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ND Women’s Tennis: No. 17 Notre Dame to host No. 49 DePaul

Katie Heit | Friday, March 30, 2012

After a dominating shutout of Big East opponent Marquette on Sunday, the Irish will look to keep the success going when they take on DePaul at home on Saturday.

The No. 17 Irish (13-5) have had a series of strong showings in recent weeks, winning eight of their last ten matches. With three ranked players in singles, a top-five senior doubles pair, and an 8-2 record at home, Notre Dame is looking to continue that momentum in the last six matches leading up to the Big East championships.

Senior Kristy Frilling, ranked 84th in the country, said DePaul (10-5) has always proven to be a challenging opponent for the Irish.

“They’re probably one of the strongest in the Big East,” Frilling said. “We always really look forward to playing them.”

Frilling and fellow senior and doubles partner Shannon Mathews were ranked No. 1 in the country after spring break, but have struggled since receiving the top ranking. In the match against Marquette (10-6), the senior pair split up and played with younger players to balance out the doubles competition. The team swept all three doubles matches.

Against DePaul, Mathews and Frilling will reunite and attempt to turn their luck around.

“I think we were just playing tentatively and thinking ‘We have to win, we should win,'” Frilling said. “It’s a mental thing that we have to get over. We have to play loose and play how we know we can. We can’t hold back anything.”

DePaul has lost four of their last six matches, but they are still a force to be reckoned with in the Big East. They have had four shutout wins this season, and have won the doubles point in nearly all of their victories.

Frilling said she and Mathews are focusing on enjoying their last few weeks as college athletes more than on where they are ranked.

“We’re just really trying to enjoy our last month and a half,” Frilling said. “I’m really just trying to make sure I’m having fun. I want to look back on these four years and be really happy with everything I did.”

The Irish hit the courts on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Courtney Tennis Center.

Contact Katie Heit at kheit@nd.edu