Senior Kristen Rafael concluded her Irish regular season career in style, clinching the match with a 6-0, 6-1 over Christiana Raymond at No. 4 singles

Irish Battle Wind, DePaul For Victory On Senior Day, 6-1

April 23, 2011

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 24th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team ended its season on a high note, dispatching DePaul 6-1 on Saturday at the Courtney Tennis Center on Senior Day. The Irish finish the season with a record of 13-9.

Senior Kristen Rafael (Grand Prairie, Texas) earned the match-clinching point for the Irish, defeating Christiana Raymond at No. 4 singles, 6-0, 6-1. She has now won five straight matches since moving to the No. 4 court and finishes the regular season 10-9.

The Irish built the early lead in doubles, claiming each of the doubles matches. The 11th-ranked duo of Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) and Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.) won their 15th consecutive match at No. 1, knocking off Katarina Milinkovic and Selma Salkovic, 8-2. The Irish pairing finishes the regular season 18-3.

Jennifer Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) and Julie Sabacinski (Plantation, Fla.) clinched the point at No. 3, taking down Cali Gustafson and Christiana Raymond, 8-4. The victory brings an end to the pairing’s three-match losing streak.

Rafael and Chrissie McGaffigan (Davenport, Iowa) completed the sweep, as they defeated Kelsey Lawson and Gia McKnight at No. 2, 8-2, to finish the season with a 7-6 record as a team at the No. 2 spot.

McGaffigan and Sabacinski then quickly pushed the margin to 3-0 with straight-set victories at No. 5 and 6, respectively. McGaffigan did not drop a game in defeating Gustafson, 6-0, 6-0, while Sabacinski only dropped one in a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Samantha Kaneta.

Rafael then clinched the match just before #4 Frilling and #61 Mathews wrapped up their matches at No. 1 and 2 singles to bump the margin to 6-0. Frilling took down Milinkovic, 6-0, 6-2, and Mathews defeated McKnight, 6-3, 6-1.

DePaul got on the board in the last match on court, as Kellner was unable to defeat Lawson at No. 3 singles, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 1-0 (10-4) to bring an end to the Irish freshman’s six-match winning streak.

The Irish now turn their attention to postseason play, as the BIG EAST Championship gets underway April 28-May 1. Notre Dame will play host to the tournament for the second consecutive year, hoping to win its fourth consecutive conference crown.

DePaul vs. Notre DameApril 23, 2011 at Notre Dame, Ind.#24 Notre Dame 6, DePaul 1
Singles competition1. #4 Kristy Frilling (ND) def. Katarina Milinkovic (DEP) 6-0, 6-22. #61 Shannon Mathews (ND) def. Gia McKnight (DEP) 6-3, 6-13. Kelsey Lawson (DEP) def. #106 Jennifer Kellner (ND) 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 1-0 (10-4)4. Kristen Rafael (ND) def. Christiana Raymond (DEP) 6-0, 6-15. Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) def. Cali Gustafson (DEP) 6-0, 6-06. Julie Sabacinski (ND) def. Samanatha Kaneta (DEP) 6-0, 6-1
Doubles competition1. #11 Kristy Frilling/Shannon Mathews (ND) def. Katarina Milinkovic/Selma Salkovic (DEP) 8-22. Chrissie McGaffigan/Kristen Rafael (ND) def. Kelsey Lawson/Gia McKnight (DEP) 8-23. Jennifer Kellner/Julie Sabacinski (ND) def. Cali Gustafson/Christiana Raymond (DEP) 8-4
Match Notes:DePaul 13-10Notre Dame 13-9; National ranking #24Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (5,6,4,1,2,3)