April 7, 2011
EVANSTON, Ill. – The 20th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team dropped a tough 4-3 decision to 16th-ranked Northwestern on Thursday evening at the Combe Tennis Center. The Irish held a 3-0 lead in the match before the Wildcats stormed back for the victory.
Notre Dame claimed the doubles point to take the early advantage despite Jennifer Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) and Julie Sabacinski (Plantation, Fla.) falling to Elena Chernyakova and Brittany Wowchuk at No. 3 doubles to get play underway, 8-3.
The 22nd-ranked duo of Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) and Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.) evened it up shortly after, taking down the seventh-ranked Wildcat team of Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton at No. 1, 8-3. The win is the 13th consecutive for Frilling and Mathews.
Chrissie McGaffigan (Davenport, Iowa) and Kristen Rafael (Grand Prairie, Texas) then clinched the opening point, holding on for an 8-6 victory over Maria Mosolova and Belinda Niu at No. 2 doubles, 8-6, marking the third straight win for the Irish pairing.
Kellner, ranked 105th in the ITA singles rankings, and Rafael then clinched the first two singles points at No. 3 and 4 singles, taking down 92nd-ranked Kate Turvy (6-3, 6-1) and 50th-ranked Wowchuk (6-3, 6-3), respectively. Kellner has now won five consecutive dual matches while Rafael has won three straight.
However, Notre Dame was unable to close out the match, losing the final four singles matches up for grabs. At. No. 1, #3 Frilling fell for just the second time this dual season, losing in three sets to #16 Mosolova, 6-4, 2-6, 6-1.
Mathews, ranked 63rd, then fell to #74 Niu at No. 2 singles, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, to bring an end to her two match winning streak. The final two matches still on court saw McGaffigan fall to Stacey Lee at No. 5 (3-6, 6-2, 6-2) and Sabacinski drop to Abu Mushrefova at No. 6 (3-6, 7-5, 6-2).
Notre Dame concludes its regular season with a pair of BIG EAST tilts, taking on Marquette on April 17 in the team’s final road contest, before returning home for the season finale against DePaul on April 23.
#16 Northwestern 4, #20 Notre Dame 3Apr 07, 2011 at Evanston, Ill. (Combe Tennis Center)
Singles competition1. #16 Maria Mosolova (NU) def. #3 Kristy Frilling (ND) 6-4, 2-6, 6-12. #74 Belinda Niu (NU) def. #63 Shannon Mathews (ND) 6-4, 4-6, 6-13. #105 Jennifer Kellner (ND) def. #87 Kate Turvy (NU) 6-3, 6-14. Kristen Rafael (ND) def. #50 Brittany Wowchuk (NU) 6-3, 6-35. Stacey Lee (NU) def. Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) 3-6, 6-2, 6-26. Linda Abu Mushrefova (NU) def. Julie Sabacinski (ND) 3-6, 7-5, 6-2
Doubles competition1. #22 Shannon Mathews/Kristy Frilling (ND) def. #7 Linda Abu Mushrefova/Nida Hamilton (NU) 8-32. Chrissie McGaffigan/Kristen Rafael (ND) def. Maria Mosolova/Belinda Niu (NU) 8-63. Brittany Wowchuk/Elena Chernyakova (NU) def. Julie Sabacinski/Jennifer Kellner (ND) 8-3
Match NotesNotre Dame 11-9; National ranking #20Northwestern 12-5; National ranking #16Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (3,4,1,2,5,6)Time-3:50 Attendance-72