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Men’s Tennis: Hoosiers snap Irish streak

Peter Steiner | Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Despite victories by senior Casey Watt and sophomore Greg Andrews at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively, No. 26 Notre Dame suffered a narrow 5-2 defeat Wednesday at the hands of No. 29 Indiana.

The Irish (11-5) won four straight heading into the matchup, but were unable to exact revenge on a Hoosiers squad (7-3) that also took down the Irish 6-1 on Jan. 28.

Andrews and junior Spencer Talmadge began the contest with an early victory at No. 2 doubles (8-3), but losses at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles caused the Irish to drop the key doubles’ point.

“We had a chance to win the doubles point,” Irish coach Bobby Bayliss said. “We got broken serving 7-8 and we lost No. 3 doubles 9-7. I was proud of the way [senior Sam Keeton and freshman Wyatt McCoy] played because they hardly ever play together.”

“I felt we had a good chance to win the doubles’ point, which had we won, we probably would have won the match overall.”

While an injury prevented sophomore Billy Pecor from playing, McCoy filled in at both No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles. In addition to losing the tightly contested No. 3 doubles match, McCoy fell to senior Will Kendall (6-1, 6-0) at No. 6 singles.

Andrews continued his hot streak with a straight-set 6-3, 7-5 win at No. 2 singles, improving his yearly record to 15-2. After losing the first set, Watt fought back to force a third set tiebreaker, which he took 10-8.

Notre Dame’s biggest struggles came from the bottom of the lineup, something that does not typically occur, Bayliss said.

“Greg Andrews played very well at No. 2 singles,” Bayliss said. “Casey Watt fought back from a set and break down to win at No. 1 and normally, if we can win at one and two, we can beat most teams. But today we didn’t play quite as well in the bottom part of the lineup, and that’s normally not been the case.”

No. 4 singles was the last match to finish as senior Niall Fitzgerald lost to sophomore Dimitrije Tasic in a third set tiebreaker 10-6.

“I felt like Niall Fitzgerald would have won his match had he played out a third set and probably had a chance to win it in straight sets,” Bayliss said.

 

Contact Peter Steiner at psteiner@nd.edu