NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team stretched its record to 4-1 this season with a 4-3 win over Tennessee Sunday inside the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
The Irish, ranked 18th in the latest ITA team poll, secured the doubles point early in the contest to take a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Molly O'Koniewski and junior Julie Sabacinski opened the scoring with their most dominant doubles outing of the season, blanking Jesse Grace and Mimi Fotopoulos 8-0 at the No. 3 court.
Tennessee (0-4) battled back, as the 12th ranked team of Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely downed the Notre Dame tandem of junior Jennifer Kellner and senior Chrissie McGaffigan 8-2 at the No. 1 court. The loss was the first of the regular season for Kellner and McGaffigan, and squared the doubles portion at 1-all.
Trailing 4-2 at the No. 2 court, the Notre Dame duo of freshman Quinn Gleason and junior Britney Sanders claimed six of the final eight points from No. 41 Caitlyn Williams and Joanna Henderson, defeating the Volunteer twosome 8-6 to clinch the doubles win.
McGaffigan got the Irish on the board first during singles, picking up a straight set win over Tennessee’s Joanna Henderson at the No. 4 court. McGaffigan took the lead early in the frame and did not look back, earning a 6-4, 6-1 decision.
Boren scored the first Tennessee point of the match at the No. 1 court. The No. 12 player in the country downed No. 58 Sanders 6-3, 6-2 to pull the Volunteers within one at 2-1.
Tennessee evened the contest at the No. 2 court, as No. 25 Kata Szekely defeated Kellner 6-3, 6-2 to square the team score at 2-2.
Gleason battled to the wire with Caitlyn Williams at the No. 3 court, and the match needed a third set to settle the score. Gleason avoided a tiebreaker in the final frame, claiming a hard-earned 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 victory to push the Irish in front by one (3-2).
O'Koniewski secured the team win for Notre Dame with stellar play at No. 6 singles. Trailing 7-5 after the opening set, O’Koniewski turned in a pair of 6-4 decisions to defeat Tiffany Tavares 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 for the fourth and final Irish point.
Notre Dame travels to Iowa for a dual contest Monday at 4 p.m. (ET) inside the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex.
No. 18 Notre Dame 4, No. 25 Tennessee 3
February 3, 2013
Eck Tennis Pavilion
1. #23 Brynn Boren (UT) def. #58 Britney Sanders (ND) 6-3, 6-2
2. #25 Kata Szekely (UT) def. Jennifer Kellner (ND) 6-3, 6-2
3. Quinn Gleason (ND) def. Caitlyn Williams (UT) 6-2, 4-6, 7-5
4. Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) def. Joanna Henderson (UT) 6-4, 6-1
5. Mimi Fotopoulos (UT) def. Julie Sabacinski (ND) 6-2, 7-6 (7-4)
6. Molly O'Koniewski (ND) def. Tiffany Tavares (UT) 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
1. #12 Boren/Szekely (UT) def. Kellner/McGaffigan (ND) 8-2
2. Gleason/Sanders (ND) def. #41 Williams/Henderson (UT) 8-6
3. O'Koniewski/Sabacinski (ND) def. Jesse Grace/Fotopoulos (UT) 8-0
Tennessee 0-4; National ranking #25
Notre Dame 4-1; National ranking #18
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (4,1,2,3,6,5)