The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Women’s Tennis: Irish return to action against region’s best

Vicky Jacobsen | Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The entire team will be back on the court over fall break as the Irish travel to Columbus to compete in the Midwest Regional Championships on Oct. 20.

“Our team has been working hard on fine-tuning our games for this tournament and we are all focused on doing well and competing hard,” junior Chrissie McGaffigan said. “I’m pretty sure our whole team will compete.”

Although Notre Dame will not add a win or loss to its official team record at the tournament, there is still plenty at stake for the individual competitors.

“Regionals are exciting because the top players in the Midwest compete for qualifying spots at Indoor Nationals,” McGaffigan said. “Some of the top teams will be some of the Big 10 schools like Northwestern, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio State and Michigan State.”

Although seniors Kristy Frilling and Shannon Mathews competed in the All-American Championships in Pacific Palisades, Calif., last week, this tournament will be the first competition for the rest of the team since the Indiana Invitational on Sept. 25.

Frilling and Mathews will be aiming to put a disappointing All-American performance behind them. Frilling dropped her opening match to Baylor senior Sona Novakova in three sets Friday, and as a pair Frilling and Mathews lost their first round doubles match to sophomore Brynn Boren and freshman Sara Toti of Tennessee the next day.

Mathews won her first qualifying match Tuesday before falling to South Carolina senior Dijana Stojic in a third set tiebreaker later that night and failed to qualify for the main draw.

McGaffigan is hoping the team’s effort in the past few months will lead to more positive results next week.

“Our team has been working hard on fine tuning our games for this tournament and we are all focused on doing well and competing hard,” she said. “Our goals are to win as many matches as we can, and to steadily improve with each match.”

Competition will begin with qualifying play and the winners will move on to the main draw, which begins Oct. 21.

The tournament will be held at Ohio State, which boasts three different tennis facilities.

“The courts at OSU are nice,” McGaffigan said. “Singles and doubles of the main draw will be indoors, while some of the consolation draw may be outdoors.”

The Irish will be back in action at the Midwest Regional Championships on Oct. 20.

Contact Vicky Jacobsen at vjacobse@nd.edu