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Monday, Feb. 26, 2024
The Observer

ND Women's Tennis: Squad falls to Bears, defeats Texas A&M

The No. 6 Irish won their 13th consecutive doubles point but split two matches over the long weekend, winning 4-3 over Texas A&M and losing 6-1 to No. 2 Baylor.

"They were tough matches with tough conditions for both of them," sophomore Kristy Frilling said. "To summarize both of them, I think overall as a team we played really well."

Saturday, the Irish fell to the Bears despite winning the first point of the game.

"Baylor is always tough because they have all talented players," Frilling said. "When we played them we expect a tough match from them every year."

After falling in the second doubles competition, third doubles players freshman Chrissie McGaffigan and junior Kristen Rafael won their match 8-5 to put the Irish back in a position to win the doubles point. The No. 4 nationally ranked doubles team of Frilling and senior Kali Krisik decided the highly sought after doubles point in favor of the Irish as they beat their No. 12 Baylor opponents, 8-6.

"[Krisik] and I had a really tough match," Frilling said. "We lost to them a few times last season, and we're all really glad we were able to pull through."

In singles play, each Irish player lost their competition in two sets, with the exception of second singles player sophomore Shannon Mathews, whose three set loss was decided in a tiebreaker. The 16-2 Bears handed the Irish their third loss of the season.

"I hope we play them in the NCAAs so I can try to redeem myself," Frilling said.

Monday, the tables turned for Notre Dame with its 4-3 victory over Texas A&M, where the first doubles team of Frilling and Krisik received their 15th consecutive win.

The Irish got off to a strong start as each of the three doubles team won their matches and Notre Dame received the first point of the day.

"We came out really determined since we lost the day before," Frilling said. "We really wanted to prove ourselves."

Texas A&M boasts a large fan base with more viewers than the women are used to, which proved to be a challenging aspect of playing in College Station, Texas.

"They had loud fans who really tried to get in our heads," Frilling said. "They were vocal and intense.  

Krisik finished first in singles play for the Irish as she shut out her opponent in the sixth singles position in two sets for Notre Dame's second point. Though the Aggies claimed the next point after Rafael fell in the fifth singles spot, the next singles victories from Frilling in first singles and Cosmina Ciobanu in fourth singles clinched the win for the Irish.

"We want to work on our singles play a lot more," Frilling said. "Doubles is only one point, so we need to work on our singles."

The Irish will prepare in practice this week to take on South Florida for their first outdoor home match of the season on Friday.