Jennifer Kellner earned her third straight dual match win, disposing of Vanderbilt's Rachael Dillon at No. 5 singles, 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.

No. 13 Irish Drop Another Heartbreaker, 4-3, Against No. 18 Vanderbilt

Feb. 12, 2011

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 13th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team dropped another close decision on Saturday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion, falling to 18th-ranked Vanderbilt, 4-3. The Irish now sit at 3-4 on the season after suffering back-to-back one-point losses to open the weekend.

In doubles, Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) and Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.) turned in their most impressive match of the season, dispatching the 20th-ranked tandem of Alex Leatu and Rachael Dillon, 8-0, at the No. 1 position.

The Irish, however, could not find the rhythm at either of the remaining two doubles courts, as Kristen Rafael (Grand Prairie, Texas) and Chrissie McGaffigan (Davenport, Iowa) fell to the 53rd-ranked team of Chelsea Preeg and Jackie Wu at No. 2, 8-4, while the freshmen team of Jennifer Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) and Julie Sabacinski (Plantation, Fla.) fell to Lauren Mira and Kelly Ulery at No. 3, 8-3, to give Vanderbilt the early 1-0 advantage.

Frilling and Mathews continued their torrid start to their dual season in singles at the No. 1 and 2 positions, respectively. Mathews, the 104th-ranked singles player, made short work of 50th-ranked Leatu, 6-3, 6-1, to tie the match at 1-1. Frilling, ranked ninth overall, followed shortly after with another straight-sets win, taking down 83rd-ranked Wu, 7-5, 6-1. Both Irish juniors now stand at 7-0 on the dual campaign, with Frilling notching her fifth straight win against a nationally ranked foe.

Vanderbilt then squared the match at 2-2, as #119 Mira captured No. 4 singles over #78 McGaffigan, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4.

The tie was short lived, as Kellner, ranked 106th, took down Dillon at No. 5 singles in a hard-fought, three-set match, 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3. The freshman now owns a three game winning streak and has an overall dual record of 5-2 on the season.

Notre Dame could not close the door on the Commodores, however, falling at both No. 3 and No. 6 singles to close out the match.

After Rafael took down the first set from Preeg at No. 4, 7-5, the Irish senior fell in the final two sets, 4-6, 5-7, to knot the match at 3-3. Sabacinski suffered much the same fate at No. 6 singles, winning the first set 6-4 before dropping the closing two sets, 4-6, 6-7 (4-7). The Irish freshman battled hard, taking a 4-1 lead in the third set tiebreak, but ran out of steam, losing the final six points and the tiebreak, 4-7.

The Irish conclude their busy weekend tomorrow as they take on Wisconsin at 11:00 a.m. (ET) at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Admission is free of charge. Live stats will be provided through

Be sure also to check back with for a complete recap of the third and final match of the weekend shortly after completion of the match.

Vanderbilt vs. Notre DameFeb. 12, 2011 at Notre Dame, Ind.#18 Vanderbilt 4, #13 Notre Dame 3
Singles competition1. #9 Kristy Frilling (ND) def. #83 Jackie Wu (VANDY) 7-5, 6-12. #104 Shannon Mathews (ND) def. #50 Alex Leatu (VANDY) 6-3, 6-13. #89 Chelsea Preeg (VANDY) def. #79 Kristen Rafael (ND) 5-7, 6-4, 7-54. #119 Lauren Mira (VANDY) def. #78 Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) 7-6 (8-6), 6-45. #106 Jennifer Kellner (ND) def. #64 Rachael Dillon (VANDY) 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-36. Keilly Ulery (VANDY) def. Julie Sabacinski (ND) 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)
Doubles competition1. Kristy Frilling/Shannon Mathews (ND) def. #20 Alex Leatu/Rachael Dillon (VANDY) 8-02. #53 Chelsea Preeg/Jackie Wu (VANDY) def. Chrissie McGaffigan/Kristen Rafael (ND) 8-43. Lauren Mira/Keilly Ulery (VANDY) def. Jennifer Kellner/Julie Sabacinski (ND) 8-3
Match Notes:Vanderbilt 5-1; National ranking #18Notre Dame 3-4; National ranking #13Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (2,1,4,5,3,6)