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ND Women’s Tennis: Squad wraps regular season with pair of wins

Katie Heit | Monday, April 16, 2012

In their final action before chasing their fourth consecutive Big East championship later this week, the 19th-ranked Irish wrapped up the regular season with wins against conference foes South Florida and Louisville.

The Irish swept South Florida 7-0 in their senior day Friday.

Seniors Shannon Mathews and Kristy Frilling were undefeated in both singles and doubles. Frilling notched her 100th career win, 6-2, 6-2, and became just the ninth player in Irish history to reach that landmark. Mathews defeated

Ecaterina Vasenina 6-2, 6-0 in her 92nd career victory.

Mathews said the win over the Bulls won’t hold much significance when the Irish face them at South Florida for the Big East championship.

“South Florida is one of our toughest competitors in the Big East,” Mathews said. “It was definitely great to come away with a victory at home, but we know when we play them at Big East on their courts that it’s going to be a battle. We definitely don’t want to look over any of our opponents.”

The Irish traveled to Kentucky to take on Louisville on Sunday. Once again, Notre Dame swept all three doubles competitions, as Frilling and Mathews went undefeated once more in singles, and their fifth-ranked doubles pair won their 16th matchup of the season.

Mathews said ending the regular season on a high note was especially important to the seniors.

“To have a good senior day was really special for both Kristy and I,” Mathews said. “To have wins in doubles and singles was great for our senior day and our last season match.”

Mathews said freshman Katherine White stepped up throughout the weekend. After sophomore Julie Sabacinski rolled her ankle during her doubles match with fellow sophomore Britney Sanders on Friday, White stepped in and grabbed a big win in singles.

White won the final game of the regular season Sunday, defeating Amelia Harris 6-2, 6-3.

“She really played great in the sixth position in South Florida and against Louisville,” Mathews said. “She really competed well and had two great wins this weekend.”

Mathews said she has been really impressed with the success of her team in the final weeks of competition.

“Across the board everyone had been competing well and we’ve seen great success,” Mathews said. “To win all three doubles [matches] against South Florida gives us really great momentum heading into this weekend.”

Though the schedule for the tournament has not been released yet, Mathews believes Notre Dame has a good chance at being the number one seed, which would give the squad a bye on the first day of competition Thursday and begin its run at another Big East championship Friday.

“I think we’re going to come out with everyone gunning for us [if] we’re the number one seed,” Mathews said. “But I think we definitely need to take it one match at a time and everyone is looking to win that Big East tournament. Kristy and I are looking to end our career with a fourth-straight Big East championship. We all have that focus of doing it again, so that’s what we’re looking for this week.”

The Irish will look to claim another title this weekend at the Big East championship in Tampa, Fla.

Contact Katie Heit at kheit@nd.edu