Kristy Frilling posted a 2-0 record in singles on the week and moved her season record to 9-2 against ranked opponents.

Irish Women's Tennis Ranked Fourth In Opening ITA Rankings

Jan. 5, 2011

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Irish women’s tennis team opens the season as the fourth-ranked team in the nation according to the Campbell/ITA national poll, the league announced Tuesday.

The ranking matches the highest starting point ever for the squad, equaling the fourth-place ranking the team took into the opener of the 2006-07 campaign.

Notre Dame also opens its season with another first as five members of the ’10-11 squad begin the season ranked in the singles poll, the most to begin a season dating back to the 1981 season when the Campbell/ITA rankings began.

Junior Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) leads the quintet of Irish in the rankings, debuting at ninth. She earns the ranking on the heels of a 28-11 season last year that saw her go 21-7 on the dual campaign. She continued her top-tier play, going 8-2 during the tour season in the fall of ’10 that included posting a 5-2 mark against nationally-ranked foes.

The 2010 BIG EAST Player of the Year earned a berth to the ’10-11 USTA/ITA National Individual Indoor Championships after capturing the Midwest Championship in Ann Arbor, Mich., earlier in the fall. She also competed with the runner-up American team at the 2010 Master’U BNP Paribas, marking her second-straight year participating for the Americans in the event.

Sophomore Chrissie McGaffigan (Davenport, Iowa) and senior Kristen Rafael (Grand Prairie, Texas) enter the ranks at 78th and 79th, respectively.

For McGaffigan, it marks her highest ranking in her brief time with the Irish, besting her 90th-place ranking on March 2, 2009. She put together a strong tour season, posting the most wins (10) of anyone on the roster.

Rafael returns to the rankings for the first time since ’08-09 when she placed 62nd in the polls. She enters the standings after putting together a 9-1 fall campaign that saw her post perfect records at both the Eck Tennis Classic and Illinois Blast.

Junior Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.) and freshman Jennifer Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) round out the Irish in the polls at 104th and 106th, respectively.

Mathews ended her fall season with a 3-2 record that included two straight victories at the Illinois Blast, while Kellner debuted in style, going 6-0 and dropping only one set to begin her collegiate career.

The Irish get their dual season started when they take to the courts Jan. 22 for a showdown against #25 Illinois.