Junior Jennifer Kellner earned a 6-4, 6-3 win over Bowling Green's Nikki Chiricosta Friday

No. 19 Irish Blank Bowling Green In Home Opener

Jan. 18, 2013

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team won each match during its home opening contest, shutting out Bowling Green 7-0 Friday inside the Eck Tennis Pavilion.

The Irish (1-0), ranked No. 19 according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll, needed three sets in only one singles tilt, a 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-8) victory for sophomore Molly O’Koniewski (Hilton Head, S.C.) in her Notre Dame debut against Bowling Green’s (0-1) Katie Brozovich. O’Koniewski opened a 9-5 lead during the third set tiebreaker, then withstood a Brozovich rally to hold serve and cap the Irish win.

Junior Julie Sabacinski (Plantation, Fla.) was impressive in her first spring outing, downing Jade Johnson on the No. 5 court. Sabacinski battled to a 6-2 first set win, then cruised to a 6-0 shutout in set two to clinch the decision.

Senior Chrissie McGaffigan (Davenport, Iowa) was the next Notre Dame player to finish, beating Bowling Green’s Mary Hill at the No. 4 court. McGaffigan opened with a 6-3 first set, and then inched ahead with a 3-2 lead in the second. The Irish co-captain won the final three points of the second frame to give Notre Dame a commanding 3-0 advantage in team scoring.

Freshman Quinn Gleason (Mendon, N.Y.) clinched the team win for the Irish with a 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) triumph at the No. 3 court over Falcon counterpart Maddy Eccleston. Gleason and Eccleston jockeyed for position late in the second set, tying at 5-5 and again at 6-6 to send the set into a tiebreaker. Gleason scored a handful of decisive winners in the tiebreaker to close the match in straight sets.

Junior Britney Sanders (Ontario, Calif.) also needed a second set tiebreaker at the No. 1 court against Emily Reuland. The No. 58 ranked player in the ITA singles rankings raced to a 6-1 first set triumph, but fell behind 6-5 in the second set. Timely shot making by Sanders squared the match at 6-6, and a successful tiebreaker gave her a 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) victory.

Junior captain Jennifer Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) rounded out the Notre Dame lineup with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Bowling Green’s Nikki Chiricosta. Kellner won the final two points of the second set to close out Chiricosta.

Notre Dame claimed the doubles point earlier in the day, powered by an 8-2 win for Gleason and Sanders over Katie Grubb and Eccleston to open play. The Irish secured the doubles portion thanks to an 8-5 triumph by O’Koniewski and Sabacinski over Johnson and Hill. Kellner and McGaffigan edged Reuland and Chiricosta 8-6 to sweep the doubles draw.

The Irish return to action at Illinois Sunday at 1 p.m. (ET).

Notre Dame Women’s Tennis: January 18, 2013
No. 19 Notre Dame 7, Bowling Green 0
Eck Tennis Pavilion, Notre Dame, Ind.

1. #58 Britney Sanders (ND) def. Emily Reuland (BGSU) 6-1, 7-6 (7-5)
2. Jennifer Kellner (ND) def. Nikki Chiricosta (BGSU) 6-4, 6-3
3. Quinn Gleason (ND) def. Maddy Eccleston (BGSU) 6-2, 7-6 (7-4)
4. Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) def. Mary Hill (BGSU) 6-3, 6-2
5. Julie Sabacinski (ND) def. Jade Johnson (BGSU) 6-2, 6-0
6. Molly O’Koniewski (ND) def. Katie Brozovich (BGSU) 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-8)

1. Kellner/McGaffigan (ND) def. Reuland/Chiricosta (BGSU) 8-6
2. Gleason/Sanders (ND) def. Katie Grubb/Eccleston (BGSU) 8-2
3. O’Koniewski/Sabacinski (ND) def. Johnson/Hill (BGSU) 8-5

Match Notes:
Bowling Green 0-1
Notre Dame 1-0; National ranking #19
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (5,4,3,1,2,6)