TAMPA, Fla. - The final matches have been set for the 2012 BIG EAST Tennis Championships. No. 1 seed Notre Dame and No. 2 seed USF will represent the women while No. 2 seed Louisville and No. 4 seed USF will play for the men. Both matches will be at 9 a.m. on Sunday at the Varsity Courts.
In women's action, Notre Dame and USF advanced in dominating fashion. The Irish took down No. 4 seed DePaul 4-0 to start the morning. ND opened the match strong, taking the doubles point after two victories on courts 1 and 3. Seniors Kristy Frilling and Shannon Mathews, the sixth-best doubles team in the nation, clinched the point with an 8-5 victory over DPU's Jasmin Kling and Gia McKnight. In singles play, Frilling kept her winning ways, deciding the match with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Patricia Fargas. Sophomore Britney Sanders and freshman Katherine White also earned singles wins for the Irish. Notre Dame has won the last four women's championships and six out of the last seven. This marks the 17th-straight year the Irish women have appeared in the BIG EAST Championship match.
The USF women booked their ticket to the final with a 4-0 win over No. 6 Louisville. Sophomore Fanny Fracassi and junior Danielle Mills locked up the doubles point for the Bulls with an 8-5 win over Louisville seniors Amelia Harris and Sarah Miller. Mills also recorded the first singles victory for USF, beating Cardinal junior Mandy Brown 6-2, 6-2. Junior Ecaterina Vasenina picked up a win for the Bulls before sophomore Alessondra Bonte secured the match victory with a 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4) win over Louisville's Miller. USF is searching for its second BIG EAST Tennis Championship title, and its first since 2007.
Tomorrow's match will serve as a rematch to last year's final pairing, when Notre Dame beat USF 4-2. The teams also played earlier this season with Notre Dame earning a 7-0 victory.
No. 4 DePaul and No. 6 Louisville will play in the third place match Sunday at 9 a.m. at the Andros Courts.
In the men's competition, No. 2 seed Louisville came from behind to earn a 4-1 victory over No. 3 St. John's. The Red Storm took the doubles point from the Cardinals when sophomore Ilija Vucic and senior Stefan Bocic beat Louisville freshman Sebastian Stiefelmeyer and senior Robert Hall 8-5. Down 1-0, the Cardinals took the next four points to steal the win. Senior Robert Hall decided the match with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over St. John's freshman Kurt Anbarci, while freshman Sebastian Stiefelmeyer, Michael Lippins and Luis Elizondo also recorded victories. UofL is seeking its third-straight championship title.
The most exciting match of the morning came from No. 1 seed Notre Dame and No. 4 seed USF in the form of a 4 hour slugfest, where the Bulls knocked off the top seed 4-3. After the Irish won the doubles competition, the two teams traded points with senior Wael Kilani, sophomore Federico Sabogal and freshman Oliver Pramming earning wins for USF while sophomore Greg Andrews and senior Nial Fitzgerald captured victories for Notre Dame. With all the attention on court No. 4, USF junior Juan Carlos Acuna Gerard brought home a 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4), 7-5 win over ND sophomore Billy Pecor. The Bulls are heading to just their third BIG EAST Championship match and trying to win their second title.
No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 3 St. John's will play in the third place match Sunday at 9 a.m. at the P.E. Courts.
Results from all BIG EAST Tennis Championship action can be found at the BIG EAST Championship Central page.