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ND Women’s Tennis: Irish gear up for Marquette

Megan Finneran | Friday, April 15, 2011

Last weekend the No. 22 Irish learned the importance of playing a match all the way through, as Northwestern overcame Notre Dame’s initial 3-0 lead by taking the final four singles matches to win 4-3 overall. This weekend, Notre Dame will try to learn from its mistakes as the team prepares to face Marquette.

“Northwestern was a tough match to lose because we were up and we lost all three set matches,” junior Kristy Frilling said. “We know we can beat these [upcoming] teams and I think our best tennis is ahead of us.”

The Golden Eagles (17-7) are in the midst of a seven-match winning streak, with their No. 1 doubles pair of seniors Rachael Hush and Christina Ruiz carrying 11 straight wins and a 21-3 record overall. Junior Irish duo Frilling and Shannon Mathews will try to end that streak, as the pair has turned in 13 consecutive wins.

Despite a lower season winning percentage, the Irish have seen more success than the Golden Eagles in all three matches this year against common opponents.

The Irish (11-9) beat Wisconsin and Indiana by the score of 6-1, both of which defeated the Golden Eagles in dual-meet competition. The final commonality, USF, came out on top against both teams, but the 5-2 win over the Irish was less impressive than the 7-0 sweep of the Golden Eagles.

Frilling said her team knows just how vital the last few contests of the regular season are as the Irish head into postseason play.

“These last regular season matches are important for us as we head into [the]conference [championships],” Frilling said. “I think we are all really excited for the Big East and NCAAs, and we all just need to keep working hard.”

Notre Dame will look to No. 5 Frilling at the No. 1 singles spot, No. 64 Mathews at the No. 2 and No. 95 freshman Jennifer Kellner at the No. 3 slot. Kellner contributed one of only two singles wins last week against Northwestern when she defeated sophomore Kate Turvy 6-3, 6-1.

The Irish will take on the Golden Eagles Sunday in Milwaukee, Wisc., at 10 a.m.