Notre Dame takes care of BYU, falters against Pepperdine
Mirroring the unpredictable South Bend weather, the 13th Notre Dame women's tennis team had its ups and downs during spring break play.
While many students took to the beaches, the Irish women took to the courts as they headed west to battle with the 49th-ranked Cougers of BYU and the ninth-ranked Wave of Pepperdine.
In a sizzling performance the Irish kicked off their west-coast swing in memorable fashion as they dispatched the Cougers 7-2. Junior star Michelle Dasso rallied to claim her eighth-consecutive No. 1 singles victory, defeating BYU's Eline Chow 3-6, 6-0, 6-2, in a match that set the tone for the day.
Inspired by the play of their star, the Irish won four of the remaining five singles matches in straight sets, demonstrating to the Cougers that the possibility of an upset was remote.
Becky Varnum, Kelly Zalinski, Nina Vaughan and Katie Cunha all scored impressive straight set wins clinching victory and running the team's winning streak to five.
Sophomore Lindsey Green suffered the team's only setback, dropping her No. 5 singles match in straight sets.
The Irish were equally effective in doubles play. The pairing of Cunha and Dasso netted an easy No.1 doubles win, while Varnum and Vaughan added a No. 3 doubles triumph.
Riding high on a five match win streak, the Irish hoped their luck wouldn't run out as they headed further west to meet the Wave of Pepperdine on Saturday. The Wave, however, would prove too much, as they rolled over the Irish 7-2, raining down on the Irish and ruining what would have been a belated St. Patrick's Day parade.
Twenty-seventh-ranked Ipek Senoglu of Pepperdine notched an impressive upset win over the 11th-ranked Dasso, coming from behind to win 3-6, 7-6, 6-3. With the wind knocked from their sails, Notre Dame went on to drop four more singles matches, a trend that proved exactly the opposite of that which transpired against BYU. This time it was Green who scored Notre Dame's only singles win.
Having already clinched the match in singles play, the Wave continued to drown the Irish in taking two of three doubles matches.
After a stormy finish to their west coast trip, the Irish will hope for sunnier skies when they return home to face the Jayhawks of Kansas next week.
All Sports Stories for Tuesday, March 21, 2000