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ND Women’s Tennis: Irish total 15 wins at Indiana Invitational

Katie Heit | Monday, September 26, 2011

The Irish are in high spirits after a strong showing at the Indiana Invitational, reeling in 15 total wins over the course of three days.

This weekend was the first time the Irish have been on the court in a competitive setting since April. The team started off slow, dropping five of the first six singles matches it played Friday. From there, the Irish had nowhere to go but up.

“As each match went on, each one of us played better and better,” junior Chrissie McGaffigan said. “I could see my teammates playing better and better until the end of the weekend [when] we were playing our best.”

Freshman Katherine White started the weekend off well with her 7-5, 6-4 victory over Indiana’s Sophie Garre on Friday. White was the only Notre Dame player to win her first round of singles.

In doubles play Friday, Notre Dame was able to hold on to its leads. Sophomore Britney Sanders and White won their first match as partners against Kansas State. Sophomore Jennifer Kellner and McGaffigan were also victorious in their first round of competition.

The Irish hit their stride Saturday, as Kellner grabbed a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Kansas State’s Ana Gomez. Following her example, Sanders defeated Kansas State’s Marketa Trousilova 6-1, 6-2.

Wrapping up the leaderboard, McGaffigan defeated Georgia’s Alina Jerjomina 6-1,6-2.

In doubles action Saturday, the Irish snatched all but one of the matchups and defeated teams from Indiana, Kansas State and Georgia.

“I was really happy with our doubles play,” McGaffigan said. “All three teams played really well together and I know our coaches were really pleased with our doubles play.”

The Irish reached their peak Sunday, going 4-0. Kellner finished with a 2-1 record for the weekend after knocking down Abilene Christian’s Julia Mongin 6-2, 6-1.  McGaffigan and Sanders also finished with a 2-1 singles mark, both winning their final day’s matches.

Sophomore Julie Sabacinski snatched her first win of the weekend against Garre, 6-4, 7-5. 

The tournament marked the first competition that new assistant coach Kelcy Tefft was on the sidelines for the Irish.

“Her having been on the team before in the past helps a lot with experience,” Kellner said. “She was really helpful both on and off the court.”

Missing from play this weekend were senior captains Kristy Frilling and Shannon Mathews. In their absence, Kellner said the upperclassmen — McGaffigan in particular — really took control of the team.

McGaffigan said she was proud of the way her team performed.

“I think we all had to step up this weekend because it was the first tournament,” McGaffigan said. “Each and every one of us had to step up and just go out there and play our hardest.”

The Irish will send Frilling and Mathews to Pacific Palisades, Calif., for the ITA/Riviera All-American Championships on Oct. 1. 

Contact Katie Heit at [email protected]