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ND Women’s Tennis: Notre Dame ekes out win over UM

Alex Barker | Monday, February 9, 2009

The No. 14 Irish held serve at home and remained perfect on the season by fending off No. 18 Michigan 4-3 Friday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.

Notre Dame opened the match with a pair of convincing wins to clinch the doubles point as they have done in every match so far this season. The top-ranked doubles squad of senior Kelcy Tefft and reigning Big East player of the week freshman Kristy Frilling coasted to an 8-1 victory in the No. 1 doubles match. Shortly after, the team of freshman Shannon Matthews and junior Colleen Rielly claimed an 8-2 victory in the No. 3 doubles match to clinch the point for the Irish. Juniors Cosmina Ciobanu and Kali Krisik fought back from a 0-4 deficit to tie it up in their No. 2 doubles match before falling 8-5.

In singles play, Matthews got the Irish started off on the right foot with a 6-0, 6-1 victory in the No. 6 singles match to extend the overall lead to 2-0. Tefft followed suit downing her opponent in the No. 1 singles match 6-1, 6-2 to give Notre Dame a comfortable 3-0 lead.

After Frilling dropped a tough contest 4-6, 4-6, sophomore Kristen Rafael claimed the coveted fourth point for Irish when she defeated her opponent 6-7, 6-2, 6-1 in the No. 4 singles match. Krisik and Ciobanu each dropped their singles matches in three-set thrillers.

This victory gives the Irish a perfect 4-0 record so far this season and includes two victories over top-twenty competition.

The Irish will travel to Madison, Wisc. to compete in the 16-team ITA National Indoor championship tournament on Feb. 13. Notre Dame defeated Pepperdine and No. 17 Arkansas to advance to the national championships next weekend.

Last year, the Irish fell to No. 6 Georgia in the opening round of the tournament before splitting their two games in the consolation bracket.