Irish Stifle Hawaii, 4-0, For Spot In NCAA Championship Second Round
EVANSTON, Ill. – The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team advanced to the NCAA Championship Second Round with a 4-0 victory over Hawai’i Friday at the Vandy Christie Tennis Center. It is the 10th consecutive year that the Irish have advanced to at least the tournament’s round of 32.
“Hawai’i is good, they are a solid, solid team,” remarked Irish head coach Jay Louderback. “We played them earlier in the year and beat them score-wise easily, but it wasn’t. They were all tight match, good matches. They’ve gotten so much better over the years. On our side of things, there’s always some nerves in the first round, but I think we got over those. We were the favored team and that’s not always easy. I thought we played our way out of some nerves early and the team did a good job overall.”
Notre Dame asserted its doubles dominance to get the match underway, clinching the opening point with wins at the No. 1 and 3 courts. Junior Chrissie McGaffigan (Davenport, Iowa) and sophomore Jennifer Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) claimed the first match, disposing of Hawai’i’s pairing of Martina Kostalova and Aglae Van den Bergh, 8-3, at the No. 3 court.
Needing just one more match to claim the opening point, the Irish turned to their eighth-ranked senior duo of Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) and Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.). The Irish duo, playing at the No. 1 court, clinched the point with an 8-5 win over Barbara Pinterova and Jamie Pawid. After giving away an early 3-0 lead in the match to find themselves trailing 4-3, Frilling and Mathews bounced back to take five of the remaining six games to close out the set.
Sophomores Britney Sanders (Ontario, Calif.) and Julie Sabacinski (Plantation, Fla.) carried a 6-5 lead in their match at the No. 2 court against Xenia Suworowa and Katarina Poljakova before the match was abandoned with the point already decided.
Frilling then got the Irish on the board in singles, continuing her hot streak at the No. 2 court. She recorded her sixth consecutive singles victory after taking down Poljakova in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3. Overall, Frilling improved her record to 17-7 since making the transition to the second singles court.
Sanders then moved the Irish within match point at No. 3 singles, taking down Pawid (6-4, 6-2) in straight sets. The victory also marks the sixth straight for Sanders and improves her to a team-best 22-4. Mathews then closed out the shutout victory, defeating Pinterova at the No. 1 court, 6-4, 6-2. She improved to 14-7 at the first court and 18-7 overall on the season.
The remaining three matches were abandoned with Kellner leading Kostalova at the No. 4 court (7-5, 1-1), McGaffigan leading Suworowa at No. 5 (7-5, 2-3) and freshman Katherine White (Columbus, Ga.) tied with Van den Bergh at No. 6 (4-6, 6-2).
Notre Dame now looks to avenge last season’s 4-0 loss to Northwestern in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Championship as the two teams meet in the round of 32 of the 2012 NCAA Championship Saturday at noon (CT). Northwestern advanced into the second round with a 4-0 victory over Akron.
1. #34 Shannon Mathews (ND) def. Barbara Pinterova (UH) 6-4, 6-2
2. #122 Kristy Frilling (ND) def. Katarina Poljakova (UH) 6-2, 6-3
3. Britney Sanders (ND) def. Jamie Pawid (UH) 6-4, 6-2
4. Jennifer Kellner (ND) vs. Martina Kostalova (UH) 7-5, 1-1, unfinished
5. Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) vs. Xenia Suworowa (UH) 7-5, 2-3, unfinished
6. Katherine White vs. Aglae Van den Bergh (UH) 4-6, 6-2, unfinished
1. #8 Kristy Frilling/Shannon Mathews (ND) def. Barbara Pinterova/Jamie Pawid (UH) 8-5
2. Britney Sanders/Julie Sabacinski (ND) vs. Xenia Suworowa/Katarina Poljakova (UH) 6-5, unfinished
3. Chrissie McGaffigan/Jennifer Kellner (ND) def. Martina Kostalova/Aglae Van den Bergh (UH) 8-3