Jennifer Kellner's triumph at No. 3 singles propelled the Irish to a hard-fought 4-3 victory over No. 20 Texas Tech.

No. 21 Irish Outlast No. 20 Texas Tech, 4-3

March 13, 2012

Box Score

HONOLULU, Hawai’i – In a match that lasted over eight hours, the No. 21 University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team outlasted No. 20 Texas Tech, 4-3, Monday at the UH Tennis Complex and Diamond Head Tennis Center. Sophomore Jennifer Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) clinched the victory with her win at No. 3 singles.

The Irish (10-4) claimed the doubles point for the fifth-straight contest and split the six singles matches to hold off Texas Tech (11-3) for the 4-3 victory in the two schools’ first-ever meeting. It is the fifth victory in the last six matches for Notre Dame while the Red Raiders saw their four-match winning streak snapped with the loss.

The match began at the UH Tennis Complex with all three doubles matches finishing with no delays. Mother nature had other plans for the remainder of the match, however, forcing both team’s to move to the nearby Diamond Head Tennis Center to play out the singles matches after a nearly two-and-a-half hour delay saw the rain continue to fall.

Sophomores Britney Sanders (Ontario, Calif.) and Julie Sabacinski (Plantation, Fla.) closed out the first doubles match at court two, defeating Texas Tech’s Caroline Starck and Nikki Sanders, twin sister of Britney, 8-3. The Irish duo has now won five consecutive matches and has won six of seven since pairing up midway through the dual season.

The Red Raiders claimed No. 1 doubles to keep the point up for grabs as #2 Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) and Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.) fell to #47 Samantha Adams and Kenna Kilgo, 9-7. Frilling and Mathews battled back from a 7-4 deficit to even the score at seven-all before losing the final two games of the match.

The point came down to No. 3 doubles, with junior Chrissie McGaffigan (Davenport, Iowa) and Kellner taking on the Texas Tech duo of Elizabeth Ullathorne and Rashmi Teltumbde. The Irish fell behind in the match 7-0 to the Red Raiders before reeling off eight consecutive games to claim an 8-7 lead in the set. Texas Tech won the next game to even the set, 8-8, but Kellner and McGaffigan clinched the point in the tiebreaker, 9-8 (7-4).

Singles action saw three of the first five courts to finish go the way of Texas Tech, running the match score to 3-3. The Irish claimed victories at No. 1 and 5 singles as Mathews, ranked 52nd, defeated #123 Ullathorne (6-2, 7-5) and McGaffigan defeated N. Sanders (6-4, 6-0), respectively. The victory for McGaffigan brought Sanders’ 12-match winning streak to an end, including closing out a 9-0 start to her dual season.

The Red Raiders, meanwhile, claimed victories at No. 2, 4 and 6 singles. Frilling, ranked 73rd, fell to Adams at No. 2, 2-6, 6-0, 6-4, while #102 B. Sanders lost to Starck at No. 4 (6-2, 6-3) and Sabacinski lost to Kilgo at No. 6 (7-6, 6-0).

The deciding point came down to No. 3 singles where Kellner and Teltumbde were facing off. The Red Raiders took early advantage of the match as Teltumbde won the first set 6-2 and jumped out to a 4-0 advantage in the second. Kellner stopped the rally there, however, fighting back to win the second set, 7-6, before pulling away in the decisive third set, 6-3, to secure the overall match victory.

Notre Dame returns to the courts Wednesday for match two of its three-match Hawaiian Islands trip as it takes on the host, Hawai’i. First serve is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. (ET) at the UH Tennis Complex.

Texas Tech vs. Notre DameMar 12, 2012 at Honolulu, Hawaii (UH Tennis Complex)#21 Notre Dame 4, #20 Texas Tech 3
Singles Competition1. #52 Shannon Mathews (ND) def. #123 Elizabeth Ullathorne (TT) 6-2, 7-52. Samantha Adams (TT) def. #73 Kristy Frilling (ND) 2-6, 6-0, 6-43. Jennifer Kellner (ND) def. Rashmi Teltumbde (TT) 2-6, 7-6, 6-34. Caroline Starck (TT) def. #102 Britney Sanders (ND) 6-2, 6-35. Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) def. Nikki Sanders (TT) 6-4, 6-06. Kenna Kilgo (TT) def. Julie Sabacinski (ND) 7-6, 6-0
Doubles Competition1. #47 Samantha Adams/Kenna Kilgo (TT) def. #2 Kristy Frilling/Shannon Mathews (ND) 9-72. Britney Sanders/Julie Sabacinski (ND) def. Caroline Starck/Nikki Sanders (TT) 8-33. Jennifer Kellner/Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) def. Elizabeth Ullathorne/Rashmi Teltumbde (TT) 9-8
Match NotesTexas Tech 11-3; National ranking #20Notre Dame 10-4; National rankings #21Order of Finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (4,5,6,1,2,3)