May 26, 2011
PALO ALTO, Calif. – Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) and Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.), juniors on the University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team, advanced into the Round of 16 of the NCAA Doubles Championship on Thursday at the Taube Family Tennis Center. Mathews dropped her singles match earlier in the day to end her tournament.
The NCAA Doubles Championship takes on a different format than the dual season, as each match is the best two-out-of-three sets as opposed to the superset to eight. The Irish duo started their opening match a bit sluggishly against Vanderbilt’s pairing of Rachael Dillon and Alex Leatu but pulled away late to claim the first set, 6-3. Mathews and Frilling then made quick work of the second set, climbing ahead 4-0 before closing out the match, 6-2. It is the second time on the season that the Irish have beaten the Commodores’ No. 1 tandem.
Frilling and Mathews now advance to the Round of 16 on Friday where they will face USC’s fourth-ranked and third-seeded Maria Sanchez and Kaitlyn Christian. The Trojans’ duo advanced with a 7-6, 6-1 win over Nadine Fahoum and Ellah Nze of Duke.
In singles, Mathews faced off with 16th-ranked Venise Chan of Washington, who also earned a 9-16 seed in the singles draw. The Irish junior, for the second straight match, dropped the opening set of the contest, 6-3, but fought back in the second set, 6-3, to force another decisive third set.
Down 5-3 to her opponent and having to grab a break to get back on serve, Mathews pulled out the most critical break of her season and held serve to level the final set at 5-5. The two competitors each held their final service game to force a third-set tiebreak. Mathews grabbed an early 3-2 lead in the breaker and had the next two serves, but Chan captured both points and pulled away for the 7-6 (7-4) victory. Mathews ends her season with an overall record of 23-8, taking her career record to 73-26.
NCAA Doubles Championship - First Round#15 Kristy Frilling/Shannon Mathews (ND) def. #36 Rachael Dillon/Alex Leatu (VANDY) 6-3, 6-2
NCAA Singles Championship - Second Round#16 Venise Chan (WASH) def. #56 Shannon Mathews (ND) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4)