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ND to play in Indoor championship

Alex Barker | Monday, February 2, 2009

The Irish punched their ticket to the ITA National Indoor championships with a 4-1 victory over No. 14 Arkansas in the finals of the ITA qualifying tournament Sunday in Fayetteville, Ark.

The No. 1-ranked doubles squad of senior Kelcy Tefft and freshman Kristy Frilling led Notre Dame off with an 8-1 blowout victory over the No. 8 doubles squad from Arkansas. Shortly after, the doubles team of freshman Shannon Matthews and junior Colleen Rielley clinched the match’s doubles point with an 8-5 victory over their opponents.

In singles play, after Notre Dame had dropped the first match to fall into a 1-1 tie, the Irish strung together three straight victories from sophomore Kristin Rafael, junior Cosmina Ciobanu and Matthews to seal the match and advance into the round of 16.

In Saturday’s first round matchup, No. 17 Notre Dame swept No. 44 Pepperdine 5-0 to advance to Sunday’s final.

The Irish rolled through the doubles competition taking all three matches without dropping more than three games in either match. In doubles competition, Tefft and Frilling were strong once again improving to 16-1 on the year with an 8-2 victory over the squad from Pepperdine.

The singles matches offered more of the same from the Irish. Frilling got the Irish off to a good start downing her opponent 6-0, 6-1 to put the Irish up 2-0. After Ciobanu claimed another victory for the Irish, Rafael and junior Kali Krisik stepped up and notched wins to seal the 5-0 victory.

Notre Dame advances to the indoor championship tournament which will be held in Madison, Wis. Feb. 13-16. There, the Irish will compete against 15 other schools for the indoor national championship.