Chrissie McGaffigan clinched the win over the Commodores with his three-set victory at No. 5 singles.

Irish Survive Marathon Match, Break Down Dores 5-2

Feb. 5, 2012

Box Score

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In a marathon match that lasted five hours and seven minutes, the 24th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team was undeterred en route to earning a 5-2 win Sunday against 18th-ranked Vanderbilt at the Currey Tennis Center. Junior Chrissie McGaffigan (Davenport, Iowa) secured the clinching point at No. 5 singles.

After being swept in doubles competition Friday, Notre Dame (5-2) rebounded against Vanderbilt (6-4) to jump out to an early 1-0 lead. Fifth-ranked Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) and Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.) earned the most impressive decision at the No. 1 court, dispatching Jackie Wu and Alex Leatu, 8-3. The Commodores evened the count at No. 2 doubles, however, as Ashleigh Antal and Marie Casares held on for an 8-6 decision over 25th-ranked Britney Sanders (Ontario, Calif.) and Katherine White (Columbus, Ga.).

With No. 3 doubles standing between both teams capturing the early advantage, McGaffigan and Jennifer Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) answered the bell for the Irish, holding on for an 8-6 triumph of their own over Lauren Mira and Nelly Radeva.

Singles play saw grueling three-set matches take place at five of the six courts, with the lone straight-sets decision coming at No. 1 singles. In that match, Mathews fell to Wu 6-1, 6-2 to deadlock the match score at 1-1. Sanders then gave the Irish the lead once again, taking down Antal at No. 5. After dropping the first set 6-4, the Irish sophomore rebounded to claim the second and third sets by identical 6-4 scores to earn a come-from-behind triumph.

Frilling then expanded the lead to 3-1 as she took down Mira at No. 2 singles. The Irish co-captain rattled off the first set 6-3 before Mira rebounded to take the second set 6-4. The two would nearly battle to a third-set tiebreak, but Frilling earned the decisive game to close out the final set 7-5 to move the Irish to match point.

McGaffigan then clinched the victory as she knocked off Leatu at No. 5 singles, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. The junior now sits at 4-2 on the dual season, all at the No. 5 position, while earning her 45th career victory in an Irish uniform. Kellner finished next for the Irish, moving the score to 5-1 with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 triumph over Casares at No. 3 singles.

The final match of the day saw Julie Sabacinski (Plantation, Fla.) get her first taste of tennis on the weekend, taking on Radeva at No. 6 singles. The Irish sophomore captured the first set 6-3, but fell in each of the final two sets to lose the match 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-2) and give the Commodores their second point of the contest.

Notre Dame now enjoys 12 days off from competition before returning to the courts for the first of six consecutive home matchups. The Irish open the homestand with a showdown against No. 8 North Carolina on Feb. 18.

#24 Notre Dame 5, #18 Vanderbilt 2Feb 05, 2012 at Nashville, Tenn.Currey Tennis Center
Singles competition1. Jackie Wu (VU) def. Shannon Mathews (ND) 6-1, 6-22. Kristy Frilling (ND) def. Lauren Mira (VU) 6-3, 4-6, 7-53. Jennifer Kellner (ND) def. Marie Casares (VU) 6-4, 4-6, 6-44. Britney Sanders (ND) def. Ashleigh Antal (VU) 4-6, 6-4, 6-45. Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) def. Alex Leatu (VU) 6-3, 5-7, 6-46. Nelly Radeva (VU) def. Julie Sabacinski (ND) 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-2)
Doubles competition1. Shannon Mathews/Kristy Frilling (NDW) def. Jackie Wu/Alex Leatu (VUW) 8-32. Ashleigh Antal/Marie Casares (VUW) def. Britney Sanders/Katherine White (NDW) 8-63. Chrissie McGaffigan/Jennifer Kellner (NDW) def. Lauren Mira/Nelly Radeva (VUW) 8-6
Match NotesNotre Dame 5-2; National ranking #24Vanderbilt 6-4; National ranking #18Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (1,4,2,5,3,6)T-5:07