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ND Women’s Tennis: Frilling takes on new role

Douglas Farmer | Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kristy Frilling came to Notre Dame a year ago as a freshman eager to defer to upperclassmen on any occasion. As this season approaches, Frilling knows she will be looked at by many as the team’s leader on the court.

Frilling has already been named the 2009 ITA Player to Watch, and in preseason rankings, she is ranked the highest of three Notre Dame singles players at No. 20. The sophomore’s sights are set well past preseason rankings.

“I want to make both the individual tournaments again,” Frilling said. “I want to do the best I can at every tournament and every match, and for our team to work well together and perform as best as we can.”

The tandem of Frilling and senior Kali Krisik are ranked No. 15 as a doubles pairing.

Last season Frilling and teammate Kelcy Tefft had a 37-5 record as Notre Dame’s top doubles team. With Tefft now graduated, Frilling hopes to continue winning far more than losing.

“It will be a transition [from Tefft] but [Kali and I] have played a few times together,” Frilling said. “We are trying to get into the swing of things. I had to do the same thing with [Tefft] last year. I had never played with her before, so I am hoping this will lead to good things with Kali.”

Krisik and Frilling first played together last season against Marquette in an 8-0 victory. Irish coach Jay Louderback saw a natural fit if he paired the two permanently.

“They both played with Tefft at different times,” Louderback said. “When we put them together, Kali plays the ad side and Kristy on the deuce.”

The new doubles pairing stayed on campus for part of the summer, as did sophomore Shannon Mathews and junior Kristen Rafael.

“They did conditioning and some strength work in the weight room,” Louderback said of the four. “We were able to work on the court some too.”

That limited summer work has Frilling confident she can help lead the team to the same heights Tefft led the team to last season.

“I want our team to do as well as we did last year, if not better,” Frilling said. “I would like the team to make the NCAA semifinals again, if not further.”

Joining Frilling in individual rankings, Shannon Mathews is ranked No. 94 in preseason and Cosmina Ciobanu skirted into the rankings at No. 125. The doubles duo of junior Kristen Rafael and incoming freshman Christine McGaffigan are ranked No. 38.

“The team is very experienced and has all the tools that they need to win a national championship this year,” Tefft said of her former team.