Louisville Men and Notre Dame Women Win 2012 BIG EAST Tennis Championships


TAMPA, Fla. -
No. 2 seed Louisville picked up its third-straight BIG EAST Men's Tennis Championship title today, while No. 1 seed Notre Dame secured its fifth consecutive BIG EAST Women's Tennis Championship crown. The 2012 BIG EAST Tennis Championships were hosted by the University of South Florida.
The 40th ranked Cardinals defeated fourth-seeded and No. 65-ranked USF 4-2. This marks the third consecutive and fourth overall league title for UofL. The Cardinals earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. View the Full Results.
USF opened the match by taking a hotly contested doubles point. The Cardinals grabbed the first match when senior Robert Hall and freshman Sebastian Stiefelmeyer topped USF senior Wael Kilani and sophomore Federico Sabogal 9-7 at the second position.  The Bulls responded when junior Lucas Marin-Salcedo and freshman Guillermo de Vilchez earned an 8-6 win over Cardinal senior Adam Donaldson and freshman Michael Lippens to turn all the attention to court No. 1.  USF senior Yannick Yoshizawa and freshman Oliver Pramming fought through a tiebreak (and a rain delay) to take down Louisville senior Andrew Carter and freshman Albert Wagner 9-8 (3) to give their team a 1-0 lead.
In singles action, Stiefelmeyer kicked off the Cardinal comeback with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Yoshizawa at the No. 2 seed.  Classmate Albert Wagner followed shortly after, downing Sabogal 6-2, 6-1 at the No. 3 position. 
USF's Pramming evened the score at 2-2 with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Louisville freshman Luis Elizondo at the No. 6 spot, but the Bulls would not record another point.  UofL's Lippens downed Juan Carlos Acuna Gerard 6-4, 6-3 at the No. 4 position to give the Cards a 3-2 lead.  With all eyes on court No. 5, Hall withstood a rally by USF freshman Ravi Patel to record a 6-3, 6-4 victory and give Louisville its third-straight conference title. 
During the awards ceremony after the championship match, Sebastian Stiefelmeyer was named the 2012 BIG EAST Men's Tennis Championship Most Outstanding Player.
On the women's side, 17th-ranked Notre Dame captured the league title for the fifth-straight year and 12th time overall. The Irish held strong for a 4-1 decision over No. 39 USF. View the Full Results.
Senior Kristy Frilling was named the BIG EAST Women's Tennis Championship Most Outstanding Player after posting a combined 6-0 record in singles and doubles action.
Notre Dame got off to a fast start, taking the doubles point in dominating fashion.  The sixth-ranked doubles team of seniors Shannon Mathews and Kristy Frilling won first, beating the USF team of junior Ecaterina Vasenina and freshman Lucie Rey 8-2.  On court No. 3, Irish sophomore Jennifer Kellner and junior Chrissy McGaffigan outlasted the Bulls' sophomore Fanny Fracassi and junior Danielle Mills by a score of 8-6.
In singles action, Frilling earned the match's second point, taking down USF sophomore Loreto Alonso Martinez 6-1, 6-1.  USF freshman Paula Montoya then put the Bulls on the board with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over junior Chrissie McGaffigan.  Sophomore Britney Sanders recorded the third point for the Irish, besting Fracassi 7-5, 6-4 at the No. 3 spot.  With one point to go, Kellner took down USF's Mills 6-4, 6-2 to give Notre Dame the crown.
The Irish are now 12-5 all-time in BIG EAST Championship finals.
Louisville and Notre Dame receive the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Championship and await the seeding announcement, which will take place May 2 at the NCAA tournament selection show.  
For complete results from the 2012 BIG EAST Tennis Championship, please visit the Championship Central page.