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ND Women’s Tennis: Ranked teams visit Irish

Molly Sammon | Friday, February 26, 2010

The Irish hope to extend their three-game win streak by challenging No. 14 Georgia Tech and No. 13 Tennessee this weekend in home matches.

“[Georgia Tech and Tennessee] are in the top 15, had wins at the national indoor [championships] and both teams are known for their competitors,” Irish coach Jay Louderback said. “We have had good matches with both in the past.”

The Irish (8-1) beat then-No. 1 Northwestern Sunday in a win that caused them to move up 10 spots in the rankings to No. 7.

Coming off last weekend’s upset over the Wildcats and a mid-week sweep of No. 17 Ohio State, motivation and high spirits are widespread throughout the Irish lineup, but Louderback said a dose of humility is needed for playing difficult top-15 programs like Tennessee and Georgia Tech.

“We are going through a tough stretch of teams right now and have to be prepared for each match,” Louderback said.

The lineups and doubles teams should remain the same for the Irish going into this weekend’s matches.

“Our lineup has been working out pretty well, so we’re going to keep it the same for this weekend,” said sophomore Kristy Frilling, Notre Dame’s No. 1 singles player.

Last weekend, the Irish switched their doubles teams around, which helped them win the point in both matches against Northwestern and Illinois.

“We have gone 9-0 since we changed our No. 2 and No. 3 doubles pairings,” Louderback said. “I have been very happy with how they have played as teams.”

Frilling is still undefeated nine matches into the season and is ranked No. 23 in the NCAA. She will be facing the toughest competition she has seen so far this season Saturday in Georgia Tech’s Irina Falconi, the top-ranked women’s player in the country.

“I went to France with her in December and we were on the same team so I got to watch her play a bit,” Frilling said. “She’s a crafty player so I’ll have to be really smart on Saturday.”

After facing Falconi, Frilling will play No. 7 Caitlin Whoriskey from Tennessee.
“[Whoriskey] has a big game and is very aggressive,” Frilling said. “I think for both of these matches I have to be smart and consistent, but still aggressive.”

Last season, the Irish lost to the Yellow Jackets 4-3.

“I think we’re definitely looking to get some revenge on Saturday,” Frilling said.
In practice the Irish have been working on maintaining the success they have had recently.
“Since we’ve been playing so many matches in a short amount of time we’re really just working on staying in shape and making sure our bodies are fit and healthy for every match,” Frilling said.

The Irish will play Georgia Tech Saturday at 11 a.m. and Tennessee Sunday at 10 a.m. at Notre Dame’s Eck Tennis Pavilion.