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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Top-ranked Northwestern Women Fall to Notre Dame; UC-Santa Cruz Takes D III Men's Indoor; Other College Tennis News

Seventeenth-ranked Notre Dame posted a convincing 5-2 win this afternoon over the ITA National Indoor champions and No. 1 ranked Northwestern Wildcats in South Bend. I listened to most of the match thanks to Ken Thomas at radiotennis.com, and having recently been to a Notre Dame home match, I had no trouble envisioning the circumstances. Northwestern lost all three double matches, and their No. 1 player, Maria Mosolova, couldn't get on track against Notre Dame's No. 1, Kristy Frilling. Thomas called that match, and throughout, he was effusive in his praise of Frilling's game. The sophomore from Ohio dominated from the beginning of the contest, resulting in a 6-1, 6-2 victory. At No. 2 singles Shannon Mathews took a 6-2, 6-3 decision from Samantha Murray and Chrissie McGaffigan clinched the Fighting Irish's first-ever win over a No. 1 team by defeating fellow freshman Kate Turvy by yet another straight set score, 6-3, 6-2.

It's understandable that Northwestern would let down a bit after their Team Indoor title, but Notre Dame isn't a team you want to meet in that psychological state. After failing to qualify for the Team Indoor, when eventual Indoor finalist North Carolina beat them in the final Kick-off Weekend match, they've beaten seventh-ranked Michigan on the road 4-3 and now have knocked off the two-time Indoor champions. It will be interesting to see whether Northwestern falls from the top spot. I think the only highly ranked team still undefeated is Stanford, and they did not participate in the Team Indoor, and have yet to beat a Top 20 opponent. For the complete results, see the Notre Dame website article.

Speaking of Stanford, the eighth-ranked men were stunned at home by 27th-ranked Cal on Saturday. After winning the doubles point, taking the first set in four matches and building a 3-1 lead, Stanford lost three-setters at No. 1, 5 and 2 singles. Cal is now 7-1 on the season, with their only loss coming against Texas in the Kick-off Weekend final. For more on their upset of Stanford, see calbears.com.

In other big DI matches this weekend, the No. 6 Duke women defeated No. 7 Michigan 5-2 in Durham, and in Columbus, the No. 3 Ohio State men downed No. 9 Kentucky by the same score. It was the Buckeyes' 96th consecutive win at home.

The Division III Men's Indoor Championship went to NCAA champion and top seed UC-Santa Cruz, who defeated No. 3 Washington University 6-2 to claim the title. For complete results, see the Gustavus Adolphus website.

In Arizona, former UCLA star Abigail Spears, the eighth seed, captured the $25,000 Pro Circuit singles title with a 6-1 6-2 win over No. 3 Kurumi Nara of Japan.

And finally, the Tulsa athletic site recently caught up with former Hurricane Arnau Brugues, producing this Q and A, which explores his past year on the professional circuit and his immediate and ultimate tennis goals.