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Irish sweep 3 weekend matches in Virginia

Anne Loughery | Monday, February 16, 2004

The No. 26 women’s tennis team improved its record to 5-1 this weekend, with wins over Virginia Commonwealth, Boston College and Virginia Tech.

This weekend’s success began with a close 4-3 victory Friday over No. 14 Virginia Commonwealth in which the Irish ended the Rams’ 40-match home winning streak.

Notre Dame claimed the initial 3-0 advantage in the meet before the Rams’ Olga Borisova defeated No. 14 senior Alicia Salas 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 and Silvia Urickova beat No. 88 freshman Christian Thompson 7-6 (7-3), 6-4.

In her third consecutive clinching win of the season, freshman Catrina Thompson defeated Virginia Commonwealth’s Cristina Gago 7-6 (7-4), 6-0 at the No. 3 position.

The Irish claimed the doubles point with No. 39 sophomore Lauren Connelly and Salas beating the Rams’ Gago and Cristina Arribas 8-1. The duo is 10-2 this season and has recorded victories in eight of their last nine matches.

Junior Sarah Jane Connelly and sophomore Kristina Statsny won by default at the No. 3 position, as the Rams only have five players on their roster.

In singles, No. 4 Lauren Connelly extended her winning streak for this season with a 6-0, 6-0 win over freshman Camille Ripert. Sarah Jane Connelly also registered a win by default at the No. 6 position.

Next, the Irish handed Boston College its second loss of the season 6-1 Saturday afternoon. Lauren Connelly contributed the clinching win for the Irish in singles with a 6-3, 6-2 defeat of the Eagles’ Morgan Landes.

Notre Dame swept the doubles matches with Salas and Lauren Connelly delivering the first win of the meet 8-1 over Allison Ashley and Szilvia Szegedi at No. 2. To clinch the doubles point for the Irish, Sarah Jane Connelly and Statsny were victorious over Landes and Allison Nash 8-3. At the No. 1 position, freshmen Catrina and Christian Thompson triumphed against Emily Hellburg and Nida Waseem 8-3.

The Irish nearly swept the singles portion of the meet, logging only one loss against the Eagles. At the No. 5 position, Sarah Jane Connelly handed Nash a loss 6-4, 6-2. No. 3 Catrina Thompson also contributed a win against Ashley 6-3, 6-1.

Extending the win for the Irish, Christian Thompson triumphed over Waseem at No. 2 and No. 1 Alicia Salas won over Szilvia Szegedicourt, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Sunday’s match against No. 69 Virginia Tech resulted in Notre Dame’s second Big East win of the season. A 5-2 Irish win came after Notre Dame swept the doubles matches and garnered four wins in singles.

Freshmen Catrina and Christian Thompson posted their second doubles win of the weekend with an 8-2 upset over No. 37 Elissa Kinard and Felice Lam at the No. 1 position. At the No. 2 position, Salas and Connelly added a win to their nearly flawless overall record of 12-2 this season, edging out Anat Elazari and Ginger Lowdermilk 8-4.

With a shutout against Tech’s Ashley James and Carolina Rodriguez, No. 3 doubles Sarah Jane Connelly and Statsny secured the point for the Irish.

No. 6 Statsny found success in singles as well, with a 6-0, 6-0 triumph over Meredith Holmes. At No. 2, Lauren Connelly extended her spring season winning streak, defeating Elissa Kinard 7-5, 6-2.

No. 3 Catrina Thompson upended Lam in singles 6-3, 6-2, while Christian Thompson won against Lowdermilk 6-2, 6-4 at No. 2.

The Irish will aim to find similar success when they host No. 20 Brigham Young Friday.