Feb. 27, 2011
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The 19th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team upset ninth-ranked and No. 1 seeded Virginia, 4-0, Sunday at the Lagoon Park Tennis Center to claim the inaugural women’s Blue Gray Classic title. The win gives the Irish their first win against Virginia in program history.
“We played really well throughout the weekend,” Irish head coach Jay Louderback said. “We got better every day which was really nice to see. I was a little worried about only getting one day of practice outdoors before we began the tournament. Utah had played a tournament outdoors and Oklahoma had played a couple of matches as well, so that made me a little bit nervous. That didn’t bother us at all though, and just seeing how we played outdoors, I feel really good about what we can do outside.”
For the fourth consecutive match, and seventh time overall on the season, the Irish jumped out to a 1-0 lead after securing the doubles point.
The freshman pairing of Jennifer Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) and Julie Sabacinski (Plantation, Fla.) earned their most impressive win to-date as members of the Irish, knocking off the 51st-ranked pairing of Maria Fuccillo and Rashmi Teltumbde, 8-4, at No. 3 doubles. The win also improves the duo to 2-3 since joining forces against Michigan.
Juniors Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) and Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.), ranked 57th, clinched the point at No. 1 doubles. The duo took down the Cavaliers’ 10th-ranked duo of Emily Fraser and Hana Tomljanovic, 8-6, also marking their most impressive victory as a tandem. Frilling and Mathews’ win streak now stands at five matches.
Senior Kristen Rafael (Grand Prairie, Texas) and sophomore Chrissie McGaffigan (Davenport, Iowa) were all square with 67th-ranked Lindsey Hardenbergh and Erin Vierra at No. 2 doubles, 7-7, when the match was abandoned.
“Our doubles play was much better each of the three days,” Louderback stated. “(Assistant coach) Julia (Scaringe) has been working with the freshmen and they played really well in each of the three matches. Everything we’ve been working on for this weekend came together really well, especially in doubles play.”
McGaffigan got the Irish rolling in singles, earning her second consecutive win at the No. 5 position. She took down Fuccillo in straight sets, 6-4, 6-0, to push the Notre Dame advantage to 2-0. The Irish sophomore is now 2-0 at No. 5 and 3-6 overall on the dual season.
Rafael then earned her first win of the weekend after her first two matches went unfinished. She took care of #54 Vierra at No. 3 singles in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1. The victory is her second consecutive at No. 3 and improves her dual record to 5-4. It also represents the first ranked opponent she has defeated on the campaign.
“The thing that really bolstered us this weekend was Chrissie and Kristen,” Louderback exclaimed. “They’d both struggled a bit in singles coming in, but played really well this weekend. They broke out of it in singles and played great doubles as well. We’ve played great at the top of the lineup so getting good contribution from them in the middle of the lineup makes us a really tough team to play.”
With the Irish sitting on match point, Mathews closed out the Cavaliers by knocking off #67 Hardenbergh at No. 2 singles, 6-4, 6-4, to improve her singles record to 10-0 on the year. She also now owns a 27-11 record over her career at No. 2 singles.
The remaining three matches went unfinished with Frilling tied with Fraser at No. 1 singles (6-7, 6-4), Kellner leading Tomljanovic at No. 5 singles (6-1, 2-6, 4-3) and Sabacinski leading Caryssa Peretz at No. 6 singles (7-5, 5-5).
Frilling was named the Blue Gray Classic Most Valuable Player in the women’s draw, posting a 2-0 singles record over the three days while also going 3-0 with Mathews in doubles play.
The Irish have now won four consecutive matches to run their record to 7-4 and enjoy a brief break before returning to action against Indiana on Friday at 3:00 p.m. (ET) at the Varsity Tennis Courts in Bloomington, Ind.
Virginia vs. Notre DameFeb 26, 2011 at Montgomery, Ala.#19 Notre Dame 4, #9 Virginia 0
Singles Competition1. #3 Kristy Frilling (ND) vs. #41 Emily Fraser (UVA) 6-7, 6-4, 0-0 unfinished2. #43 Shannon Mathews (ND) def. #67 Lindsey Hardenbergh (UVA) 6-4, 6-43. Kristen Rafael (ND) def. #54 Erin Vierra (UVA) 6-2, 6-14. #102 Jennifer Kellner (ND) vs. Hana Tomljanovic (UVA) 6-1, 2-6, 4-3, unfinished5. Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) def. Maria Fuccillo (UVA) 6-4, 6-06. Julie Sabacinski (ND) vs. Caryssa Peretz (UVA) 7-5, 5-5, unfinished
Doubles Competition1. #57 Kristy Frilling/Shannon Mathews (ND) def. #10 Emily Fraser/Hana Tomljanovic (UVA) 8-62. Kristen Rafael/Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) vs. #67 Lindsey Hardenbergh/Erin Vierra (UVA) 7-7, unfinished3. Jennifer Kellner/Julie Sabacinski (ND) def. #51 Maria Fuccillo/Rashmi Teltumbde (UVA) 8-4
Match NotesVirginia 10-2; National ranking #9Notre Dame 7-4; National ranking #19Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (5,3,2)