May 8, 2009

The fifth-ranked Irish women's tennis team eased through the first round of the NCAA tournament Friday with a 4-0 win over Illinois Chicago at the Courtney Tennis Center.

The Irish are now 25-4 on the season and 11-2 in NCAA matches at home.

The Irish jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after clinching the doubles point. At No. 3 doubles, Shannon Mathews and Colleen Rielley cruised to an 8-0 win over Jenna Reisch and Ulrikke von Ubisch, before Cosmina Ciobanu and Kali Krisik bested Elena Antakova and Illinca Crestescu, 8-1, to clinch the point at No. 2 doubles. Ciobanu and Krisik jumped out to a 6-0 lead, before giving up the point to the Flames, then taking the next two to win the match.

Kelcy Tefft and Kristy Frilling were leading Mariya Kovaleva and Kristen McPhillips, 6-2, at No. 1 doubles when the match was called.

Mathews put the Irish up 2-0 with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Antakova at No. 4 singles. Mathews scored five straight in the first set, then notched the last four points of the second set to earn the win.

Kristen Rafael downed Reisch, 6-0, 6-0, at No. 6 singles to earn Notre Dame's third point of the match. Ciobanu topped McPhillips, 6-1, 6-2, at No. 3 singles to clinch the win for the Irish.

Tefft was leading Kovaleva, 6-1, 5-0, at No. 1 singles when the match was retired. Frilling was up 6-2, 4-1, at No. 2 singles and Krisik led Amy Jellish, 6-3, 2-2 at fifth singles when the match was called.

The Irish notched 65 total singles points compared to UIC's 14.

Notre Dame will now take on Michigan Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at the Courtney Tennis Center, with the winner advancing to the round of 16.

Tickets for Saturday's match are $5 for adults and $3 for youth and senior citizens.

Earlier on Friday, Michigan earned their ticket to the second round with a 4-2 victory over Sacramento State. The Wolverines earned the doubles point with wins at first and second doubles. Michigan's Rika Matsuno downed the Hornets' Maria Meliuk at No. 2 singles, before Joyce Martinez Gutierrez, of Sacramento State, topped Michigan's Michelle Sulahian to pull the Hornets within 2-1. Michigan's Denise Muresan defeated Sacramento State's Melissa Valenzuela at third singles to put Michigan up 3-1, but the Hornets' Katrina Zheltova bested Michigan's Chisako Sugiyama at No. 1 singles to make it a 3-2 game. The Wolverines' Tania Mahtani outlasted Sacramento State's Clarisse Baca, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), at No. 5 singles to clinch the win for Michigan.