Feb. 16, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Shannon Mathews and Jennifer Kellner, members of the University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team, have climbed into the second installment of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings, it was announced Thursday. The Irish also moved up one spot to 23rd in the team rankings.
The Irish, coming off splitting a pair of matchups against 10th-ranked Tennessee (L, 6-1) and 18th-ranked Vanderbilt (W, 5-2), moved up from 24th on the strengths of a 5-2 overall record. Additionally, two of the five victories – Vanderbilt (18th) and Maryland (41st) – have come against opponents ranked within the national top 50 at the time of the contest.
Mathews, meanwhile, climbed to 39th in the singles rankings after starting her dual season with a 6-1 record in split time between courts one and two. The Birmingham, Mich., native has posted two wins over fellow ranked competition on the dual slate, defeating Maryland’s Cristina Stancu, who was ranked 26th at the time, and Tennessee’s Natalie Pluskota, who ranked 24th. The senior co-captain also has earned her first two career wins at the No. 1 court while being tabbed BIG EAST Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 29.
Kellner, Notre Dame’s staple at No. 3 singles, enters the polls ranked 124th after starting her dual season with a record of 5-1 and winning four of those contests in straight sets. The Smithtown, N.Y., product’s most recent victory saw her take down her first nationally ranked foe of the season in Vanderbilt’s Marie Casares, who entered the match ranked 110th.
Mathews also saw movement in the doubles polls as she, along with teammate and fellow senior co-captain Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio), climbed two spots to third in the nation. The pairing has started the dual campaign with a record of 4-2 at the No. 1 court. Sophomore Britney Sanders (Ontario, Calif.) and freshman Katherine White (Columbus, Ga.) fell out of the doubles rankings after beginning the season ranked 25th.