Kristy Frilling clinched the match for the Irish with a three-set win over Anastasia Putilina, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2.

No. 19 Irish Advance To Semifinals Of Blue Gray Classic

Feb. 25, 2011

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The 19th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team moved into the semifinal round of the Blue Gray Classic with a 4-0 win over Utah on Friday at the Lagoon Park Tennis Center. Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) clinched the win with a 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 victory at No. 1 singles.

After nearly an hour and a half rain delay, the Irish took the courts and made quick work of the doubles point, winning at both the No. 1 and 2 spots.

Chrissie McGaffigan (Davenport, Iowa) and Kristen Rafael (Grand Prairie, Texas) claimed their first victory as a team on the season, knocking off Utah’s Evgenia Kryuchkova and Lexi Provancha, 8-3, at No. 2. The Irish pairing did not start the dual season together, but joined up for the first time against Michigan and now carry a 1-2 record.

The 57th-ranked duo of Frilling and Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.) clinched the point with a convincing 8-4 win over Anastasia Putilina and Paige Miles at No. 1 doubles. The Irish tandem, which got off to a 3-3 start at the No. 1 position, has now posted three consecutive doubles victories to push its record to 6-3.

The freshman pairing of Jennifer Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) and Julie Sabacinski (Plantation, Fla.) trailed in its No. 3 doubles match against Sarah Pham and Lucia Kovarcikova, 6-5, before the contest was abandoned with the doubles point already in hand.

The Irish bumped the advantage to 2-0, as Kellner, ranked 102nd in singles, took down Kovarcikova in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, in her second consecutive match at the No. 4 court. The freshman now owns a five-match winning streak and is 7-2 overall on the dual season.

Mathews, ranked 43rd, then pushed the Irish to match point, defeating #59 Kryuchkova in three sets (6-2, 0-6, 6-2) at No. 2 singles. The junior improved to 9-0 on the dual season, including 5-0 against other nationally-ranked opponents.

The match went final as #3 Frilling disposed of #114 Putilina at No. 1 singles in another three-set thriller, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2. Frilling continues to match Mathews win-for-win, moving to 9-0 on the dual season at the No. 1 position, including 7-0 against ranked foes.

With the match in-hand and remaining tournament matches yet to take the court the remaining three singles matches were abandoned. At No. 6, Sabacinski led Provancha, 3-6, 6-4, 5-1, before the match was called. The freshman ended the match on quite a run, winning 11 of the final 12 games after being down 0-4 in the second set.

Rafael and Pham ended their No. 3 singles match in a dead heat (6-1, 5-7, 2-2) while McGaffigan led Miles at No. 5 singles (6-3, 4-6, 3-2) when the match was halted.

The Irish improve to 5-4 on the season and now prepare to take on 22nd-ranked Oklahoma in the semifinals. The Sooners advanced with a 4-2 victory over Alabama earlier in the day and are led by the doubles team of Ana-Maria Constantinescu and Alice Radu, which is ranked 59th in the nation.

The Irish enter tomorrow’s matchup with a 4-0 all-time record versus Oklahoma; including a 2-0 mark under head coach Jay Louderback. The last time the two teams met the Irish won 9-0 back on Jan. 31, 1999.

The women’s semifinal matches are tentatively scheduled to get underway at 11:00 a.m. (CT) Saturday. Be sure to check back with for a complete recap of Saturday’s action.

Utah vs. Notre DameFeb 25, 2011 at Montgomery, Ala.#19 Notre Dame 4, Utah 0
Singles Competition1. #3 Kristy Frilling (ND) def. #114 Anastasia Putilina (UTAH) 6-1, 5-7, 6-22. #43 Shannon Mathews (ND) def. #59 Evgenia Kryuchkova (UTAH) 6-2, 0-6, 6-23. Kristen Rafael (ND) vs. Sarah Pham (UTAH) 6-1, 4-6, 2-2, unfinished4. #102 Jennifer Kellner (ND) def. Lucia Kovarcikova (UTAH) 6-3, 6-35. Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) vs. Paige Miles (UTAH) 6-3, 4-6, 3-2, unfinished6. Julie Sabacinski (ND) vs. Lexi Provancha (UTAH) 3-6, 6-4, 5-1, unfinished
Doubles Competition1. #57 Kristy Frilling/Shannon Mathews (ND) def. Anastasia Putilina/Paige Miles (UTAH) 8-42. Chrissie McGaffigan/Kristen Rafael (ND) def. Evgenia Kryuchkova/Lexi Provancha (UTAH) 8-33. Jennifer Kellner/Julie Sabacinski (ND) vs. Sarah Pham/Lucia Kovarcikova (UTAH) 5-6, unfinished
Match NotesUtah 4-6; National ranking #51Notre Dame 5-4; National ranking #19Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (4,2,1)