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ND Women’s Tennis: Streaking Irish face Texas teams

Chris Allen | Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The red-hot No. 3 Irish will ride a three-game winning streak into Texas this weekend as they take on No. 2 Baylor  and Texas A&M. The Irish are coming off a road trip to Wichita State during which they defeated tough opponents in TCU and Wichita State by a combined score of 13-1.

Irish coach Jay Louderback was proud of his team’s effort and hopes they can carry it with them down to the pair of Lone Star State matches.

“Tennis-wise, the kids played with a lot of enthusiasm, which will certainly carry into this next week,” Louderback said.

With both matches on the road, the Irish (15-2) will need to get off to strong starts in order to take the crowd out of the match. The No. 4 first doubles team of sophomore Kristy Frilling and senior Kali Krisik has performed admirably, winning 13 matches in a row.

Louderback has continually looked for the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams to match that level of consistency as he shifts the lineup around.

“In practice, we’ve been working on doubles more. It is so important to get that first lead,” Louderback said. “We’ve been playing so much lately that we have just been practicing so the kids stay sharp.”

The Bears (15-2) will pose a challenge in singles for the Irish, and particularly for No. 1 singles player Frilling. Baylor’s top player is No. 5 senior Lenka Broosova, and they line up No. 18 sophomore Nina Segerbegovic at No. 2 singles. Louderback said his team knows they are up against a challenge.

“Baylor is ranked second in the nation. We played them three times last year, during the National Indoor, once in the regular season and at the quarterfinals, though we’ve never played at Baylor before,” Louderback said. “They’re an older team. Their number one singles is a top-10 player as well. Unlike what she’s used to, [Frilling] is going to get a chance to play someone a little better than her.”

After taking on the Bears in Waco, the Irish will run into the Aggies (8-4) in College Station. Texas A&M is riding high after winning their first three conference games. Louderback said the atmosphere should challenge his team to be on their game.

“The kids are excited about Texas A&M. They are ranked around 40. We always play well there,” Louderback said. “They have a great crowd base. They lead the country in fans.”

The Irish will take on Baylor Saturday at 3 p.m. and Texas A&M Monday at 6 p.m. as they look to keep their recent winning streak alive.