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ND Women’s Tennis: Squad hopes to keep momentum against OSU

John Helms | Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sunday marked a first in Notre Dame women’s tennis history as they upset the top ranked team in the country, Northwestern. This afternoon marks their first match after the historic win, as the Irish will try to keep their momentum going and avoid a letdown after such a monumental victory.

The win was huge for the Irish’s self-image. Two weekends ago, the team failed to qualify for the National Indoor tournament, and were sentenced to a weekend by themselves in South Bend. Northwestern, meanwhile, won the tournament.

“The kids were upset with their ranking, not qualifying for the National Indoor Tournament and they felt like they needed to get some of their respect back,” Irish coach Jay Louderback said. “It was one of the few times we’ve competed as an underdog.”

Now they’re faced with an equally daunting task, backing up the impressive victory against the dangerous No. 17 Ohio State.

The Buckeyes will be especially hungry, considering they are coming off a heartbreaking loss that snapped a four-match win streak. The loss was to No. 10 Tennessee, 5-2.

“It’s really important for us to stay focused, and the girls know that,” said Louderback.

Crucial to the girls continued success will be sophomore Kristy Frilling. Frilling leads the Irish with perfect records in both singles and doubles in the spring season. She is 8-0 at both No. 1 singles and doubles, chalking up some very impressive victories over top-ranked players. This weekend alone, she defeated No. 85 Rachael White of Illinois and Northwestern’s No. 12 Maria Mosolova.

Frilling has taken out five nationally-ranked singles opponents in all this year. On the doubles side she has been just as impressive. Frilling pairs up with teammate senior Kali Krisik at No. 1 doubles for the Irish. In total, the pair has three wins over ranked teams, including the Wildcats No. 14 duo of Lauren Lui and Elena Chernyakova.

“Frilling has been so impressive,” said Louderback. “Just a model of consistency.”

Frilling will look to stay perfect against No. 67 Kristin Flower of the Buckeyes. Flower is 8-4 this season, and will be looking for her biggest personal victory of the season. The two teams are set to square off at 3:30 p.m. at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.