May 3, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - University of Notre Dame women's tennis senior Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.) has been named a participant in the 2012 NCAA Singles Championship, it was announced Wednesday evening. Mathews also will team with fellow senior Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) in the NCAA Doubles Championship. Both draws take place May 23-28 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.
This is the 10th year in a row that the Irish have had at least one player selected to compete in the NCAA Singles Championship and the sixth straight to be represented in the doubles tournament. It also is the second consecutive year that Mathews has been chosen for the singles draw and the second straight year that the team of Frilling and Mathews will compete in doubles action.
Sixty-four singles players and 32 doubles teams are selected for the NCAA Championships. The full list of singles and doubles players can be found at www.ncaa.com.
Automatic qualification in the singles championship was awarded to any conference with one or more eligible singles players ranked in the ITA Top 125 for eligible/entered singles players. All singles players must have recorded a minimum of 13 completed singles matches in order to be selected as an automatic qualifier or an at-large selection.
Automatic qualification into the doubles championship was awarded to any conference with one or more eligible doubles teams ranked in the ITA Top 60 for eligible/entered doubles teams. All doubles teams must have recorded a minimum of 10 completed doubles matches in order to be selected as an automatic qualifier or an at-large selection.
Mathews earned the BIG EAST's automatic singles bid into the draw after finishing the year ranked 32nd in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) polls. Overall, she concluded her final regular season with the Irish carrying a record of 20-9, including amassing five wins against ranked opposition. Mathews looks to build on last years NCAA result that saw her advance out of the first round before falling in the round of 32.
The doubles tandem of Mathews and Frilling, meanwhile, enter as a No. 5-8 seed in the 32-team draw. This year the Irish pairing sported a 27-9 record and secured 11 wins against nationally-ranked foes, helping them finish the year ranked eighth nationally. This marks the first time an Irish doubles team has appeared at the NCAA Championship on multiple occasions since Catrina Thompson and Christian Thompson qualified four consecutive years ('04-07).
Before the singles and doubles tournament begins, the Irish will compete in the NCAA Team Championship, beginning May 11 with Notre Dame heading to Northwestern for first- and second-round matches in Evanston, Ill. The 13th-seeded Wildcats play host and face Akron with the Irish taking on Hawai'i in their first round tilt.