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Irish start season right with win over Buckeyes

Douglas Farmer | Monday, January 26, 2009

A good start to a season does not insure a good finish, but it does bode well. In their season opener on Sunday, No. 17 Notre Dame defeated No. 32 Ohio State 6-1 at Ohio State.

The Irish wanted to open the season with a victory to build some momentum and to overcome any initial mental blocks.

The match opened with doubles play. The nation’s number one-ranked doubles pair, Notre Dame’s own senior Kelcy Tefft and freshmen Kristy Frilling, won 8-3. The pair has only been playing together since this fall, yet obviously show great promise.

“The two of us gelled really well from the beginning,” Tefft said. “I’m excited because I think we will only improve as the semester continues.”

The Irish split the two remaining doubles matches with the Buckeyes. Junior Colleen Rielley and freshmen Shannon Matthews earned an 8-2 victory, while Juniors Cosmina Ciobanu and Kali Krisik suffered an 8-6 defeat.

As for the singles, the Irish performed very well across the board. Matthews won easily, 6-3, 6-2. Krisik did so as well with scores of 6-2, 7-5. Sophomore Kristin Rafael won handily in the four-spot, 6-1, 6-3.

Tefft prevailed 6-1, 6-3, and finally Frilling fought to a 7-5, 3-6, 1-0 (10-6) triumph.

The sole Buckeyes point came as Rielley was defeated by Ohio State’s Angela DiPastina 6-2, 6-3.

“I was really excited for Kristin Rafael,” Tefft said. “She won fairly easily at four, so I was really excited about that. If we get her winning consistently it will really help our team as a whole.”

The 1-0 Irish now have a week off before they travel to take on Pepperdine on Saturday.