April 1, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The 19th-ranked University of Notre Dame women's tennis team made easy work of 44th-ranked Long Beach State on Friday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Irish claimed a 5-2 victory en route to improving to 10-8 on the dual campaign.
Notre Dame got off to a quick start in the match when, for the first time since a 6-1 win over Wake Forest on Feb. 6, the Irish took each of the three doubles matches up for grabs.
The 22nd-ranked tandem of Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) and Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.) concluded first as they knocked off Anais Dallara and Klaudia Malenovska at No. 1 doubles, 8-3. The Irish pairing has now won 11 consecutive matches and improves to 14-3 during the dual campaign.
The point was then clinched as Chrissie McGaffigan (Davenport, Iowa) and Kristen Rafael (Grand Prairie, Texas) pulled away from the 49ers duo of Jaklin Alawi and Rachel Manesse, 8-3, at No. 2 doubles. The victory improves the Irish pairing to 4-5 on the dual season at the No. 2 position.
The freshman pairing of Jennifer Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) and Julie Sabacinski completed the doubles sweep, holding on for an 8-5 win over Sarah Cantlay and Julie Luzar at No. 3 doubles, 8-5. The win ends a brief two-match skid and improves their record to 3-6 at No. 3 this dual season.
Mathews, ranked 63rd, then moved the margin to 2-0, as she took down Malenovska at No. 2 singles, 6-0, 6-2. With the win, she improves to 13-2 at that position and 13-4 overall on the dual campaign. In straight-set matches, Mathews also has an identical 13-2 ledger.
Rafael then pushed the Irish within match point, as she took down Manesse at No. 4 singles, 6-4, 6-0. With the first set knotted up at 4-4, Rafael did not drop another game in the match en route to her sixth dual season win. It is her first win of the season at the No. 4 position.
Shortly after Rafael's win, Frilling made the match official as she knocked off Dallara at No. 1 singles, 6-3, 6-4. The Irish junior, ranked third in the nation, now owns a 14-1 record on the dual campaign and is 22-3 overall.
With the match decided, Long Beach State did not go away without a fight, whittling away at the deficit with wins at No. 5 and 6 singles. Anna Jecmionka was first to earn a point for the 49ers, knocking off Sabacinski at No. 6 singles (6-3, 6-2) just before Cantlay came from behind to defeat McGaffigan at No. 5 (2-6, 6-2, 6-2).
Kellner, ranked 105th, closed the match out on a positive note for the Irish, posting a win over Deborah Armstrong at No. 3 singles, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5). The freshman improves to 3-1 at No. 3 singles and 14-3 overall on the dual season.
A quick turnaround awaits the Irish as they return to the courts tomorrow for a showdown with Texas A&M, who enters ranked 32nd with a record of 9-4. Weather permitting the Irish will head outdoors for the contest at the Courtney Tennis Center.
Follow along with the match via the live blog or live scoring page provided through und.com and be sure to check back upon conclusion of the match for a complete recap.
#19 Notre Dame 5, #44 Long Beach State 2 Long Beach State vs Notre Dame Apr 01, 2011 at Notre Dame, Ind.