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

Irish Sweep Top BIG EAST Tennis Awards

April 30, 2010

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Just days after winning its third straight and 10th overall BIG EAST title, the Irish women’s tennis team was rewarded with all-conference awards Friday, sweeping the top three honors.

Sophomore Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) was named the league’s Player of the Year, while freshman Chrissie McGaffigan (Davenport, Iowa) earned Freshman of the Year honors. Head coach Jay Louderback was tabbed the BIG EAST Coach of the Year for the eighth time in his career.

Notre Dame also had five student-athletes named to the all-BIG EAST team. Joining Frilling and McGaffigan on the team were seniors Kali Krisik (Arkansas City, Kan.) and Cosmina Ciobanu (Brea, Calif.) and sophomore Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.).

Frilling posted a 19-5 record at No. 1 singles this season and is ranked 16th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll. She is not only the highest ranked singles player in the BIG EAST, but paired with Krisik, ranks third in the ITA doubles rankings to stand as the conference’s highest ranked doubles duo. Frilling went 2-0 in singles and 3-0 in doubles at this year’s BIG EAST Championships and is the second straight Irish student-athlete to take home player of the year accolades, following Kelcy Tefft in 2009.

McGaffigan notched a 15-7 mark at No. 3 singles and a 16-4 doubles record in her first season with the Irish. Ranked 114th by the ITA, McGaffigan was unable to complete her singles matches at the conference tournament, but went 2-0 at No. 3 doubles, including a point-clinching victory over Syracuse in the semifinals. She is the second straight Irish player to be named the BIG EAST Freshman of the Year as Frilling took home the honor last season.

Louderback has led the Irish to 10 conference titles and 17 appearances in the NCAA tournament, including the 2009 semifinals, the best performance in program history. Louderback’s Irish are 22-3 this season and are ranked sixth in the latest ITA poll. Notre Dame has bested 14 ranked opponents in 2010, including top-ranked Northwestern, 5-2, on Feb. 21.

Krisik holds a 16-3 singles mark and a 22-0 doubles record this season. After compiling a 3-0 record at both No. 5 singles and No. 1 doubles and clinching the deciding point in the quarterfinal and final matches, Krisik was named the 2010 BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Player. This is the second all-conference honor for Krisik

Ciobanu is 22-3 in singles action this season and has won her last seven matches. An all-BIG EAST selection for the second straight year, Ciobanu clinched the semifinal victory for the Irish over Syracuse.

Mathews is 13-10 at No. 2 singles for Notre Dame, including three wins over ranked opponents. Mathews went 1-0 in both singles and doubles action at the BIG EAST Championship with two matches going unfinished. This is the second all-conference honor for Mathews.

The Irish earned the BIG EAST’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championships and are in the running to host first and second round action for the second straight year. The NCAA Division I Tennis Championships Selection Show is scheduled to reveal the 2010 field and locations between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 4 on ESPNEWS.

Women’s All-BIG EAST TeamCosmina Ciobanu, Sr., Notre DameKristy Frilling, So., Notre Dame *Melissa Koning, Sr., USFKali Krisik, Sr., Notre DameShannon Mathews, So., Notre DameChrissie McGaffigan, Fr., Notre DameKatarina Milinkovic, Jr., DePaulIrene Rehberger, Jr., USF *Anna Redecsi, Sr., DePaul *Selma Salkovic, Jr., DePaulCC Sardinha, Fr., SyracuseAmy Zhang, Jr., RutgersWomen’s Player of the YearKristy Frilling, Notre DameWomen’s Freshman of the YearChrissie McGaffigan, Notre DameWomen’s Coach of the YearJay Louderback, Notre Dame

* Unanimous selections