March 20, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The 14th-ranked Notre Dame women's tennis team won five of six singles matches and swept the doubles to beat 53rd-ranked Iowa 8-1 on Saturday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Four singles matches went to three sets, with the Irish winning three of them. Notre Dame's 47th-ranked freshman Becky Varnum beat Emily Bampton 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 at No. 4 singles to clinch the win for Notre Dame, which improves 10-5 with the victory. The Hawkeyes fall to 8-4 with the loss.
The win marks Notre Dame's 14th straight over Midwest regional opponents, a streak that dates back to the 1997 season. The Irish look to extend the streak to 15 matches when they take on 58th-ranked Michigan on Wed., March 24, in a 4:00 p.m. match at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
The Irish built a 3-0 lead with singles wins at the top and bottom of the lineup. Freshman Lindsey Green beat Erin Wolverton 6-1, 6-1 at No. 6 singles for the first point. Irish senior All-American Jennifer Hall then rallied for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 win over Natalya Dawaf at No. 2 singles. Eleventh-ranked Michelle Dasso put Notre Dame ahead 3-0 by beating 97th-ranked Toni Neykova 7-6 (9-7), 6-4 in a tight match. Dasso held off two set points at 4-6 in the tiebreaker and broke serve at 4-4 in the second set to win the 60th singles match of her career.
Leading 3-0, Notre Dame put away Iowa by winning two of three close three-set matches. The Hawkeyes won in three sets at No. 3 singles when Shera Wiegler won the final three games of the match to beat Marisa Velasco 6-3, 2-6, 6-4. Irish junior Kelly Zalinski put Notre Dame ahead 4-1 by beating Erica Johnson 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 at No. 5 singles. Varnum then clinched the win in a seesaw match at No. 4 singles. She lead 6-2, 5-3 and served for the match but wasted three match points as Bampton won the second set 7-5. Bampton then served for the match at 5-4 in the third set but Varnum rallied for a 7-5 win in the decisive set.
Notre Dame then swept the doubles to complete the 8-1 win. Sixth-ranked Dasso and Hall beat Neykova and Wiegler 8-2 at No. 1 doubles, and Green and Zalinski won 8-4 over Johnson and Wolverton at No. 3 doubles. Varnum and Nina Vaughan finished the win with an 8-3 win over Dawaf and Megan Kearney at No. 2 doubles.
#14 NOTRE DAME 8, #53 IOWA 1
No. 1: #11 Michelle Dasso (ND) def. #97 Toni Neykova (I) 7-6 (7), 6-4
No. 2: #54 Jennifer Hall (ND) def. Natalya Dawaf (I) 3-6, 6-1, 6-2
No. 3: Shera Wiegler (I) def. Marisa Velasco (ND) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
No. 4: #47 Becky Varnum (ND) def. Emily Bampton (I) 6-3, 5-7, 7-5
No. 5: Kelly Zalinski (ND) def. Erica Johnson (I) 6-3, 5-7, 7-5
No. 6: Lindsey Green (ND) def. Erin Wolverton (I) 6-1, 6-1
No. 1: #6 Dasso/Hall (ND) def. Neykova/Wiegler (I) 8-2
No. 2: Varnum/Nina Vaughan (ND) def. Dawaf/Megan Kearney (I) 8-3
No. 3: Green/Zalinski (ND) def. Johnson/Wolverton (I) 8-4