April 29, 2009
Both Irish student-athletes will compete in the singles competition and will team up as the No. 2 seed doubles team, as well. This marks the 14th time in 17 years that Notre Dame has had at least one player selected to both the singles and doubles championships. Tefft and Frilling are the fifth and sixth Irish players to accomplish the feat joining Wendy Crabtree, Jennifer Hall, Michelle Dasso and Catrina Thompson.
Tefft competed in both the singles and doubles competitions a year ago, advancing to the second round of the singles championship and the semifinals of the doubles event with former partner Brook Buck. Tefft and Buck lost in the first round of the doubles championships in 2007.
Tefft and Frilling went 34-3 overall this season and 21-2 in dual matches at No. 1 doubles for the Irish. They won the ITA Midwest Regional Doubles crown and were runners-up at the ITA National Indoor Doubles Championship. The duo opened the 2009 season ranked No. 1 nationally after going 13-1 in fall tournaments. The pair have stayed in the top three all season and are currently ranked No. 2.
Tefft and Frilling enter the doubles championship as the No. 2 seed behind Renata Kucerkova and Anastasia Petukhova of Fresno State.
Tefft and Frilling are just five wins shy of the Irish record of 39 doubles wins set by Tefft and Buck a year ago.
Tefft, currently ranked 29th in singles, was named the BIG EAST Player of the Year, after recording a 3-0 mark at the BIG EAST Tournament and leading the Irish to their second consecutive league title. She notched a 27-13 overall record and 17-8 mark in dual matches.
One of the top women’s tennis players in program history, the Enid, Okla., native has rewritten the Irish record books during her career. This season, she became the first Irish women’s tennis player to earn all-BIG EAST honors for four straight years.
Tefft makes up half of the most successful senior class in Irish women’s tennis history. During her career, Notre Dame has recorded a 101-19 overall record and three straight top-20 finishes. The Irish have won three BIG EAST Championships and will make their fourth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament this season.
Freshman Kristy Frilling will make her first appearance at the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships.
An All-American in 2008, Tefft is ranked first all-time in the Irish record books with 152 doubles wins, 97 doubles dual-match wins, and 260 combined wins. Her 108 singles victories place her fourth all-time among the Irish greats.
Frilling has had one of the most successful freshman seasons in program history. The BIG EAST Freshman of the Year went 26-9 overall this season, including an 18-8 mark in dual matches at first and second singles. The Sidney, Ohio native opened her collegiate career by taking the singles and doubles titles at the Fall Gator Classic. She is currently ranked 38th in singles nationally.
Sixty-four singles players and 32 doubles teams are selected for the NCAA Championships that will be held May 20-25 in College Station, Texas. A full list of qualifiers can be found on www.ncaa.com.
The eight seeded teams in doubles have already assured themselves of being named ITA All-Americans in doubles, and they will be joined by the tournament’s quarterfinalists, as well as any squad finishing in the national top 10. This will be the second All-America honor for Tefft and first for Frilling.
Since 1989, Notre Dame competitors have garnered 25 invitations to the national singles tournament and 17 to the doubles event.
Before the singles and doubles tournament begins, the Irish will compete in the NCAA Team Championships, beginning May 8. The No. 5 Irish will host first and second round action, taking on UIC at 1:00 p.m. in the opening round.