Feb. 3, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The 24th-ranked University of Notre Dame women's tennis team (4-2) struggled to find its rhythm Friday, dropping a 6-1 decision to 17th-ranked Tennessee at the Goodfriend Tennis Center. Senior Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.) notched the lone point of the contest for the Irish, earning her second consecutive win at No. 1 singles.
The Irish co-captain recorded the victory over 24th-ranked Natalie Pluskota, who was forced to retire early in the second set. Mathews fell in the first set in tiebreaker fashion (7-6 (7-4)) before taking a 2-1 lead in the second before Pluskota was forced to retire.
Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio), in her second consecutive match at the No. 2 singles court, fell to 27th-ranked Brynn Boren in straight sets 6-2, 6-0. The remaining four matches also saw the Irish fail to claim a set. Sophomore Jennifer Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) fell to 59th-ranked Kata Szekeley at No. 3 singles (6-3, 6-1), while Britney Sanders (Ontario, Calif.) dropped a 6-2, 6-2 decision to Caitlyn Williams. The losses for Kellner and Sanders marked the first defeats on the dual season for the either of the two Irish players.
In the remaining two singles contests, Chrissie McGaffigan (Davenport, Iowa) lost to Sarah Toti 6-3, 6-2 at No. 5 singles, while Katherine White (Columbus, Ga.) suffered defeat to Joanna Henderson, 6-4, 6-2 at No. 6. Doubles proved to be much the same for the Irish, as Tennessee claimed each of the three matches to secure the point.
At No. 1 doubles, Frilling and Mathews, ranked fifth nationally, fell to Pluskota and Williams, 8-4. Sanders and White, ranked 25th, lost to 18th-ranked Boren and Toti, 8-2 at No. 2 doubles, while McGaffigan and Kellner dropped their match at No. 3 doubles, 8-1. It is the first time on the season that the Irish have been swept in doubles action.
Next on the docket for Notre Dame is a trip to Nashville, Tenn., as the team faces Vanderbilt at the Dills Indoor Tennis Courts on Sunday at noon (ET). The Commodores, ranked 18th, enter the contest with a record of 6-3 after suffering a 4-3 defeat to 10th-ranked Michigan on Friday. Be sure to check back with UND.com for a complete recap of match action.
Notre Dame vs. Tennessee Feb 03, 2012 at Knoxville, Tenn. #17 Tennessee 6, #24 Notre Dame 1
Singles competition 1. Shannon Mathews (ND) def. #24 Natalie Pluskota (TENN) 6-7 (4-7), 2-1, retired 2. #27 Brynn Boren (TENN) def. Kristy Frilling (ND) 6-2, 6-0 3. #59 Kata Szekely (TENN) def. Jennifer Kellner (ND) 6-3, 6-1 4. Caitlyn Williams (TENN) def. Britney Sanders (ND) 6-2, 6-2 5. Sarah Toti (TENN) def. Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) 6-3, 6-2 6. Joanna Henderson (TENN) def. Katherine White (ND) 6-4, 6-2
Doubles competition 1. Natalie Pluskota/Caitlyn Williams (TENN) def. #5 Kristy Frilling/Shannon Mathews (ND) 8-4 2. #18 Brynn Boren/Sarah Toti (TENN) def. #25 Britney Sanders/Katherine White (ND) 8-2 3. Joanna Henderson/Kata Szekely (TENN) def. Chrissie McGaffigan/Jennifer Kellner (ND) 8-1
Match Notes: Notre Dame 4-2; National ranking #24 Tennessee 3-2; National ranking #17 Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (2,4,5,3,6,1) T-2:50