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ND Women’s Tennis: Irish extend win streak, Louderback notches 600th win

Molly Sammon | Monday, March 1, 2010

The Irish won their sixth and seventh games in a row this weekend against Georgia Tech and Tennessee, earning coach Jay Louderback his 600th career win in the process.

Notre Dame hosted No. 14 Georgia Tech in a highly competitive match-up in which the Irish finished one crucial point above the Yellow Jackets, 4-3, Saturday.

“The Georgia Tech players are great competitors and the girls are very experienced,” Irish assistant coach Julia Scaringe said. “Their No. 1 girl won the All-American tournament, and they have a lot of talent on their team.”

The Irish clinched the doubles point in the first two match-ups of the game as seniors Cosmina Ciobanu and Colleen Rielley won the No. 3 doubles competition and sophomore Shannon Mathews and freshman Chrissie McGaffigan beat their Yellow Jacket opponents in the No. 2 doubles position. Sophomore Kristy Frilling and junior Kristen Rafael fell to their No. 1 doubles competitors.

Rafael replaced senior Kali Krisik this weekend after Krisik’s injury Friday inhibited her ability to compete this weekend.

On the singles side of the competition, two-game singles victories from Ciobanu, Rafael and Rielley rounded out the four total points in the Nos. 4, 5 and 6 singles positions for the Irish, clinching their sixth straight victory.

Frilling fell for the first time in 2010 Saturday to the No. 1 ranked Irina Falconi of Georgia Tech.

“Falconi is a really talented player. She can do anything, she’s got every shot in the book,” Scaringe said.  “It’s easy to get frustrated against her, and Falconi played smart.”

Sunday, the Irish hosted No. 13 Tennessee. Tennessee took an early lead against the Irish by winning the doubles point, but in the end the Irish topped the Volunteers 5-2.

“[The Volunteers] fight no matter what the circumstances,” Scaringe said. “They have been pretty beat up with injuries in the last few weeks, but they’re still up. They took care of us in doubles.”

The Irish No. 1 doubles team, consisting of Frilling and Rafael, fell to Tennessee’s Caitlin Whoriskey and Maria Sorbello 8-1. In search of the doubles point, Notre Dame’s No. 2 doubles team of McGaffigan and Mathews lost to Tennessee’s Rosalia Alda and Zsofia Zubor in the tiebreaker point, 9-8.  Notre Dame won the third doubles point by a forfeit from Tennessee.

“Tennessee had us pretty nervous after the doubles matches,” Scaringe said.
In singles play, Rielley, Ciobanu, Rafael and Mathews all won, as did Frilling, who upset No. 7 Whoriskey 6-2, 6-0.

“They came out really flat in doubles, not a lot of intensity, played really tentatively,” Scaringe said. “They were more energetic and focused in singles play. They knew they needed to win four points and had to turn it up a notch on the court.”

The Irish will take on No. 23 Indiana Friday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion at 3 p.m.