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ND Women’s Tennis: Notre Dame looks to start hot against Marquette

Katie Heit | Friday, March 23, 2012

After a tough loss to rival Michigan on Wednesday, the Irish look to bounce back against Big East opponent Marquette on Sunday.

Senior captain Shannon Mathews attributed the loss to a lack of momentum after the No. 17 Irish secured the doubles point.

“It was just kind of disappointing how our singles matches unfolded,” Mathews said. “We had some tough first sets at two and three singles, and both were lost in tiebreakers. We just didn’t battle as hard as we could and let some matches slip away from us.”

Mathews said she expects Notre Dame to start hot against the Golden Eagles.

“They’re one of the tougher teams in the Big East,” Mathews said. “But I expect to come out strong in doubles and we’re definitely looking for improvement on our intensity. We’re looking for more of a decisive victory over Marquette.”

After the tough loss, Mathews said the Irish have been working on improving the smaller aspects of their game.

“I think the loss definitely showed us that we have things we need to be working on day in and day out in practice,” Mathews said. “In order to beat good teams, it comes down to a couple of points here and there, and you really have to battle every point and be willing to put everything out there and run everything down.”

Mathews and senior doubles partner Kristy Frilling, recently given the No. 1 ranking, have struggled lately with their doubles competition. Mathews said she and Frilling are intent on enjoying their final weeks as college athletes and putting out their best effort every match.

“We don’t need to be stressing about changing major things,” Mathews said. “We’re just focusing on really enjoying our matches and as we look toward the Big East and the NCAAs, we just [are] going out every match and giving in our all. This is our last go around and we really want to enjoy it.”

The Irish will take on Marquette on Sunday at the Eck Tennis Center at 12 p.m.


Contact Katie Heit at kheit@nd.edu