Hawai'i Falls in NCAA Women's Tennis Championship
On a clear day with temperature reaching 70 degrees, the 52nd-ranked Rainbow Wahine (15-7) fell in their first NCAA Tournament appearance. Notre Dame (21-7) advances to the second round where they will face the winner of host Northwestern and Akron.
The Fighting Irish got the early lead by taking the doubles point by winning on courts No. 1 and 3. At No. 3, Christine McGaffigan and Jennifer Kellner held a 5-0 lead on UH's Martina Kostalova and Aglae Van den Bergh before the Rainbow Wahine duo won the next three games. McGaffigan and Kellner held on by winning the last three, 8-3.
The other two doubles matches were tight. At No. 2, UH's Xenia Suworowa and Katarina Poljakova led for much of their match, holding a 5-3 advantage. At the same time, Hawai'i's Jamie Pawid and Barbara Pinterova rallied from a 3-0 deficit to take a 4-3 lead in their match. However, the Irish rallied to win at No. 1 as Kristy Frilling and Shannon Mathews – ranked No. 7 nationally – pulled out the 8-5 victory.
In singles play, the Irish took the first set in five of the six matches, however, the score in four of the matches was either 6-4 or 7-5. Suworowa led McGaffigan 4-0 at No. 5 before dropping the set 7-5. Kostalova led her match 4-1 until Kellner rallied for a 7-5 win. At No. 6, Van den Bergh won her opening set 6-4 over Katherine White.
Poljakova was the first Rainbow Wahine to go down, dropping her match at No. 2 to Frilling, 6-2, 6-3. Just moments later, Pawid lost her match to Britney Sanders, 6-4, 6-2 at No. 3 as the Irish took a 3-0 lead.
With the commanding lead, Notre Dame closed out the match as Mathews defeated Pinterova, 6-4, 6-2 at No. 1.