Nov 2, 2011, 9:15 AM EDT
Seniors Kristy Frilling and Shannon Matthews wanted to leave their mark on Notre Dame before they left school. By winning the 2011 ITA Midwest Regionals Doubles title last week, this dynamic duo has certainly achieved that goal.
Frilling and Matthews jumped out to an early 4-1 lead over the top-seeded team of Northwestern’s Nida Hamilton and Linda Abu Mushrefova in the championship match and never looked back. The Irish pair rode the momentum from winning four of their next five games to a commanding 8-2 victory.
“Shannon and I were both very happy with the win and I think, overall, how we played, as well,” said Frilling.
Frilling and Matthews’ title is the first won by an Irish pair since 2008, when Frilling (a freshman at the time) teamed up with current Irish assistant coach Kelcy Tefft to come out on top.
“It was a great way to start our senior season, and it was especially sweet to get some revenge against the Northwestern team we struggled against last year,” said Matthews.
Both Matthews and Frilling have enjoyed illustrious careers at Notre Dame. Each has won BIG EAST Player of the Week Awards in the past, and Frilling was named both an ITA All-American and the BIG EAST Player of the Year following her sophomore year.
Frilling and Matthews were also named co-captains of the women’s tennis team for the 2011-12 campaign.
The two seniors are determined to end their time here at Notre Dame on a high note, and winning the ITA title was a good way to start.
“It’s our senior year, so I know we both want to end our careers here at Notre Dame as positively as possible,” said Frilling.
By winning the regional title, Frilling and Matthews qualified for the ITA National Individual Indoor Championships which will take place Nov. 3-6 in New York, N.Y. This will be Frilling’s third trip to the Indoor Championships, while Matthews will be participating in the event for the first time.
“I am extremely excited to play in the National Indoor Championship and having the opportunity to play in New York,” said Matthews. “Playing on the same courts at the U.S. Open will be an amazing experience.
The pair is ready to take on the competition in the Big Apple. Frilling said, “We feel pretty good. We’ve been practicing what we needed to work on after regionals, and are really looking forward to playing in New York City.”
The Indoor Championships will provide the Irish pair with a difficult new set of obstacles to overcome, yet Frilling and Matthews remain confident and focused on the task at hand. Frilling explained, “As always, we want to come out of the tournament knowing we played our best and hardest, and hopefully that translates into a win.”
Matthews added, “Our goal is to bring home the ITA Indoor Championship title to Notre Dame.”
The way these two are playing right now, playing their best could very well mean that they will indeed achieve that goal.
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