Julie Sabacinski moved one match closer to advancing into the singles main draw at the ITA Midwest Regional, defeating Alexa Pitt of Toledo, 6-2, 6-1, in her qualifying bracket round-of-32 matchup.

Sabacinski Cruises, Advances To Round Of 16 In Qualifying Draw At Midwest Regional

Oct. 20, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sophomore Julie Sabacinski (Plantation, Fla.), a member of the University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team, advanced into the round of 16 of the singles qualifying draw Thursday at the ITA Midwest Regional Championships, defeating Toledo’s Alexa Pitt.

Sabacinski earned an automatic bye into the round of 32 after being seeded second amongst entrants in the qualifying draw. In the round of 32 she ran into Pitt, who advanced through the first round with a 6-3, 6-2 decision over Carrine Bjerrehus of Cleveland State. Sabacinski then made quick work of Pitt in the second round, earning her own straight-sets victory, 6-2, 6-1. The Irish sophomore now meets IPFW’s Anita Henstrosa in the round of 16 on Friday.

While Sabacinski represented the only Irish player to take to the court Thursday, the remaining members of the Irish roster found out their placement in both the main singles and doubles draws as those respective brackets were released earlier in the afternoon.

Senior Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio), winner of last year’s Midwest Regional, enters as the top seed in the singles draw and will face the winner of the match between Michelle Sulahian of Michigan and Kelsey Lawson of DePaul.

Fellow senior Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.) enters as the draw’s No. 2 seed and gets the winner of the opening round match between Northwestern’s Anna Livadaru and Ohio State’s Fidan Manashirova.

Sophomore’s Jennifer Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) and Britney Sanders (Ontario, Calif.) both enter as No. 9-12 seeds in the bracket and also receive first round byes into the round of 32. Kellner faces the winner of the match between Nicole Chiricosta of Bowling Green and Patricia Fargas of DePaul, while Sanders will receive the winner of the match between Gia McKnight of DePaul and Nina Sujashvili of Western Michigan.

Junior Chrissie McGaffigan (Davenport, Iowa) and freshman Katherine White (Columbus, Ga.) are the lone Irish players not to earn a first round bye. McGaffigan faces the second qualifier from the play-in draw, which is being contested between Illinois’ Chelcie Abajian and Wisconsin’s Nicky Stracar on Friday. White, meanwhile, gets the eighth qualifier from the play-in draw, which becomes the winner of the Sabacinski and Henstrosa matchup. First and second round main draw matches are scheduled to take place Saturday.

While the main singles draw does not get underway until the weekend, all eight Irish players will play tennis Friday as the first and second rounds of the main doubles draw takes place. All four Irish tandems earned first round byes into the round of 32. Frilling and Mathews enter the bracket as the second seed and will face either Neumann and Gustafson of DePaul or Power and Liu of Cleveland State.

The Irish pairings of McGaffigan and Kellner along with Sanders and White each earned No. 5-8 seeds in the draw to qualify for a first round bye. McGaffigan and Kellner are set to face either Steele and Manashirova of Ohio State or Sherwood and Janek of Cleveland State, while Sanders and White await the winner of Fargas and Mitrea of DePaul and Cornwell and Fernandes of Detroit. Sabacinski, meanwhile, will pair with sophomore JoHanna Manningham (Mishawaka, Ind.) for the fourth Irish pairing and they will face either Eastern Michigan’s de’Lisle-Tarr and Bhatia or Cleveland State’s Bjerrehus and Lazaris.

For continued updates of in-progress matches please visit the Midwest Regional Tournament Central page at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/ot/tennis-2011-ita-midwest.html and be sure to continue to check back with und.com for daily recaps of all the Irish matches and results.

2011 ITA Midwest Regional - Columbus, Ohio
Thursday's Notre Dame Results:
Singles Qualifying Draw - Round of 32:Julie Sabacinski (ND) def. Alexa Pitt (TOL) 6-2, 6-1
Friday's Notre Dame Scheduled Matches:
Singles Qualifying Draw - Round of 16:Julie Sabacinski (ND) vs. Anita Henstrosa (IPFW)
Doubles Main Draw - Round of 32:Frilling/Mathews (ND) vs. Winner of Neumann/Gustafson (DPU) & Power/Liu (CSU)McGaffigan/Kellner (ND) vs. Winner of Steele/Manashirova (OSU) & Sherwood/Janek (CSU)Sanders/White (ND) vs. Winner of Fargas/Mitrea (DPU) & Cornwell/Fernandes (DET)Sabacinski/Manningham (ND) vs. Winner of de'Lisle-Tarr/Bhatia (CSU) & Bjerrehus/Lazaris (CSU)