NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team battled back from a one-point deficit early in singles play to down No. 19 Baylor 4-2 Saturday inside the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
The No. 22 Irish (6-3) took control early in the match, winning at two of the three doubles courts to secure the doubles point. Jennifer Kellner and Chrissie McGaffigan needed a tiebreaker to defeat Baylor’s Alex Leatu and Kiah Generette, downing the Bears duo 9-8 (7-5) at the No. 2 court. Notre Dame clinched the point at No. 3 doubles, as Quinn Gleason and Katherine White overcame Megan Horter and Alex Clay in a tiebreaker 9-8 (7-2).
Baylor (4-5) evened the team score at 1-1 at the No. 5 singles court. Maria Biryukova swept Notre Dame’s White in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. The Bears then took their only lead of the match (2-1) at No. 6 singles after Leatu defeated Julie Vrabel 6-4, 6-3. Vrabel was making her first career appearance for the Irish in the contest.
It was all Notre Dame the rest of the way, jumpstarted by a comeback win at the No. 1 singles court by No. 74 Britney Sanders. Sanders fell behind 13th-ranked Ema Burgic 6-0 before rallying in the second set (6-4). The Irish junior captured her third straight singles decision in the final frame, winning 0-6, 6-4, 6-2.
McGaffigan gave Notre Dame a 3-2 advantage at No. 4 singles, downing Generette 7-5, 6-1 in straight sets. The senior co-captain improved to 7-1 in dual matches this season.
The Irish clinched the team match at the No. 2 court after a straight set win for by Kellner. The Irish co-captain swept Victoria Kisialeva 6-2, 6-4 to earn the fourth Notre Dame point.
A match between Notre Dame’s Gleason and Horter was abandoned after Kellner’s victory. The contest at the No. 3 court was tied at one set apiece.
The Irish travel to Bloomington, Ind., Sunday at 11 a.m. for a non-conference match against Indiana.
No. 22 Notre Dame 4, No. 19 Baylor 2
Eck Tennis Pavilion
Notre Dame, Ind.
1. No. 74 Britney Sanders (ND) def. No. 13 Ema Burgic (BU) 0-6, 6-4, 6-2
2. Jennifer Kellner (ND) def. Victoria Kisialeva (BU) 6-2, 6-4
3. Quinn Gleason (ND) vs. No. 86 Megan Horter (BU) 3-6, 6-2, 2-4 unfinished
4. Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) def. Kiah Generette (BU) 7-5, 6-1
5. Maria Biryukova (BU) def. Katherine White (ND) 6-2, 6-4
6. Alex Leatu (BU) def. Julie Vrabel (ND) 6-4, 6-3
1. No. 41 Burgic/Kisialeva (BU) def. No. 30 Julie Sabacinski/Sanders 8-6
2. Kellner/McGaffigan (ND) def. Leatu/Generette (BU) 9-8 (7-5)
3. Gleason/White (ND) def. Horter/Clay (BU) 9-8 (7-2)
Baylor 4-6; National ranking #19
Notre Dame 6-3; National ranking #22
Order of finish: Doubles (1, 2, 3); Singles (5, 6, 1, 4, 2)