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Irish Insights


Olympic sports notebook: Irish women in tennis semifinals

The Notre Dame women's tennis team will play in the NCAA tournament semifinals for a second year in a row.

The fifth-seeded Irish (26-3) will play eighth-seeded Stanford (24-1) at 2 p.m. Monday in Athens, Ga. The winner of the match will take on second-seeded North Carolina (30-4) or third-seeded Florida (28-2), who also play Monday, in the title match at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Notre Dame reached the Final Four with a 4-2 win over Tennessee on Saturday.

"Tennessee played well in doubles. We haven't been beaten up in doubles like that before," Irish coach Jay Louderback said on the team's website. "This is our second year in a row in the semifinals, and our kids have been through a lot of the big times. I think we are ready for whoever we play next."

Advancing for a second year was no easy task for Notre Dame.

Tennessee took the first point with a pair of doubles victories as the Volunteers won at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. But the Irish's No. 1 doubles team of Kristy Frilling and Kali Krisik upset Caitlin Whoriskey and Natalie Plukota, the top-ranked doubles team.

Notre Dame's Cosmina Ciobanu evened the match at 1 with a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 4 singles, but Tennessee went back out front 2-1 with a No. 6 singles victory.

The Irish drew even again with Shannon Mathews' 7-5, 6-3 win at No. 2 singles, and Krisik gave Notre Dame a 3-2 edge with a 6-2, 7-3 No. 5 singles victory.

Frilling, who is ranked 16th nationally, clinched the match with a 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 upset of Whoriskey, the No. 11 player, at No. 1 singles.


Notre Dame knows which team it will face in the semifinals of the NCAA tournament.

The unseeded Irish (9-6) will take on seventh-seeded Cornell (12-5) in the Final Four on Saturday in Baltimore.

The Big Red advanced with a 14-5 blowout of Army on Sunday in Stony Brook, N.Y.

Notre Dame earned its spot with a 7-5 upset of third-seeded Maryland on Saturday in Princeton, N.J.

On the diamond

Not everything went well for Notre Dame in postseason and potential postseason play.

The Irish softball team was eliminated from the NCAA tournament Sunday by Michigan.

The top-seeded Wolverines used three home runs and scored at least one run in each of the final five innings to defeat the Irish 12-2 and win the Ann Arbor Regional.

The Irish, who won the Big East regular-season title, finished 47-12. It was the fewest losses in coach Deanna Gumpf's nine years with the program.

Notre Dame set single season record for batting average (.343), runs (369), doubles (103), home runs (75), RBI (337), total bases (878), slugging pct. (.590), on-base pct. (.409) and fielding pct. (.978).

The baseball team never got a chance to play in the postseason after Saturday's action unfolded.

Notre Dame fell 4-3 and 13-3 to Louisville in a doubleheader Saturday, and West Virginia upset Villanova to earn the final spot in the Big East.