May 22, 2010
ATHENS, Ga. – The Fighting Irish women’s tennis team is back in the NCAA semifinals. Notre Dame advanced to the final four with a 4-2 victory over No. 14 Tennessee Saturday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
With the win, the Irish improve to 26-3 on the season, while the Lady Vols fell to 19-9. Notre Dame will take on the winner of the Baylor-Stanford match at 2:00 p.m. (ET) Monday.
“Tennessee played well in doubles. We haven’t been beaten up in doubles like that before,” Irish head coach Jay Louderback said. “This is our second year in a row in the semifinals, and our kids have been through a lot of the big times. I think we are ready for whoever we play next.”
Despite a hard-fought charge by the Irish, the Lady Vols took the early 1-0 lead after winning the doubles point. The third-ranked duo of Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) and Kali Krisik (Arkansas City, Kan.) upset No. 1 Caitlin Whoriskey and Natalie Pluskota, 8-6, at first doubles. With the win, the Irish tandem improved to 24-0 and handed the Tennessee team their first dual-match loss of the season. No. 30 Roslia Alda and Zsofia Zubor topped Cosmina Ciobanu (Brea, Calif.) and Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.) 8-6, at second doubles to even the match. Maria Sorbello and Kata Szekely clinched the point for Tennessee with a 9-8 win over Chrissie McGaffigan (Davenport, Iowa) and Kristen Rafael (Grand Prairie, Texas) at No. 3 doubles.
Ciobanu tied the match at 1-1 with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Zubor at fourth singles. The win was Ciobanu’s 26th, tying her career high for singles wins in a season. The Lady Vols moved ahead 2-1 as Szekely bested Rafael, 6-2, 7-5, at No. 6 singles.
No. 108 Mathews knocked off No. 62 Sorbello, 7-5, 6-3, at second singles to even the match at 2-2 and improve to 17-10 on the season. Krisik put the Irish up, 3-2, with a 6-2, 7-6, win over Jennifer Meredith at No. 5, notching her 18th win of the season.
No. 16 Frilling clinched the win for the Irish with a 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 upset of No. 11 Whoriskey at first singles. Frilling improved to 21-6 on the season with the win.
McGaffigan was battling Alda, 6-3, 5-7, 3-2, at No. 3 when the point was clinched.
Live stats and video for Monday’s semifinal match will be available at www.ncaa.com.
#6 Notre Dame 4, #14 Tennessee 2
1. #16 Kristy Frilling (ND) def. #11 Caitlin Whoriskey (UT) 6-3, 6-7, 6-3
2. #108 Shannon Mathews (ND) def. #62 Maria Sorbello (UT) 7-5, 6-3
3. Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) vs. Rosalia Alda (UT) 6-3, 7-5, 3-2, unf.
4. Cosmina Ciobanu (ND) def. Zsofia Zubor (UT) 6-2, 6-1
5. Kali Krisik (ND) def. Jennifer Meredith (UT) 6-2, 7-6
6. Kata Szekely (UT) def. Kristen Rafael (ND) 6-2, 7-5
Order of finish: 4,6,2,5,1
1. #3 Frilling/Krisik (ND) def. #1 Whoriskey/Pluskota (UT) 8-6
2. #30 Alda/Zubor (UT) def. Ciobanu/Mathews (ND) 8-6
3. Sorbello/Szekely (UT) def. McGaffigan/Rafael (ND) 9-8
Order of finish: 1,2,3