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Men’s Tennis: ND battles in-state rival Hoosiers

Walker Carey | Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The No. 29 Irish hit the road today to take on No. 26 Indiana in Bloomington, Ind. The Irish are looking for a rebound performance against the same Hoosiers squad that topped them 6-1 on Jan. 28.

“[Indiana] got a pretty good win against our guys the last time we played,” Irish coach Bobby Bayliss said. “While I think we played a little bit better than the 6-1 score indicates, Indiana still made some shots that we did not and took advantage of some of the mistakes that we made.”

Bayliss said the Irish (11-4) made some upgrades since the last time they battled the Hoosiers (6-3).

“Our doubles play has made some pretty solid improvements,” Bayliss said. “We really struggled in doubles the last time we played them. We lost all three matches and did not play particularly well in any of the three. Our pairings are much more comfortable playing together than they had been then and that has translated to more successful play.”

Notre Dame was on the winning end of its last four matches and Bayliss said this has helped his team acquire a higher level of confidence.

“I feel like we have become a much more confident team,” Bayliss said. “Winning has helped our confidence. I have always thought that we have had a pretty good team and now, I think our guys are starting to think the same way.”

While the Irish have played in Bloomington before, this trip will be a bit different due to alterations Indiana made to its facility.

“[Indiana] resurfaced its court last summer, so the court is going to be different than the one it used to have,” Bayliss said. “I would imagine it will be a bit slower than the old court there. Every facility has its own intricacies and Indiana is no different. Its lights are a bit dimmer than ours and the seating area is really close to the court.”

Besides notching the victory, Bayliss has some other goals for the match.

“I would really like to see our entire lineup play some very good tennis,” he said. “Balance is key for us, so seeing our entire lineup play well would be ideal. I would also like to see us continue our improvement in doubles, as that point is always so critical.”

First serve between the Irish and Hoosiers is scheduled for 2 p.m. today.

Contact Walker Carey at wcarey@nd.edu