ND Women’s Tennis: Senior pairing experience success
Katie Heit | Wednesday, February 22, 2012
The doubles team of senior captains Shannon Mathews and Kristy Frilling has seen its fair share of success this season, rising to No. 3 in the International Tennis Association rankings.
Mathews and Frilling, who have been doubles partners for two consecutive seasons, have both been ranked individually over the course of their collegiate careers. Mathews, who is currently No. 39 in the country, said that she and her partner are looking to make their final year at Notre Dame their most successful season yet.
“While it is crazy that it’s coming to an end, we still have a lot of time left and a lot to prove,” Mathews said. “We have a great opportunity to win that national championship this year.”
The pair has gone 5-2 on the season, dropping matches only to Maryland and Tennessee. That record puts them just behind sophomore Brynn Boren and freshman Sarah Toti of Tennessee and junior Mallory Burdette and sophomore Nicole Gibbs of Stanford.
The top ranking comes as no surprise to the seniors themselves, who have had their sights set on success all season. After losing in the second round of the National Individual Indoor competition Nov. 3, Frilling said that she and Mathews have both been looking to prove their worth.
“A little revenge after the fall season would definitely be sweet,” Frilling said.
Despite the loss, the tandem still excelled in the fall season, and Mathews said she hopes to build upon that success in the spring half of the season.
“We want to pick up where we left off,” she said. “We want to keep improving on all of our dual matches through the spring season.”
Frilling, reigning Big East Player of the Week, said her standards are high for what she and Mathews wish to accomplish.
“We’re looking to be All-Americans at the end of the season,” Frilling said. “We want to hopefully have a great regular season in doubles action.”
To improve their doubles play, Frilling said she and Mathews have been focusing on the smaller parts of their game in order to put more wins under their belts.
“We’ll take it match by match, focusing on the little things,” Frilling said. “The little details will give us success later in the season.”
Mathews said that she is also impressed with the other Irish doubles teams who, despite having been rearranged several times this season, have found success.
“We have great doubles teams,” she said. “We have some people really stepping up in practice and in their performances.”
Mathews added she and Frilling will continue to work on teamwork as they enter the heart of the spring season.
“We need to be more aggressive at net in our doubles play,” Mathews said. “We need to make sure we make solid returns and set one another up.”
The seniors will keep those things in mind as they return to action Friday at home against Indiana.
Contact Katie Heit at [email protected]