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Irish dominating ranked opponents

John Helms | Thursday, February 25, 2010

The No. 7 Irish have been on a tear lately, and it did not stop Wednesday, as they swept No. 17 Ohio State 7-0.

Irish sophomore Kristi Frilling continued on her hot streak, winning both her doubles and singles matches. Frilling is unbeaten this season, sitting at 9-0 in both doubles and singles and is ranked No. 23 in the country. Notre Dame as a team swept its doubles matches in taking the doubles’ point.

It was an emphatic response by the Irish (8-1) to their biggest win in the program history, as last Sunday the team knocked off No. 1 Northwestern. But as big as Sunday’s win was, Wednesday’s might have been more impressive.

“It’s a big deal for us [to beat Ohio State] after such a huge win,” assistant head coach Julia Scaringe said. “It’s easy to have a letdown, and Ohio State is not a team you want to play when you are tired. It was a very good performance.”

It was the fifth straight win for the Irish. The one loss this year came against North Carolina on Jan. 31. At that point, the Irish had played solid tennis, but were still readjusting to being back on the court.

“We had a lot of injuries during the fall, with a good part of our lineup out,” Scaringe said. “They barely practiced.”

But since the loss, the girls have come out looking more poised than ever.

“They’ve been working really hard, doing all the little things they can,” Scaringe said.

After the North Carolina loss, the coaches tweaked a couple of the things in the doubles lineup, trying out different combinations of players in No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. The Irish have responded nicely.

“We were losing doubles points earlier in the season, but now things are starting to mesh and click,” Scaringe said. “Our doubles now are playing great. The new combinations have made a big difference.”

Now, the Irish look poised for their best season ever, which could only be accomplished by outperforming last year’s team that was only ousted in the semifinals. For this year’s squad, Scaringe said it is a real possibility.

“I think we are better than we were last year,” Scaringe said. “It’s all going to come down to the little things.”

The Irish face No. 14 Georgia  Tech Saturday in the Eck Pavilion.