Feb. 4, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 12th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team returns to action this weekend with a pair of matches on Tobacco Road. The Irish start with a matchup against fifth-ranked North Carolina at noon (ET) Saturday at the Cone-Kenfield Center in Chapel Hill, N.C., before taking on Wake Forest at 11:00 a.m. Sunday at the Indoor Tennis Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The squad enters this weekend’s matches with an overall record of 2-1 after earning a split last week (Jan. 29-30) in ITA Indoor Team Tournament qualifying action against Yale (W, 7-0) and 14th-ranked Arkansas (L, 4-3).
Kristy Frilling, who is ranked ninth in the singles poll, leads the Irish with a dual record of 3-0, including two straight-set wins over top-100 foes. Four other Irish players – Kristen Rafael (79), Chrissie McGaffigan (78), Shannon Mathews (104), Jennifer Kellner (106) – also enter the weekend nationally ranked.
North Carolina owns a record of 3-0 after securing wins over Elon (7-0), DePaul (6-1) and Georgia (4-3). Zoe De Bruycker, who begins weekend play as the 13th-ranked singles player in the nation, leads the Tar Heels in singles. The tandem of Shinann Featherston and Lauren McHale lead North Carolina on the doubles side, ranking as the eighth-best duo in the nation.
Wake Forest comes into the weekend with a record of 2-1 after notching wins over Winthrop (6-1) and East Tennessee State (7-0) while dropping a contest against Virginia (5-2). No. 62 Martina Pavelec represents the highest ranked Demon Deacon in singles, while the pairing of Kathryn Talbert and Kayla Duncan ranks 14th in doubles play.
Overall, the Irish and Tar Heels have split their first 16 matches, but the Irish hold a 4-2 advantage in the series since 2006. The two teams have faced each other at least once every season since 2000 with both teams entering those contests ranked within the top 30 in the nation.
The Irish hold an 11-9 advantage over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, including a string of five consecutive victories dating back to the ’05 season. Last year, Notre Dame upended fifth-ranked Wake Forest, 6-1.
Live stats and complete recaps for each match will be available at und.com