March 1, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team brings its nearly three-week homestand spanning six matches to an end this weekend as it plays host to Iowa and third-ranked Duke at 3:30 p.m. (ET) Friday and Saturday, respectively, at the Eck Tennis Center.
The Irish (8-3), ranked 17th nationally, enter the weekend matches riding a mild three-match winning streak, including most recently knocking off then 16th-ranked Georgia Tech 4-3 on Feb. 26. Notre Dame boasts an impressive 6-1 record over its first seven home matches and has won four of those contests by scores of 6-1 or better.
Senior Shannon Mathews continues to pace the Irish in the singles rankings, checking in at 52nd in the most recent Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) polls. Senior Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) and sophomore Britney Sanders (Ontario, Calif.) join Mathews in the rankings, with Frilling checking in at 73rd and Sanders at 102nd. Frilling and Mathews also rank as the second-best doubles tandem in the nation, behind only Stanford’s Mallory Burdette and Nicole Gibbs.
Iowa comes into this weekend carrying a record of 4-2 on the season and enter on the heels of a 7-0 triumph over Northern Iowa on Feb. 25. Sonja Molnar leads the Hawkeye attack, holding a perfect 6-0 mark in singles action while ranking as the 110th-best singles player nationally.
This will mark the 19th matchup between the two schools, with Notre Dame holding a commanding 17-1 advantage in the series. The Irish currently own a 13-match winning streak against the Hawkeyes, including winning their last head-to-head contest against the squad, 6-1, in 2010.
Duke, meanwhile, enters this weekend’s matchup with a 9-1 overall record, including claiming a runner-up finish at the 2012 ITA National Team Indoors. The Blue Devils litter the ITA polls, with five singles players and three doubles teams earning national ranking. Second-ranked Beatrice Capra paces Duke, while Hanna Mar (45), Monica Turewicz (65), Mary Clayton (68) and Ester Goldfield (108) round out the group. In doubles, Capra and Goldfield lead the way ranked 16th, while Capra also teams with Rachel Kahan as the 21st-best pairing and Goldfield and Clayton represent the 54th-best duo.
This will be the 20th match between Notre Dame and Duke, with the Blue Devils holding the 15-3-1 advantage. Duke enters the contest with a two-match winning streak over the Irish, but over the past six matchups the two teams have split the series, 3-3. Notre Dame’s last victory over Duke came during the ’09 season when the Irish won a 5-2 decision in Atlanta, Ga.
Admission to both matches is free of charge, with Saturday’s match against Duke taking part in the USTA/ITA Campus Kids’ Days. Campus Kids’ Days look to increase exposure for aspiring youth players, their parents and coaches to college tennis. Fans are invited to watch the match, win prizes, and eat pizza with the team and get autographs after the match. For additional information, please visit Notre Dame’s Youth Sports and Community Programs page.
Live stats for both the and matches can be found through the women’s tennis schedule at UND.com. Be sure to check back with UND.com both days for complete recaps of the Irish.