laura Tsaggaris are 14th in doubles, while van Rossum and Troch are 28th.

William & Mary head coach Brian Kalbas returns this weekend to face his alma mater. Kalbas starred on the Notre Dame mens tennis team from 1986-89 and served as assistant coach under mens head coach Bob Bayliss for three years after graduating in 1989.

HALL SETS SCHOOL RECORD FOR WINS: Senior two-time All-American Jennifer Hall (Oklahoma City, Okla.) went 4-0 in singles and 3-0 in doubles this past week to break a pair of records previously held by Mary Colligan. Colligan won 107 singles matches and 88 doubles matches for 195 combined singles and doubles wins from 1982-86. Halls win over Illinois Stacy Schapiro on Wednesday marked her 108th singles win at Notre Dame and moved her past Colligan for the most singles wins in Irish history. After winning in singles against Purdue, Illinois State and Wisconsin and capturing doubles wins with Michelle Dasso (Long Grove, Ill.) against Illinois, Illinois State and Wisconsin, Hall upped her win totals to 111 singles and 85 in doubles for 196 total wins, eclipsing the 195 of Colligan. 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.

IRISH HAVE BUSY WEEK: Notre Dame played four matches in six days last week and dropped just four points in beating Illinois 7-2, Purdue 9-0, Illinois State 9-0 and Wisconsin 7-2. The Irish beat 62nd-ranked Illinois for the seventh straight meeting thanks to a 4-2 lead after singles and a sweep of the doubles on Wed., March 31. Notre Dame blanked 71st-ranked Purdue 9-0 for its 10th consecutive victory over the Boilermakers on Sat., April 3. The Irish then downed Illinois State 9-0 after the Purdue match for a perfect 18-0 performance on the day.

After three wins at home, Notre Dame traveled to Madison, Wis., to take on the 55th-ranked Badgers, the last team from the Midwest region to beat the Irish. Notre Dame repeated its match against Illinois by winning four of six singles matches and a sweep of the doubles. The match was the 13th between the regional rivals with the Irish holding an 8-5 edge in the series.

HONORS CONTINUE FOR HALL: As Jennifer Hall wraps up her storied career at Notre Dame, the two-time senior All-American added another accolade when she was named one of five recipients of the Byron V. Kanaley Award, the most prestigious honor awarded to Notre Dame senior student-athletes who have been exemplary both as students and leaders. Hall is just the fourth womens tennis player and the first since Wendy Crabtree in 1996 to win a Kanaley Award, which have been presented each year since 1927. Earlier this year, Hall was selected as the recipient of the USTA Sportsmanship Award at the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor by the 16 coaches participating in the event. Hall is the second Notre Dame player to win the award, following 1994 winner Crabtree.

IRISH FACE TOUGH SLATE: The Irish have played 18 of their 22 matches against ranked teams, including eight teams in top 15 at the time of the match, and are slated to face two more ranked teams this year. Of the 14 teams currently ranked ahead of Notre Dame in the April 6, ITA rankings, the Irish will have played eight of these teams after taking on ninth-ranked William & Mary this weekend. All six of Notre Dames losses have come from teams ranked ahead of the Irish.

IRISH MIDWEST STREAK REACHES 19: With the four wins over regional opponents last week, Notre Dame has run its winning streak against Midwest region teams to 19 consecutive matches, a streak that dates back to a loss to Wisconsin in the 1997 NCAA Midwest Regional. Notre Dame has beaten its nine regional opponents in 99 by a combined score of 71-10. The Irish will face just one more regional opponent this season in an April 15 match at Indiana. Since the 95 season, the Irish have rolled through their regional foes, building a 41-4 record against other Midwest teams since the 95 season, including 33 wins against Big 10 teams.

IRISH IN THE RANKINGS: Notre Dame is ranked 15th in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, down two spots from 13 after beginning the year ranked 16th. Sophomore Michelle Dasso remains a career-high ranking of eight, while senior All-American Jennifer is ranked 62nd for the second consecutive ranking. Freshman Becky Varnum (Colorado Springs, Colo.) slipped to 69th from 56th. 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, 18th-ranked Kentucky, 62nd-ranked Illinois and 55th-ranked Wisconsin and split six matches with eighth-ranked UCLA. The Irish won five singles matches against Ohio State, Kansas and Iowa and swept Purdue, Illinois State, Michigan, Clemson, Oklahoma, Kansas State and DePaul. Overall, the Irish are 93-38 in singles in dual matches, a average of 4.2 to 1.8 per match.

GREEN/ZALINSKI CLINCH THE WINS: After first teaming up on March 3, the doubles team of Lindsey Green (El Cajon, Calif.) and Kelly Zalinski (Greer, S.C.) boasts a 9-2 record with four wins clinching matches for the Irish. In their first match together, Green and Zalinski beat Shannon Duffy and Leigh Weinraub for the clinching match in a 5-4 win at Northwestern. 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, beat Gottlieb and Manasova 8-1 to clinch the Illinois win and beat Dougherty and Reynolds 8-2 to clinch the Wisconsin win.

DASSO TOUGH IN DUAL MATCHES: Michelle Dasso has been tough to beat in dual singles matches in her short career, amassing a 42-7 record and an 18-4 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 at No. 2.

HEAD COACH JAY LOUDERBACK: Jay Louderback is in his 10th year as head coach of the Irish, compiling a 170-88 (.659) record at Notre Dame and a career mark of 374-266 (.5) 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 eight wins over ranked teams. 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 44th-ranked Brooke Ferney and Carla Rosenberg of Illinois. Dasso and Hall are 16-5 in dual matches and 21-7 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.