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ND Women’s Tennis: Notre Dame wins two against SEC opponents

Douglas Farmer | Monday, March 23, 2009

Notre Dame bested two of the SEC’s top teams this weekend, as the No. 2 Irish defeated No. 29 Vanderbilt Friday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion and then defeating No. 12 Tennessee 5-2 on Sunday on the road.

The tone of Friday’s match against the Commodores (5-4) was set early, as all three Irish doubles teams won, earning Notre Dame the first point of the match.

“We are looking to get all three doubles solid in all of our matches,” senior Kelcy Tefft said. “We’re trying to get the right dynamic on all three doubles. It is tough, as it is a long season and you are playing over twenty matches.”

Freshmen Kristy Frilling and Shannon Matthews, and juniors Cosmina Ciobanu and Kali Krisik all won their singles matches, elevating the team to a 5-2 victory.

“We have some very good four, five and six singles. Every match we expect a lot from them, and they did just that on Friday,” Tefft said.

Come Sunday, the Irish found themselves transported from the cool climate of South Bend to the warm spring of Tennessee. Undeterred, the team met the close to seventy degrees temperatures with strong play against the Volunteers (10-3), winning the doubles point once again.

“Tennessee is really good, and playing them outside was very good for us,” Tefft said. “Their courts are a little slower than we are used to, but we looked good conditioning-wise.”

After the doubles point, Krisik quickly gave Notre Dame a 2-0 lead with a convincing victory at No. 6 singles, and Tefft, Ciobanu, and Frilling also all won their matches. Frilling was forced to come back from a large third set deficit, but did manage to come back, earning the Irish’s last point of the match.

Matthews suffered her first defeat of the season in a close match, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Notre Dame returns home to face Indiana on Thursday, as the Irish look remain undefeated at the Eck Tennis Pavilion on the season.