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ND Women’s Tennis: Irish come back against the Golden Eagles

Megan Finneran | Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The season’s final away game brought No. 22 Notre Dame success, as the team took home a 6-1 victory over Marquette. This weekend, the Irish (12-9) look to have similar results in their last home game.

The Irish swept the singles competition against Marquette after starting behind when the Golden Eagles won the doubles round of play.

“Losing the doubles point against Marquette was definitely tough and I think that motivated us even more to win not just four singles, but all six singles matches,” junior Kristy Frilling said.

Facing DePaul this weekend, the Irish look to end a three-game winning streak.

While the records of these two teams may closely resemble each other, closer examination of their respective schedules tells a different story. Notre Dame and DePaul have shared seven mutual competitors throughout the season. Of these seven matches, the Irish have only lost one, while the Blue Demons have only won one. The lone win of these for DePaul came with a 4-3 victory over Marquette.

Senior Katarina Milinkovic leads DePaul in the No. 1 singles position. Milinkovic holds 23 wins this year on the singles court, 15 of which came from the No. 1 position.

“DePaul is a good team and losing the doubles point is something we cannot afford this weekend,” Frilling said. “It’s really important for everyone to step up individually.”

The Irish bring leadership from many sources, beginning with 15th-ranked Frilling in both singles and doubles play. Individually Frilling holds a 16-2 record. Junior Shannon Mathews, ranked 64th in the No. 2 position for the Irish, joins Frilling at No. 1 doubles..

Freshman Jennifer Kellner, ranked 95th, has improved greatly over the course of the season. Beginning in the No. 5 slot for Notre Dame, she has since moved up to the No. 3 position, where she has worked her way to a 6-1 record.

This final home match marks the end of the regular season, but leads into continued play for the Irish.

“As we head into tournament play every point, every match matters so we need to be as prepared as possible,” Frilling said.

Play against DePaul begins at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.