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Men’s Tennis: Notre Dame competes separately

Walker Carey | Monday, September 26, 2011

Four members of the Irish squad competed in the Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic in St. Helena, Calif., this weekend, while the rest of the squad stayed home to compete in the Tom Fallon Invitational.

The Irish dominated in the first day of the Tom Fallon Invitational, winning eight of nine singles matches and three of four doubles contests.

In singles play, sophomore Ryan Bandy and freshmen Douglas Barnard, Wyatt McCoy and Michael Fredericka secured Irish victories. Juniors Michael Moore, Blas Moros and Spencer Talmadge also won their matches.

The doubles duos Bandy and Moros, Barnard and Fredericka and McCoy and Moore were victorious.

The Irish continued their strong singles play Saturday, earning victories in 12 of 16 matches. Bandy, Fredericka, McCoy, Moore and Talmadge each picked up two victories.

Irish associate head coach Ryan Sachire was very impressed with the team’s effort and encouraged by the play of some of the team’s younger players.

“Things looked very positive for us all weekend,” Sachire said. “It was really good to see some of the younger guys really step up and take advantage of the opportunity to play against some strong competition. It was very encouraging to see.”

Sachire noted that he was particularly impressed with the play of three individuals.

“Ryan Bandy, Wyatt McCoy and Michael Moore really stood out to me,” Sachire said. “It’s really good to see [McCoy] playing well, as it is always nice when a freshman can contribute. [Bandy and Moore] are younger guys who have not really had many opportunities to be in the lineup for us, but they definitely shined and took care of business for us.”

Sophomore Greg Andrews accompanied seniors Niall Fitzgerald, Sam Keeton and Casey Watt to the Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic, where they faced very stiff competition from the USTA junior players.

In the event, the 32-player field was divided into eight groups, with each group consisting of three college players and one USTA junior player. After the three singles matches, each group winner faced off in a single elimination tournament to determine the champion.

Keeton had a very successful weekend and won his group before falling to USTA junior Nikko Madregallejo in the first round of the single elimination tournament.

Andrews scored an impressive victory Saturday when he knocked off Japie De Klerk of Tulsa, who is ranked No. 29 nationally.

Sachire believes the team can make progress between now and when they next return to the court.

“We are playing at a high level right now and we have a chance to be a very strong team,” Sachire said. “We need to work on protecting our leads and finishing matches. If we can do that, I think we will definitely be on the right track.”

The Irish return to action in the Midwest Singles/Doubles championship in Columbus, Ohio held from Oct. 13 to Oct. 17.

Contact Walker Carey at wcarey@nd.edu