April 4, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 18th-ranked University of Notre Dame saw its two-match winning streak come to an end after suffering a tough 4-3 loss to 14th-ranked Northwestern Wednesday at the Courtney Tennis Center. The loss drops the Irish to 14-6 on the year and 3-5 against teams ranked in the top 25.
Despite holding leads of 2-0 and 3-1 in the match, Notre Dame was unable to close out the Wildcats (11-7), who have now won three straight against the Irish. It is the sixth match this season that has finished with a 4-3 final, with Notre Dame now holding a 3-3 record in those contests.
The Irish, in what has become a common theme, jumped out to a 1-0 advantage in the match after claiming the doubles point. It is the 11th-straight match in which the Irish have won doubles and third straight sweep of all three courts.
Seniors Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) and Shannon Mathews, ranked fifth nationally, improved to 13-5 on the year, winning their second in a row at the No. 1 court. The Irish tandem took down #16 Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton, 8-3, to earn their ninth win of the year against nationally ranked opposition.
Sophomores Julie Sabacinski (Plantation, Fla.) and Britney Sanders (Ontario, Calif.) clinched the point with an identical 8-3 victory over Veronica Corning and Kate Turvy at No. 2 doubles. The 67th-ranked Irish pairing has now won four straight matches and is 10-2 on the dual season.
Junior Chrissie McGaffigan (Davenport, Iowa) and sophomore Jennifer Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) completed the sweep, earning their seventh straight dual victory over Brittany Wowchuk and Belinda Niu at No. 3, 8-5. Trailing in the contest 4-3, the Irish duo won five of the next six games to close out the match.
Sanders quickly boosted the lead to 2-0, earning her 16th dual win of the season and fifth in a row with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Corning at No. 4 singles. The Irish sophomore lost the first game of the match before reeling off 12 consecutive games for the win.
The lead shrunk to 2-1 as #54 Mathews lost a 6-3, 6-2 decision to #21 Turvy at the No. 1 court, but #95 Frilling quickly moved the Irish to a 3-1 lead as she disposed of Niu at the No. 2 court, 6-1, 6-4. Trailing 4-1 in the second set, Frilling captured five straight games to close out her third straight win.
Notre Dame was unable to claim the clinching point, however, falling in the remaining three courts still in action. Sabacinski fell to Hamilton at No. 6 (6-2, 6-3) just prior to McGaffigan dropping a 6-0, 6-4 match to Abu Mushrefova at No. 5. The final court went the distance, but after claiming the opening set, 6-2, Kellner lost the second and third sets, 6-1, 6-1, to #62 Wowchuk to end the match.
Notre Dame next travels to the Lone Star State for a pair of important matches against #12 Baylor on Saturday at noon (ET) in Waco before moving on to College Station for a Monday encounter with #21 Texas A&M at 6:00 p.m.
Northwestern vs Notre DameApr 04, 2012 at Notre Dame, Ind. (Courtney Tennis Center)#14 Northwestern 4, #18 Notre Dame 3
Singles competition1. #21 Kate Turvy (NW) def. #54 Shannon Mathews (ND) 6-3, 6-22. #95 Kristy Frilling (ND) def. Belinda Niu (NW) 6-1, 6-43. #62 Brittany Wowchuk (NW) def. Jennifer Kellner (ND) 2-6, 6-1, 6-14. Britney Sanders (ND) def. Veronica Corning (NW) 6-1, 6-05. Linda Abu Mushrefova (NW) def. Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) 6-0, 6-46. Nida Hamilton (NW) def. Julie Sabacinski (ND) 6-2, 6-3
Doubles competition1. #5 Kristy Frilling/Shannon Mathews (ND) def. #16 Linda Abu Mushrefova/Nida Hamilton (NW) 8-32. #67 Britney Sanders/Julie Sabacinski (ND) def. Veronica Corning/Kate Turvy (NW) 8-33. Jennifer Kellner/Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) def. Brittany Wowchuk/Belinda Niu (NW) 8-5
Match Notes:Northwestern 11-7; National ranking #14Notre Dame 14-6; National ranking #18Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (4,1,2,6,5,3)A-167