Kristy Frilling and Shannon Mathews lead the 20th ranked Irish into the 2012 season as the fifth-best duo in the nation.

Sabacinski Qualifies, Two Irish Doubles Teams Advance At ITA Midwest Regional

Oct. 22, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sophomore Julie Sabacinski (Plantation, Fla.), a sophomore on the Irish women’s tennis team, punched her ticket to the main singles draw at the 2011 ITA Midwest Regionals on Friday at the Ohio State Varsity Tennis Center, defeating IPFW’s Anita Henestrosa in straight sets. In addition, two Irish doubles teams advanced to the round of 16 in the doubles main draw.

Sabacinski received one of eight qualifier spots into the singles main draw after notching her second-straight, straight-sets decision over Henestrosa, 6-4, 6-3. As a result the Irish sophomore begins her main draw quest Saturday, facing Ohio State’s Kara Cecil in the round of 48. With a victory, Sabacinski would play a second match on the day against Akron’s Zara Harutyunyan in the round of 32.

Joining Sabacinski in potentially having to play two singles matches on Saturday are junior Chrissie McGaffigan (Davenport, Iowa) and freshman Katherine White (Columbus, Ga.). McGaffigan opens her draw against Chrissy Coffman of Toledo and with a win would face Brittany Wowchuk of Northwestern. White, meanwhile, squares off with Tiffany Ditmer of Ohio State in her opener and with a victory would tangle with Emina Bektas of Michigan.

The remaining Irish players earned a bye into the round of 32. 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.

Sophomores Jennifer Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) and Britney Sanders (Ontario, Calif.) both enter as No. 9-12 seeds in the bracket. 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.

A lone round of doubles also takes place on Saturday, with two Irish teams competing after notching victories on Friday. The team of Frilling and Mathews advanced into the round of 16 with a decisive 8-1 win over Cleveland State’s Power and Liu and now await a matchup with Trgovich and Stracar of Wisconsin. McGaffigan and Kellner also advanced, taking down Steele and Manashirova of Ohio State, 8-5. The Irish tandem squares off against Harutvunvan and Pantusart of Akron in their round of 16 tilt.

Sanders and White along with Sabacinski and Manningham saw their respective doubles draws come to a close on Friday, as both teams fell in their opening matches. Sanders and White fell to DePaul’s Fargas and Mitrea, 8-5, while Sabacinski and Manningham were unable to hold on to an early 4-1 lead, dropping an 8-6 thriller to Cleveland State’s Bjerrehus and Lazaris.

For continued updates of in-progress matches please visit the Midwest Regional Tournament Central page at and be sure to continue to check back with for daily recaps of all the Irish matches and results.

2011 ITA Midwest Regional - Columbus, Ohio
Friday's Notre Dame Results:
Singles Qualifying Draw - Round of 16Julie Sabacinski (ND) def. Anita Henestrosa (IPFW) 6-4, 6-3
Doubles Main Draw - Round of 32Frilling/Mathews (ND) def. Power/Liu (CSU) 8-1McGaffigan/Kellner (ND) def. Steele/Manashirova (OSU) 8-5Fargas/Mitrea (DPU) def. Sanders/White (ND) 8-5Bjerrehus/Lazaris (CSU) def. Sabacinski/Manningham (ND) 8-6
Saturday's Notre Dame Scheduled Matches:
Doubles Main Draw - Round of 16Frilling/Mathews (ND) vs. Trgovich/Stracar (WIS)McGaffigan/Kellner (ND) vs. Harutvunvan/Pantusart (AKRON)
Singles Main Draw - Round of 48Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) vs. Chrissy Coffman (TOL)Katherine White (ND) vs. Tiffany Ditmer (OSU)Julie Sabacinski (ND) vs. Kara Cecil (OSU)
Singles Main Draw - Round of 32Kristy Frilling (ND) vs. Sulahian (MICH) or Lawson (DPU)Shannon Mathews (ND) vs. Livandaru (NWU) or Manashirova (OSU)Jennifer Kellner (ND) vs. Chiricosta (BGSU) or Fargas (DPU)Britney Sanders (ND) vs. McKnight (DPU) or Sujashvili (WMU)