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ND Women’s Tennis: Squad defeats Golden Eagles 6-1

Molly Sammon | Monday, April 19, 2010

Notre Dame concluded its regular season Sunday with a 6-1 win over Marquette, securing first place in the regular season and the No. 1 seed in the conference for this weekend’s Big East tournament.

After moving up one position in the rankings this week, the No. 5 Irish swept the Golden Eagles for the doubles point, and won each of the first three singles contests to clinch the victory.

“It is always emotional for Senior Day, and both of the seniors in the lineup played really well today,” Irish coach Jay Louderback said. “It was a good match to get ready for the Big East.”

The win over the Golden Eagles improved the Irish record to 19-3.

“[The Golden Eagles] are pretty beat up, and their depth is usually a little big better because they’ve had kids out of the lineup due to injuries,” Louderback said. “We’re a top five team, and they came in and definitely weren’t afraid of playing us.”

Third ranked sophomore Kristy Frilling and senior Kali Krisik defeated their Marquette opponents at first doubles 8-2.

“If we keep working at it, Frilling and Krisik are going to give themselves a shot at winning the NCAA doubles this year,” Louderback said. “Krisik and Frilling are not making errors, they are returning a lot of serves and they have won the two matches before this, both top-20 teams and handled them pretty easily.”

The victory of Irish second doubles team of senior Cosmina Ciobanu and sophomore Shannon Mathews 8-1 secured the first point of the game in Notre Dame’s favor. Freshman Chrissie McGaffigan and junior Kristen Rafael delivered the sweep in third doubles, 8-3.

“I really like the way that all three of our doubles teams mesh well together,” Louderback said.

In singles play, Notre Dame quickly clinched a win by claiming the first three singles contests. Notre Dame’s first singles player No. 15 Frilling shutout the Golden Eagles’ first singles competitor Paula Calderon.

“Frilling bounced back after losing against DePaul Friday, and she didn’t lose a game today,” Louderback said. “At No. 1 singles that doesn’t happen often, but playing inside is something that helps her a lot.”

Krisik and Rafael each defeated their opponents in two sets as the match was decided, and Ciobanu and McGaffigan each won their matches to add two more points to the Irish total. A tough tie-breaker loss from Shannon Mathews led to the only point the Golden Eagles won Sunday afternoon.

“We’ve been down in some matches where we have made great comebacks to get wins this season, and we’ve won a lot of close ones form people stepping up,” Louderback said. “Also, we’ve had Kali Krisik out with injuries, and while she was gone, we had wins against top-20 teams which is hard to do when you lost someone of her caliber.”

In practice, the Irish will be working on preparing for the upcoming Big East tournament where they will search for their 15th consecutive conference title.

“We’ll be playing a lot of the same teams we’ve been playing in the last few weeks, but we’re also looking forward to playing a few of the big east teams we haven’t played yet,” Louderback said. “It’s the Big East, you never know what’s going to happen.”

The tournament will take place April 22-25 at Notre Dame’s Courtney Tennis Center and South Bend’s Leeper Park.