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ND Women’s Tennis: Irish split decisions over weekend

Megan Finneran | Monday, March 7, 2011

The weekend brought split results for the No. 14 Irish, who came out on top against Indiana Friday by a score of 6-1, but were unable to overcome No. 7 Baylor on Sunday, falling 4-2.

Notre Dame (8-5) had little difficulty coming out on top against Indiana, posting their ninth-straight win against the Hoosiers. Despite a rocky start in the first match of both doubles and singles, the team pulled together.

On the doubles front, the Hoosiers started strong by defeating first-time partners freshman JoHanna Manningham and sophomore Chrissie McGaffigan, 8-4, at the No. 3 position. The loss had no effect, however, as 26th-ranked juniors Kristy Frilling and Shannon Mathews, who kept their six-match wining streak alive, took down Leslie Hureau and Myriam Sopel, 8-5. Continuing their improvement at No. 2 doubles were freshmen Jennifer Kellner and Julie Sabacinski, clinching the doubles point for the team.

“I think I really started hitting more aggressive lately, which has helped me tremendously,” Kellner said.

Singles began with the No. 6 matchup, where Manningham was unable to hang with Sophie Garre, falling 6-2, 6-1. But as with doubles, Frilling and Mathews bounced right back, each improving their singles winning streaks to 11 matches. No. 32 Mathews triumphed over Evgeniya Vertesheva 6-3, 6-1 in the No. 2 spot, followed by third-ranked Frilling in the No. 1 spot, where she defeated 61st-ranked Hureau 6-2, 6-1.

Freshman Kellner came through for the second time, taking the singles point that determined a match win for the Irish. Positioned at No. 3 for the first time, she triumphed over Charlotte Martin, 6-2, 6-1.

“I still have a lot to improve, [but] it always feels really good when I’m able to contribute to the win,” Kellner said. “It’s a great feeling to help out my teammates.”

From there, Sabacinski and McGaffigan closed out the match, taking down Hoosiers Sopel at No. 5, 6-4, 4-6, 1-0, and Kayla Fujimoto, 7-6, 6-4, at No. 4.

Even with momentum from the win over Indiana, the Bears were too much for the Irish. Baylor took the doubles point and proceeded to easily win three singles matches, enough to secure the victory Sunday.

In doubles, Frilling and Mathews continued their streak at No. 1 yet again, defeating Nina Secerbegovic and Jelena Stanivuk, but it was not enough to earn the doubles point after losses in the second and third doubles spots. Secerbegovic and Stavivuk bounced back to defeat Irish pair McGaffigan and senior Kristen Rafael, and the first-time duo of Taylor Ormond and Karolina Filipiak took down Kellner and Sabacinski.

When it came to the singles division, Frilling and Kellner continued their success from the previous singles competition, but Mathews was unable to convert, falling 6-1, 6-2 to No. 51 Secerbegovic. No. 94 Stanivuk overcame McGaffigan at No. 5 and 36th-ranked Diana Nakic clinched the match with her singles point against No. 95 Rafael.

The Irish next travel to Tampa, Fla., where they will face South Florida, Duke and Tennessee March 15.