Head coach Jay Louderback and the Irish will make their 17th NCAA Tournament appearance this weekend.

Irish Gear Up for NCAA Action

May 12, 2010

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2010 NCAA Women’s Tennis Bracket Get Acrobat Reader

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The sixth-ranked and fifth-seeded Irish women’s tennis team is set to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship this weekend at the Courtney Tennis Center.

First-round play gets underway Friday with No. 21 Iowa taking on No. 47 Boise State at 10:00 a.m. (ET), before No. 6 Notre Dame faces off with IPFW at 1:00 p.m. The first-round winners will then meet on Saturday at noon for the right to advance to the round of 16 in Athens, Ga.

The Irish (22-3) earned the BIG EAST Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship, after claiming their third straight conference crown. Notre Dame will make its 15th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

The Irish have made 17 NCAA appearances since their first trip in 1993, reaching the semifinals last season, their best finish in program history. Notre Dame has advanced to the round of 16 on seven occasions and the 1996, 2006 and `07 quarterfinals.

IPFW (24-4) will make its first-ever trip to the NCAA Championship after claiming the Summit League title and automatic berth. Iowa (17-6) advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament and will make its seventh appearance since 1999 in the national tournament. Boise State (22-5) won their first ever Western Athletic Conference title to earn their fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Championship.

Notre Dame is 5-0-1 all-time against the Mastodons, but the two teams have not met since 1980. Notre Dame holds a 17-1 advantage over Iowa, including a 6-1 win over the Hawkeyes this season in Iowa City. The Irish are 1-0 against the Broncos with their only meeting coming in 1995.

The NCAA Championship features a field of 64 teams, consisting of 31 automatic-qualifying conference champions and 33 at-large selections. The first and second rounds will take place May 14-15 at 16 campus sites, with the final four rounds hosted by the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.

Tickets for this weekend’s early-round action are $5 for adults and $3 for youth and senior citizens.

2010 NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championship Notre Dame, Ind. – Courtney Tennis Center

First Round – Friday, May 14 #6 Notre Dame (22-3) vs. IPFW (22-4), 1:00 p.m.

#21 Iowa (17-6) vs. #47 Boise State (22-5), 10:00 a.m.

Second Round – Saturday, May 15 Match 1 Winner vs. Match 2 Winner, Noon

Live stats available at www.und.com

Notre Dame Set to Host NCAA First & Second Rounds: The sixth-ranked and fifth-seeded Irish women’s tennis team (22-3) will host NCAA first and second round action this weekend at the Courtney Tennis Center. Play will begin Friday at 10:00 a.m., with No. 21 Iowa and No. 47 Boise State squaring off, before the No. 6 Irish take on IPFW at 1:00 p.m. The first-round winners will play Saturday at noon.

The NCAAs at Notre Dame: The Courtney Tennis Center will play host to NCAA women’s tournament action for the fourth time in five years, after being the national site in 1998 and an early-round venue in 1997, `99, 2000, `01, `06, `07 and `09. Notre Dame holds a 12-2 home record in NCAA play, including an 10-0 mark since 2000.

Irish in the NCAA Championship: The Irish earned a No. 1 seed in the South Bend regional and a No. 5 seed overall in the 2010 NCAA Championship. A year ago, the Irish advanced to the semifinals for the first time in program history. Notre Dame hosted early-round action, defeating Illinois Chicago, 4-0, in the first round and toppling Michigan, 4-1, in the second to move on the Round of 16. The Irish downed Clemson, 4-0, then bested Baylor, 4-3, in the quarterfinals. Notre Dame fell to California, 4-2, in the semifinal match. This is the 11th year in which the NCAA Team Championship will consist of a 64-team field (31 conference champions plus 33 at-large entries). The first two rounds of the team championship will be held at 16 campus sites this weekend. The 16 remaining teams will advance to the national site, the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., for the final four rounds of the tournament May 20-25. Notre Dame has qualified for the team portion of the NCAA Championships for the 15th consecutive year and the 17th time in the last 18 seasons, all under the guidance of current head coach Jay Louderback. The best finish for the Irish came last season with an appearance in the semifinals. Notre Dame has advanced to the quarterfinals on three occasions (1996, 2006, `07) and to the round of 16 four other times (1993, `94, 2000 and `01). The Irish have earned one of the top 16 seeds in the NCAA Championship eight times overall, having done so previously in 1996 (Nos. 5-8 seed), 1999 (No. 12), 2000 (Nos. 13-16), `01 (No. 13), `06 (No. 2), `07 (No. 6) and `09 (No. 5). The Irish will open NCAA tournament play at home for the fourth time in five years and eighth time overall. The Irish are 12-2 at home in NCAA action. Notre Dame is 25-16 all-time in the NCAA Championship and has won at least one match in all but one of its previous appearances in the national tournament. The Irish also had a good deal of success in the NCAA Tournament before moving up to the Division I level. In its final four years as a Division II competitor, Notre Dame tied for sixth in the AIAW national tournament in 1982, then took third in the NCAAs a year later, repeated that finish in 1984 and was the runner-up to Tennessee-Chattanooga in 1985. In addition to its recent team success, Notre Dame has sent at least one player to either the NCAA singles or doubles tournament every year since 1989. For the 16th time in 18 years, the Irish will have entrants in both the singles and doubles events this season. Sophomore Kristy Frilling earned her second invitation to the 64-player NCAA Singles Championship and will team with senior Kali Krisik as the No. 3 seed in the doubles tournament. The singles and doubles events will be held May 26-31 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.

Irish Head Coach: Jay Louderback is in his 21st season at Notre Dame with a 407-168 (.709) record and his 31st year as a collegiate coach with a 611-346 (.638) mark. He ranks third, behind only Indiana’s Lin Loring and Pepperdine’s Gualberto Escudero, among active NCAA Division I women’s coaches in career victories and became just the 10th collegiate women’s coach ever to register 500 wins (4-3 win at Texas A&M on March 18, 2006). Louderback’s Irish have finished in the national top 30 in each of the last 17 seasons and have won 10 BIG EAST titles since joining the conference in 1995-96. Since the preseason of the 1992-93 season, Louderback’s teams have been in the national top 30 in all but two sets of ITA rankings and reached an all-time high of No. 2 (a total of 17 different times over the last five years). After taking over a program looking for its first NCAA tournament appearance, Louderback has helped Notre Dame to the NCAAs 17 times in the last 18 years (which only 10 other schools have done), including nine appearances in the round of 16, three quarterfinal finishes and the program’s first-ever appearance in the semifinals in 2009. Louderback, a four-time Midwest Region Coach of the Year, has been honored as the BIG EAST Coach of the Year eight times in 15 seasons. In his time at Notre Dame, Louderback’s players have earned All-America honors 24 times, won six national ITA awards and earned 27 invitations to the NCAA Singles Championship and 19 to the NCAA doubles tournament. In the fall of 2005, he delivered the first individual title at an ITA grand slam event, when juniors Catrina Thompson and Christian Thompson won the doubles crown at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships. The feat was repeated in 2007 as Brook Buck and Kelcy Tefft won the doubles title at the ITA National Indoor Championships. Louderback’s players have dominated the University awards, leading all sports in both Byron V. Kanaley awards (10) and Francis Patrick O’Connor awards (seven). His family was honored with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Tennis Family of the Year Award in 2002 and, in 2006, Louderback was inducated into the USTA Missouri Valley Tennis Hall of Fame. The Arkansas City, Kan., native and 1976 graduate of Wichita State arrived at Notre Dame prior to the 1989-90 season after coaching for seven years at his alma mater and three years (men and women) at Iowa State.

Frilling and Krisik Selected to NCAA Individual Tennis Championships: Sophomore Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) and senior Kali Krisik (Arkansas City, Kan.) have been selected to compete in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships May 26-31 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. Frilling earned the BIG EAST’s automatic singles bid and a 9-16 seed, while she and Krisik were awarded the league’s automatic doubles selection and were tabbed the No. 3 seed overall. This will be Frilling’s second straight appearance in both the singles and doubles tournament. Krisik will compete in her first NCAA individual championship. Frilling is the first Irish player to enter the singles tournament as one of the top 16 seeds since Michelle Dasso earned the No. 4 seed in 2001. Frilling is ranked 16th in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll with a 19-5 record at No. 1 singles. She was named the BIG EAST Player of the Year and earned all-conference honors after totaling 14 wins over ranked opponents this season. Last season, Frilling advanced to the second round of the both the singles and doubles championships. Frilling and Krisik are the nation’s third-ranked doubles team and are a perfect 21-0 in dual matches in 2010. Krisik was named the BIG EAST Championship’s Most Outstanding Player after leading the Irish to their third straight conference title and earned all-conference honors for the second consecutive season. This is the eighth year in a row that the Irish have had a player selected to compete in the NCAA Singles Championship and the fourth straight to be represented in the doubles tournament. Notre Dame has had 12 different players selected for the national tournament on 22 occasions, while 16 doubles team have earned a bid. Sixty-four singles players and 32 doubles teams are selected for the NCAA Championships. The full list of singles and doubles players can be found at www.ncaa.com.

Irish See 17 Opponents Earn NCAA Bids: An impressive 17 of Notre Dame’s 21 opponents from the 2010 season earned bids to the NCAA Championships: Baylor (No. 1 seed), Wichita State, Michigan (No. 4 seed), DePaul, Ohio State, Tennessee (No. 13 seed), Vanderbilt, Indiana, Iowa, Texas A&M, South Florida, Illinois, Northwestern (No. 6 seed), Georgia Tech (No. 14 seed), Duke (No. 10 seed), TCU and North Carolina (No. 2 seed). The Irish went 16-3 against that group this season, including three wins over DePaul and a victory over then-No. 1 Northwestern. The only losses came at the hands of Baylor, North Carolina and Duke.

Class of the Conference: Notre Dame has an incredible record of success in conference action, holding a 80-6 (.930) all-time record against conference foes, including a 35-5 (.875) mark in the BIG EAST tournament. Four defeats came against Miami (Fla.), which was a fellow member of the BIG EAST Conference from 1996-2004, with the other loss coming at the hands of USF in the 2007 title match. Notre Dame has a 59-3 (.952) all-time record against current BIG EAST schools, having lost to Marquette in 1989 and South Florida in 1993 in regular-season play, long before they joined the league, and suffering the loss to the Bulls in `07. Following seven years as an independent, the Irish were members of the North Star Conference from 1983-84 to 1987-88, the Midwestern Collegiate Conference from 1988-89 to 1994-95 and the BIG EAST since 1995-96. In 27 years of league membership, Notre Dame has been conference champs 22 times (and runner-up the other five years) and won 27 consecutive matches against league foes from 1983-98.

Beating No. 1: On Feb. 21, the Irish made history as they defeated No. 1 Northwestern, 5-2, at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. It was the first time in school history that Notre Dame had beaten the country’s top-ranked team, and the first time since 2007 that the Irish had topped the Wildcats. Notre Dame swept the doubles point, then went up 2-0 as sophomore Kristy Frilling knocked off the 12th-ranked Maria Mosolova, 6-1, 6-2, at No. 1 singles. With a Shannon Mathews victory at No. 2 singles in the books, freshman Chrissie McGaffigan clinched the win for the Irish with a 6-3, 6-2 upset of Kate Turvy at third singles.

Doubles Dominance: The tradition of solid doubles play has continued this season for Notre Dame as the Irish have captured the doubles point in 22 of their 25 matches in 2010. Their only doubles defeats came at the hands of North Carolina, Michigan and Tennessee, with the Irish using superb singles play to notch comeback wins over the Wolverines and Lady Volunteers. On the season, the Irish have a combined record of 58-11 (.841) in doubles dual matches. The Irish are also a remarkable 23-2 (.920) at the No. 1 position, with Kristy Frilling and Kali Krisik holding a 21-0 (1.000) mark at the top spot. Although the Nos. 2 and 3 positions have changed during the season, the Irish have still found ways to win. Cosmina Ciobanu and Shannon Mathews are 7-1 at No. 2, while Chrissie McGaffigan and Kristen Rafael are 8-0 at No. 3 doubles.

We’re Going Streaking: The following streaks are currently active for the Notre Dame women’s tennis team … The Irish have won their last seven matches and 10 of their last 12 … Notre Dame has won the doubles points in their last 14 matches … Cosmina Ciobanu and Kali Krisik have each won seven straight singles matches … Notre Dame has earned a victory at the No. 1 doubles position in its last 14 matches and 23 of 25 this season … Kristen Rafael has won four straight singles matches … Kristy Frilling and Krisik have won 21 straight matches together, all at No. 1 doubles.

Notre Dame Faces 11 Top-25 Teams: Notre Dame’s schedule has seen the Irish take on 11 squads ranked in the national top 25 at the time of the match. The Irish have wins against No. 1 Northwestern (5-2), No. 13 Tennessee (5-2), No. 14 Georgia Tech (4-3), No. 16 Michigan (4-3), No. 17 Ohio State (7-0), No. 17 Vanderbilt (4-3), No. 19 South Florida (7-0) and No. 22 DePaul (6-1). Notre Dame fell to No. 2 Baylor (6-1), No. 7 Duke (5-2) and No. 17 North Carolina (5-2). The Irish schedule featured four teams currently ranked in the top five (Baylor, North Carolina, Michigan and Northwestern) in the country and seven of the top 14.

Women’s Tennis Recognized at 2010 O.S.C.A.R.S.: The Irish women’s tennis squad and its members made multiple appearances at the 2010 O.S.C.A.R.S (Outstanding Student-Athletes Celebrating Achievements and Recognition Showcase), hosted by the Notre Dame Athletics Department, honoring its 26 varsity sports and more than 750 student-athletes for their achievements on the field and in the classroom during the 2009-10 academic year. The presentation of the three major athletics awards – the Byron V. Kanaley Award, the Francis Patrick O’Connor Award and the Christopher Zorich Service Award – highlighted the evening’s festivities. Senior Kali Krisik was one of six Irish student-athletes honored with the Byron V. Kanaley Award. The Kanaley Award, the most prestigious honor presented to an Irish student-athlete, has been given annually since 1927 to senior monogram athletes who have been most exemplary as both students and leaders. Chosen by the University’s Faculty Board on Athletics, the awards are named in honor of the 1904 Notre Dame graduate who was a member of the baseball team as an undergraduate. Kanaley went on to a successful banking career in Chicago and served the University as a lay trustee until his death in 1960. This marked the 10th time a member of the women’s tennis team earned the Kanaley Award, the most of any team on campus. Krisik was also the first Irish women’s tennis player to earn the Christopher Zorich Award, which was created to recognize contributions of Notre Dame student-athletes to the University and community at-large. Along with her athletic accomplishments, Krisik is a member of Notre Dame’s Rosenthal Leadership Academy and Student-Athlete Advisory Council. Krisik also is active in the South Bend community, volunteering with a number of organizations, including the mentoring program at Perley Elementary School, Fighting Irish Fight for Life, the CASIE Center, Notre Dame Dream Team at McKinley Elementary, Bike Michiana for Hospice, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk to Cure Diabetes, the Down Syndrome Buddy Walk, St. Joseph County Special Olympics and the South Bend Police Department summer tennis camps. The women’s tennis squad was honored as the Irish team with the highest grade-point average for the 2009 spring semester, and senior Cosmina Ciobanu was named the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete Award winner. Ciobanu owns a 3.875 GPA as a double major in science pre-professional and anthropology.

Keeping Up With Notre Dame Tennis: For the latest Irish women’s tennis news, results and statistics, visit UND.com. The official athletic web site provides schedule and results information for varsity sports, along with game recaps and weekly releases. Fans can now follow Irish sports, including women’s tennis, on Twitter. Notre Dame fans can easily sign up at www.twitter.com/signup or by going directly to the Fighting Irish UND.com Twitter page at www.twitter.com/UND_com. In addition, media members and fans can sign up for Irish text alerts at UND.com.