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Men’s Tennis: Andrews displays exceptional play, continues to improve

Walker Carey | Monday, February 20, 2012

While the Irish have battled some inconsistency this spring, they can count on sophomore Greg Andrews at No. 2 singles to produce consistent performances, evident in his impressive 11-1 mark this season. Irish coach Bobby Bayliss said he is not surprised with the strong play of the sophomore from Richland, Mich.

“To tell you the truth, I am not surprised by the way [Andrews] has played,” Bayliss said. “I had pretty high expectations for him going into the season. He works very hard, is a great athlete and has quite the weapon in his forehand. When you combine those three tools, you are going to have some considerable success.”

Andrews made a tremendous impact during his freshman campaign last season. The impact was so strong that Andrews was named Big East Freshman of the Year.

Despite his immediate success and smooth transition to collegiate athletics, Andrews said he feels he has made some considerable improvements to his game this season.

“I am much more composed now than I was last season,” Andrews said. “As a freshman, I would get frustrated a lot if things were not going my way. I am definitely learning how to deal with disappointment better and move past some frustration.”

Bayliss echoed many of the same sentiments.

“[Andrews] has really gotten better at controlling his composure on the court,” he said. “For being such a humble and soft-spoken guy, [Andrews] has the tendency to get down on himself sometimes, but this season as a sophomore, he has been much more level-headed and composed on the court. He is really doing a great job with it.”

Andrews was quick to give credit to Irish associate head coach Ryan Sachire for helping him to improve in the technical side of his game. “[Coach Sachire] and I have spent a lot of time working on my backhand,” Andrews said.

“[The backhand] was not one of my strengths last season and I have really made some strides in improving that.”

Despite his strong play thus far into his collegiate career,

Andrews has remained humble. “[Andrews] is one the most humble kids I have ever coached,” Bayliss said. “He comes in every day with the same intensity and really leads by example. There is no cockiness at all with him. He just wants to do whatever he can to help the team win.”

As a sophomore, Andrews set goals for both this season and the remainder of his career. “I set a goal for myself at the beginning of the year to be a top-50 singles player nationally,” Andrews said. “As a team, I want to see us win the Big East and compete well into the NCAA tournament.

For the rest of my career, I think it’s a bit hard to have specific expectations, but I do know I want to continue to become the best player and the best teammate that I can.”

Andrews and the No. 30 Irish return to the court Sunday when they host Michigan State and Marquette at the Eck Tennis Center at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. respectively.

Contact Walker Carey at wcarey@nd.edu