April 19, 2009
TAMPA, Fla. – The fourth-ranked and top-seeded Irish women’s tennis team defeated second-seed DePaul, 4-2, Sunday, earning their second straight BIG EAST Championship. The victory gave Notre Dame its ninth overall league title and a berth to the NCAA Championships for the 14th consecutive year.
The Irish (24-4) have won their last six matches and handed the Blue Demons two of their five losses on the season. They also snapped DePaul’s five-match win streak.
Notre Dame’s strong doubles play, once again, led the attack as the Irish won two of three matches to earn the doubles point and a 1-0 lead.
Shannon Mathews and Colleen Rielley defeated Katarina Milinkovic and Gia McKnight, 8-1, at No. 3 doubles, reaching the 20-win mark in dual matches for the season. The duo is 20-8 in dual action and has won six straight.
The second-ranked team of Kristy Frilling and Kelcy Tefft clinched the point for the Irish with an 8-2 win over Anna Redesci and Selma Salkovic at No. 1 doubles. Tefft and Frilling improved to 34-3 overall this season and 21-2 in dual matches. They have won 13 of their last 14 matches, including seven straight.
Redesci tied the match at 1-1 when she upset No. 37 Frilling, 7-5, 6-4, at second singles. Frilling fell to 26-9 on the season, but has won seven of her last 10 matches.
DePaul took a 2-1 lead when Milinkovic topped Kristen Rafael, 6-1, 7-5, at sixth singles. It was the first time the Irish had trailed in this year’s tournament.
Krisik battled McKnight at No. 5 singles, earning a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory to tie the match at 2-2. Krisik was down 2-3 in the first set, before fighting back to take the set, 6-3. The Irish junior improved to 28-8 and has won her last 11 matches.
No. 35 Tefft outlasted Antunovic, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0, at No. 1 singles to give the Irish a 3-2 lead. Tefft has won eight of her last 10 matches and is 27-13 on the season.
Mathews clinched the win for the Irish with a 7-6 (7-1), 6-2, win over Sandra Zmak at fourth singles. Sunday’s win gave Mathews her 30th singles win of the season. She leads the Irish with a 30-6 overall record and a 24-2 mark in dual matches.
Ciobanu was leading Salkovic, 6-4, 6-6 (5-4), at No. 3 singles when the match was called.
The Irish are now 13-0 all-time against DePaul, including a 3-0 mark in the BIG EAST Tournament.
Notre Dame will take some time off before the NCAA Championships begin May 9-10. The Irish will have to wait until the pairings are announced in early May to see if they will host the first and second rounds for the third time in four seasons.
#4 Notre Dame 4, #45 DePaul 2
1. #35 Kelcy Tefft (ND) def. Dunja Antunovic (DU) 6-2, 3-6, 6-0
2. Anna Redesci (DU) def. #37 Kristy Frilling (ND) 7-5, 6-4
3. Cosmina Ciobanu (ND) vs. Selma Salkovic (DU) 6-4, 6-6 (5-4), unfinished
4. Shannon Mathews (ND) def. Sandra Zmak (DU) 7-6 (7-1), 6-2
5. Kali Krisik (ND) def. Gia McKnight (DU) 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
6. Katarina Milinkovic (DU) def. Kristen Rafael (ND) 6-1, 7-5
1. #2 Kristy Frilling/Kelcy Tefft (ND) def. Anna Redesci/Selma Salkovic (DU) 8-2
2. #79 Kali Krisik/Cosmina Ciobanu (ND) vs. #81 Dunja Antunovic/Kirsten Gambrell (DU) 7-2, unfinished
3. Shannon Mathews/Colleen Rielley (ND) def. Katarina Milinkovic/Gia McKnight (DU) 8-1
DePaul 21-5; National ranking #45
Notre Dame 24-4; National ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (2,6,5,1,4)