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ND Women’s Tennis: Notre Dame ready to face pair of SEC foes

Douglas Farmer | Friday, March 20, 2009

After a break in its schedule with six days off for the first time since the Indoor National Championships, Notre Dame will make up for the period of rest with two games this weekend, including a trip to Tennessee. The Irish host Vanderbilt Friday at 2 p.m. at the Eck Tennis Pavilion, and travel to Knoxville to face Tennessee on Sunday.

The Irish have moved up to the No. 2 ranking in the ITA Top 25, only behind indoor national champion Northwestern.

“We are really excited about our number two ranking,” said senior Kelcy Tefft. “But we know we have a lot of season left and still a lot to prove.”

Beyond the accolades of the ranking, a tangible benefit does come with the number two slot.

“It allows us to host NCAA regionals, which is very beneficial,” Tefft said. “But we want much more than that.”

The Irish get this ambition largely from following Tefft, who along with with freshmen Kristy Frilling, is ranked No. 3 in the doubles rankings.

“We have learned a lot about each other’s games over the last few months,” Tefft said of the duo. “Hopefully we can continue to win matches the rest of the season for our team.”

The Irish first put these rankings on the line Friday against Vanderbilt.

“Vanderbilt is always solid,” Tefft said. “They beat us last year so we are looking for revenge.” On Sunday, the Irish face No. 12 Tennessee.

“We will probably face the Volunteers outside, which will present a little more of a challenge for us,” Tefft said.

Fortunately for the Irish, rising rankings and outdoors experience will aid the team when the Big East tournament comes along, and even more so upon the beginning of the NCAA Tournament.