April 2, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 19th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team moved to 11-8 on the season after claiming a 6-1 victory over 32nd-ranked Texas A&M on Saturday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Irish won the doubles point to go along with five of the six singles matches on the day.
For the second consecutive day, the Irish used a strong start in doubles to jump out to an early 1-0 advantage. The 22nd-ranked Irish tandem of Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) and Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.) was first to finish for the second straight day, defeating Jannelle Cuthbertson and Christi Liles at No. 1 doubles, 8-5. The win bumps improves Frilling and Mathews’ win streak to 12 straight and moves their dual record to 15-3.
Chrissie McGaffigan (Davenport, Iowa) and Kristen Rafael (Grand Prairie, Texas) then clinched the point for the Irish after disposing of Morgan Frank and Nazari Urbina at No. 2 doubles, 8-6. After falling behind 6-5 to the Aggies’ duo, the Irish rebounded to hold, break and hold serve to earn the decision. The Irish pairing now has a 5-5 record at the No. 2 position and is 5-6 overall.
The final doubles match saw Jennifer Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) and Julie Sabacinski (Plantation, Fla.) fall to Stephanie Davidson and Sheri Olivier, 9-8 (7-3), at No. 3 doubles. The Irish duo pulled ahead 7-4, but was unable to hold the lead as the Aggies won the next four games before Notre Dame forced the set into a tiebreak. Texas A&M took back momentum, however, to win the tiebreak, 7-3.
Singles got underway with McGaffigan winning at No. 5 over Cuthbertson. The Irish sophomore led 6-2, 3-0 in the match before her opponent was forced to retire due to injury. The victory bumps McGaffigan to 4-3 at the No. 5 position.
The margin moved to 3-0 as Mathews, ranked 63rd in the nation in singles, earned another straight-sets decision as she defeated Frank, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1, at No. 2. Mathews improves to 14-2 on the year at that position and is 14-4 overall on the dual season.
Kellner, ranked 105th, then made the match official as she took down Liles at No. 3 singles, 6-3, 6-3. The Irish freshman continues to build upon her impressive first year with the program, improving to 15-3 in dual play and 4-1 at the No. 3 court. She also has gone 8-1 with an unfinished result in her last 10 matches.
Rafael and Frilling continued the Irish momentum, notching the next two points at No. 4 and 1 singles, respectively. Rafael claimed a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Davidson to move to 2-0 on the dual season at No. 4, while the third-ranked Frilling took down 24th-ranked Urbina, 6-1, 6-2 to improve to 15-1 at No. 1.
The lone Aggies point came in the final match still on court, as Lauren Santacroce defeated Sabacinski at No. 6 singles, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2.
With the win the Irish improve to 11-8 on the season with three regular season contests remaining on the schedule. Notre Dame next returns to action on Thursday (Apr. 7) when it heads to Evanston, Ill., for a showdown with Northwestern.
Texas A&M vs. Notre DameApr 02, 2011 at Notre Dame, Ind.#19 Notre Dame 6, #32 Texas A&M 1
Singles competition1. #3 Kristy Frilling (ND) def. #24 Nazari Urbina (TEXAM) 6-1, 6-22. #63 Shannon Mathews (ND) def. Morgan Frank (TEXAM) 7-6 (7-5), 6-13. #105 Jennifer Kellner (ND) def. Christi Liles (TEXAM) 6-3, 6-34. Kristen Rafael (ND) def. Stephanie Davidson (TEXAM) 6-0, 6-35. Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) def. Janelle Cuthbertson (TEXAM) 6-2, 3-0, retired6. Lauren Santacroce (TEXAM) def. Julie Sabacinski (ND) 7-6 (7-4), 6-2
Doubles competition1. #22 Kristy Frilling/Shannon Mathews (ND) def. Janelle Cuthbertson/Christi Liles (TEXAM) 8-52. Chrissie McGaffigan/Kristen Rafael (ND) def. Morgan Frank/Nazari Urbina (TEXAM) 8-63. Stephanie Davidson/Sheri Olivier (TEXAM) def. Jennifer Kellner/Julie Sabacinski (ND) 9-8 (7-3)
Match Notes:Texas A&M 9-5; National ranking #32Notre Dame 11-8; National ranking #19Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (5,1,3,4,2,6)Attendance-75