May 10, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team claimed the early advantage at doubles before winning the final three singles decisions of the day to defeat NC State 4-1 Friday in the first round of the NCAA Championship at the University of Michigan Varsity Tennis Center.
The No. 24 Irish (18-8) swept consecutive decisions at the first and second doubles courts to take a 1-0 match lead. The 82nd-ranked tandem of Britney Sanders and Julie Sabacinski got Notre Dame off to a fast start at the second court, downing Elisa Hande and Nicole Martinez 8-4. No. 76 Jennifer Kellner and Chrissie McGaffigan clinched the opening point for the Irish at the first court with an 8-6 victory at first doubles over Joelle Kissell and Tatiana Illova.
NC State (14-10) squared the match at the fourth singles court at 1-1. Rachael James-Baker brought the Wolfpack back into the contest with a straight-set win, 6-2, 6-1, over Notre Dame’s McGaffigan.
The Irish would not lose a match the rest of the way, as Kellner got the winning started at No. 2 singles. Kellner swept Illova 7-6, 6-3 to vault Notre Dame on top 2-1. Gleason fell behind early in her match with Smith at third singles 4-6, but righted the contest with a 6-1 second set. The freshman continued her impressive rookie season by closing out Smith 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 to give the Irish a 3-1 advantage.
A three-set battle between Sanders and Kissell ensued at the No. 1 court, with the Notre Dame product taking a 6-3 advantage after one frame. Kissell responded with an identical 6-3 result in set two to send the battle to the third and deciding set. Sanders secured the match point for the Irish with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 win.
Notre Dame advances to the second round of the NCAA Championship, and will face No. 10 Michigan Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Varsity Tennis Center.
No. 24 Notre Dame vs. No. 42 NC State
2013 NCAA Championship, First Round
Varsity Tennis Center
Ann Arbor, Mich.
No. 1 — Britney Sanders (ND) d. Joelle Kissell (NC State), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
No. 2 — Jennifer Kellner (ND) d. Tatiana Illova (NC State), 7-6, 6-3
No. 3 — Quinn Gleason (ND) d. Chloe Smith (NC State), 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
No. 4 — Rachael James-Baker (NC State) d. Chrissie McGaffigan (ND), 6-2, 6-1
No. 5 — Katherine White (ND) vs. Elisha Hande (NC State), 5-7, 6-1, 4-3 DNF
No. 6 — Julie Vrabel (ND) vs. Nicole Martinez (NC State), 4-6, 7-5, 3-1 DNF
No. 1 — Kellner/McGaffigan (ND) d. Kissell/Illova (NC State), 8-6
No. 2 — Julie Sabacinski/Sanders (ND) d. Hande/Martinez (NC State), 8-4
No. 3 — Smith/Sophie Nelson (NC State) vs. Gleason/White (ND), 8-7 DNF
Order of Completion: Doubles 2-1; Singles 4-2-3-1