Feb. 17, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After enjoying a 12-day break since its last match, the University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team returns to action this weekend for a pair of matches at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Irish entertain North Carolina at 11:00 a.m. (ET) Saturday before facing Midwest rival Illinois at noon (ET) Sunday.
The Irish enter Saturday with a 5-2 overall record and rank 23rd in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) polls. The last time out, Notre Dame suffered a loss at Tennessee on Feb. 3, 6-1, before rebounding with a 5-2 victory at Vanderbilt on Feb. 5.
Senior Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.) leads the singles attack for the Irish, checking in at 39th in the rankings, while sophomore Jennifer Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) ranks 124th. Mathews and partner Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) pace the doubles lineup, ranking third nationally.
North Carolina enters the weekend with a 6-4 overall record and ranks 13th in the ITA polls. The Tar Heels and Irish have met 17 times in series history, with North Carolina holding a 9-8 advantage, including winning the past two contests by identical 5-2 scores. Lauren McHale (22nd), Zoe De Bruycker (35th) and Caroline Price (76th) rank nationally in singles for North Carolina, while McHale and Shinann Featherston (24th) represent the Tar Heels in the doubles poll.
Illinois, meanwhile, brings a 5-1 record to town after last defeating SMU, 6-1. Ranking as the 57th-best team in the country, the Fighting Illini have squared off with Notre Dame 31 times with the Irish holding a 23-8 advantage in the series, including a current seven-match win streak dating back to the ’05 season. Allison Falkin represents the lone member of the Illinois squad in the rankings, checking in at 120th in singles.
Saturday’s match against North Carolina also features a unique promotion, as the Notre Dame tennis team and the American Heart Association are teaming up to fight heart disease. Fans in attendance can help the cause by purchasing a Go Red for Women red dress pin for $1 as well as participating in a silent auction being held on-site. Auction items can be viewed, and bid on, right now by visiting . Attendance to both matches is free of charge.
Live stats of the games will be provided via UND.com by going to the women’s tennis team page and clicking on the respective match on the schedule. Be sure to check back with UND.com following the completion of each match for a recap of the action.