Freshman Jennifer Kellner moved her dual season record to 4-2 with her straight-sets victory over Mimi Nguyen at No. 5 singles, 6-2, 6-4.

No. 13 Irish Lose Close Decision To No. 8 Michigan, 4-3

Feb. 10, 2011

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 13th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team dropped a close 4-3 decision to eighth-ranked Michigan Thursday evening at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Irish captured three singles matches but dropped the remaining three and were defeated in doubles to give the Wolverines the victory.

In doubles, Michigan jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the contest, taking each of the three matches. The Irish pairing of Kristen Rafael (Grand Prairie, Texas) and Chrissie McGaffigan (Davenport, Iowa) was first to conclude, falling to Whitney Taney and Rika Tatsuno at No. 2 doubles, 8-3. It was the first time on the dual season that the Irish have sent that pairing to the courts.

Another first time pairing saw the freshmen Irish duo of Jennifer Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) and Julie Sabacinski (Plantation, Fla.) fall at No. 3 doubles, 8-2, to the Wolverine tandem of Sam Critser and Mimi Nguyen.

With the doubles point clinched and the No. 1 doubles match squared at 7-7, Notre Dame juniors Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) and Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.) went to a tiebreak against Brooke Bolender and Denise Muresan, eventually succumbing to the Wolverine pair, 8-7 (7-2).

The Irish squared the match at 1-1 as ninth-ranked Frilling rebounded to make quick work 11th-ranked Muresan at No. 1 singles, 6-0, 6-0. With the win Frilling improves her dual record to a perfect 6-0, with five of those wins coming against ranked foes. Her overall record against ranked opponents now stands at 10-2 on the season.

Michigan regained the lead as McGaffigan, ranked 78th, was upended by 61st ranked Taney at No. 4 singles, 6-1, 6-0. The Wolverines then pushed the margin to 3-1 as Tatsuno knocked off Sabacinski at No. 6 singles, 6-2, 6-2.

The match was then clinched at No. 4 singles as 79th ranked Rafael fell in straight sets to Bolender, 6-1, 6-4. The Irish senior battled in the second set, earning several break chances with the score sitting at 5-4, but was unable to secure the break.

Notre Dame went on to win the final two matches being played, capturing No. 5 singles behind a straight-sets victory by Kellner, ranked 106, over Nguyen, 6-2, 6-4. No. 104 Mathews then captured a three-set decision over 105th ranked Critser, 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 (10-6), to improve her dual record to 6-0, all at the No. 2 position.

The Irish now stand at 3-3 on the dual season with each of their three defeats coming at the hands of top-25 teams. The team returns to action this weekend for two more matches, taking on 18th ranked Vanderbilt at 11:00 a.m. Saturday and Wisconsin at 11:00 a.m. Sunday.

Michigan vs. Notre DameFeb 10, 2011 at Notre Dame, Ind.#8 Michigan 4, #13 Notre Dame 3
Singles competition1. #9 Kristy Frilling (ND) def. #11 Denise Muresan (MICH) 6-0, 6-02. #104 Shannon Mathews (ND) def. #105 Sam Critser (MICH) 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 (10-6)3. Brooke Bolender (MICH) def. #79 Kristen Rafael (ND) 6-1, 6-44. #61 Whitney Taney (MICH) def. #78 Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) 6-1, 6-05. #106 Jennifer Kellner (ND) def. Mimi Nguyen (MICH) 6-2, 6-46. Rika Tatsuno (MICH) def. Julie Sabacinski (ND) 6-2, 6-2
Doubles competition1. Brooke Bolender/Denise Muresan (MICH) def. Kristy Frilling/Shannon Mathews (ND) 8-7 (7-2)2. Whitney Taney/Rika Tatsuno (MICH) def. Chrissie McGaffigan/Kristen Rafael (ND) 8-33. Sam Critser/Mimi Nguyen (MICH) def. Jennifer Kellner/Julie Sabacinski (ND) 8-2
Match Notes:Michigan 5-0; National ranking #8Notre Dame 3-3; National ranking #13Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (1,4,6,3,5,2)