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ND Women’s Tennis: Notre Dame rolls from start to finish

Katie Heit | Friday, March 1, 2013

After several close matches, the Irish had a chance to catch their breath, dominating Western Michigan, 7-0, at home Thursday. 

Senior Chrissie McGaffigan said the close matches have helped the team to focus from start to finish.

“I think that all of our close matches have helped us to improve playing in pressure situations,” McGaffigan said. “This win gives us some confidence going into our two match weekend.” 

Notre Dame took an early lead, grabbing the doubles point with an 8-2 win  from junior Jennifer Kellner and McGaffigan at No. 1 doubles and an 8-6 victory from juniors Julie Sabacinski and Britney Sanders.

McGaffigan said she was proud of all the Irish performances. 

“We all played well in the match,” McGaffigan said. “They are a scrappy team, so we had to stay focused the whole time.” 

In singles, the Irish continued their line of dominance. Each member of the Notre Dame team won in two sets. No. 42 Sanders defeated Broncos junior Nini Sujashvili 6-1, 7-5 in the closest match of the series. McGaffigan won at No. 4 singles, allowing only two points in two sets and winning 6-1, 6-1. Sophomore Molly O’Koniewski also only allowed two points in her 6-2, 6-0 victory over freshman Kelsey King.  

McGaffigan said the win gives Notre Dame confidence going into its signature series against Duke on Sunday. 

“We are so excited for our Duke match,” McGaffigan said. “We hope to get a lot of people to come out to support us. There will be free bagels and the leprechaun will be there to lead cheers.” 

The Irish will be back in action Saturday when they take on DePaul on Saturday at 3:30 p.m., followed by their Sunday match against Duke at 11 a.m. Both matches will be held at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.

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