Shannon Mathews earned her second straight bid into the NCAA Singles Championship after a 20-9 senior campaign.

No. 17 Irish Blank Iowa, 7-0

March 2, 2012

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 17th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team got its weekend off to a perfect start, earning a 7-0 victory over Iowa Friday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The win marks the fourth consecutive for the Irish (9-3) and is the fourth flawless match this season for the netters.

For the third straight contest, Notre Dame jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the match after sweeping the doubles point from the Hawkeyes (4-3). #2 Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) and Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.) made short work of Morven McCulloch and Shelby Talcott at No. 1 doubles, 8-1. The victory is the fifth in the last six for the Irish pairing and improves them to 8-3 on the dual season. The duo also now sits tied for seventh on the all-time dual wins list with 27 as a team.

Sophomores Julie Sabacinski (Plantation, Fla.) and Britney Sanders (Ontario, Calif.) clinched the point with their third win in four tries since becoming a team. The pairing closed out Sonja Molnar and Christina Harazin at No. 2 doubles, 8-5. Junior Chrissie McGaffigan (Davenport, Iowa) and sophomore Jennifer Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) completed the sweep with an 8-4 win over Ellen Silver and Katie Zordani at No. 3, improving the Irish grouping to 8-3 in dual contests.

Five of six singles matches saw the Irish claim straight-sets victories. Britney Sanders, ranked 102nd, and Jennifer Kellner were first to close out their matches to push the score to 3-0. Sanders defeated Harazin at No. 4 (6-2, 6-0) before Kellner finished off McCulloch at No. 3 by an identical 6-2, 6-0 score. Sanders has now won six consecutive singles matches, while Kellner has won four straight.

Frilling, ranked 73rd, clinched the overall match at No. 2 singles, winning over Talcott, 6-3, 6-1. McGaffigan and Sabacinski were next to finish at No. 5 and 6, respectively, defeating Zordani (6-3, 6-2) and Silver (6-2, 6-2). The win is the third straight for McGaffigan, while Sabacinski improved to 3-2 on the dual season and earned her first dual win since a Jan. 22 victory over IPFW’s Frederique Sunstrum.

The final match to conclude saw Mathews, ranked 52nd, take down the 110th-ranked and previously unbeaten Molnar at No. 1, 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 1-0 (10-6). The victory improves Mathews to 9-3 in dual matches, while Molnar saw her six-match unbeaten come to a close.

Notre Dame finishes off its six-match homestand tomorrow afternoon against #3 Duke. First serve is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. (ET) inside the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Admission is free of charge and all children in attendance are invited to participate in Campus Kids’ Days. Be sure to check back following the match for a complete recap as the Irish look to climb to double-digit wins on the season.

Iowa vs Notre DameMar 02, 2012 at Notre Dame, Ind. (Eck Tennis Pavilion)#17 Notre Dame 7, Iowa 0
Singles competition1. #52 Shannon Mathews (ND) def. #110 Sonja Molnar (IOWA) 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 1-0 (10-6)2. #73 Kristy Frilling (ND) def. Shelby Talcott (IOWA) 6-3, 6-13. Jennifer Kellner (ND) def. Morven McCulloch (IOWA) 6-2, 6-04. #102 Britney Sanders (ND) def. Christina Harazin (IOWA) 6-2, 6-05. Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) def. Katie Zordani (IOWA) 6-3, 6-26. Julie Sabacinski (ND) def. Ellen Silver (IOWA) 6-2, 6-2
Doubles competition1. #2 Kristy Frilling/Shannon Mathews (ND) def. Morven McCulloch/Shelby Talcott (IOWA) 8-12. Julie Sabacinski/Britney Sanders (ND) def. Sonja Molnar/Christina Harazin (IOWA) 8-53. Jennifer Kellner/Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) def. Ellen Silver/Katie Zordani (IOWA) 8-4
Match Notes:Iowa 4-3Notre Dame 9-3; National ranking #17Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (4,3,2,5,6,1)