Feb. 5, 2011
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The 12th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team dropped a 5-2 decision to fifth-ranked North Carolina Saturday at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center in Chapel Hill. The loss moves Notre Dame to 2-2 on the dual season.
North Carolina jumped out early with the doubles point, taking each of the three matches played. Kristen Rafael (Grand Prairie, Texas) and Julie Sabacinski (Plantation, Fla.) were the first to finish up at No. 3 doubles, falling to the Tar Heel duo of Gina Suarez-Malaguti and Zoe De Bruycker, 8-1.
North Carolina clinched the point with a victory at No. 1 doubles, as the Irish pairing of Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) and Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.) fell to the eighth-ranked duo of Shinann Featherstone and Lauren McHale, 8-3.
Trailing 1-0 heading into singles, the Irish made an initial surge, capturing the first two points contested at No. 1 and 2 singles. Frilling continued her early season roll as the ninth-ranked Irish junior downed 13th-ranked De Bruycker in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. Fellow junior and 104th-ranked Mathews made it 2-1 in favor of the Irish when she knocked off 54th-ranked Featherstone, 6-3, 6-3 for her third straight win over a nationally-ranked foe.
Each team battled in the remaining four matches, as all four went the full three sets. However, North Carolina came out on top of each of the matches. At No. 4 singles, 78th-ranked McGaffigan secured the first set 6-2, but came up short in the final two sets against 92nd-ranked Durisic (2-6, 6-3, 6-4).
Rafael, ranked 79th, followed much the similar result, taking the first set from Suarez-Malaguti before faltering in the final two sets, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. The match was then clinched at No. 5 singles as 106th-ranked Kellner lost to 86th-ranked McHale, 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2.
Sabacinski rounded out the match for the Irish, losing to Haley Hemm at No. 6 singles, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3.
The Irish have a quick turnaround, returning to the courts tomorrow against Wake Forest at 11:00 a.m. (ET) in Winston-Salem, N.C.
#5 North Carolina 5, #12 Notre Dame 2
1. #9 Kristy Frilling (ND) def. #13 Zoe De Bruycker (UNC) 6-3, 6-2
2. #104 Shannon Mathews (ND) def. #54 Shinann Featherstone (UNC) 6-3, 6-3
3. Gina Suarez-Malaguti (UNC) def. #79 Kristen Rafael (ND) 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
4. #92 Jelena Durisic (UNC) def. #78 Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
5. #86 Lauren McHale (UNC) def. #106 Jennifer Kellner (ND) 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2
6. Haley Hemm (UNC) def. Julie Sabacinski (ND) 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3
1. #8 Shinann Featherstone/Lauren McHale (UNC) def. Kristy Frilling / Shannon Mathews (ND) 8-3
2. #80 Jelena Durisic/Tessa Lyons (UNC) def. Jennifer Kellner / Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) 8-7 (8-6)
3. Gina Suarez-Malaguti/Zoe De Bruycker (UNC) def. Kristen Rafael / Julie Sabacinski (ND) 8-1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (2,1,4,3,5,6)
Notre Dame (2-2); National ranking #12
North Carolina (4-0)