Men’s Tennis: Irish improve to 14-7 with weekend sweep
Peter Steiner | Sunday, April 1, 2012
On a day when 13 members of the Irish played in at least one match, Notre Dame (14-7) took down opponents Ball State, 6-1, and St. Bonaventure, 7-0.
The Irish excelled against their opposition all day, winning every match in two sets, with the exception of senior Casey Watt’s narrow 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) loss to junior Dalton Albertin of Ball State (14-7) at No. 1 singles.
“I thought we did a really good job of winning the matches that we won when we got ahead,” Irish coach Bobby Bayliss said. “I thought [senior] Niall Fitzgerald played really well against Ball State. I thought [sophomore] Greg Andrews played well.
“I thought we were in control in the doubles. We just took control of the match and did a pretty good job.”
The Irish followed up the victory over Ball State with another strong performance against St. Bonaventure (1-10) – a match in which the Irish sent out a much different lineup to meet the Bonnies. Andrews and Fitzgerald moved up to No.1 and No. 2 singles, respectively, and junior Spencer Talmadge played with Andrews at No. 1 doubles. Otherwise, the lineup was made up of younger, less-experienced players.
“I was pleased with the poise the younger guys showed,” Bayliss said. “When you haven’t been in there on a regular basis, there is a lot of adrenaline pumping and your heart is racing and it’s hard to be calm and poised. I thought we did a good job of that.”
While the Irish received solid performances all-around, freshman Wyatt McCoy and junior Michael Moore put forth particularly strong efforts against St. Bonaventure. The duo first played together at No. 2 doubles, winning 8-1. McCoy and Moore then went on to win matches at No. 3 and No. 4 singles, respectively – dropping only three games between the two.
“We told Michael Moore he was the player of the day because he only lost one game,” Bayliss said. “He must have hit twenty aces and another twenty winners with his forehand.”
With two victories on the day for the Irish, the only negative that emerged on Saturday was the weather. The Irish had planned to play their first outdoor match at home against Ball State, but the colder weather kept them inside the Eck Tennis Pavilion for both matches.
“We were hoping to play outdoors, and it would have been better for us long run to play outdoors, but at eleven o’clock this morning when the match started it was 37 degrees,” Bayliss said. “Not getting to play outdoors was a little bit of a setback in preparation for the upcoming week.”
The Irish have four matches left before the Big East championships, one of which will occur at home Wednesday against Big East foe DePaul. Next weekend, the Irish will travel to Texas to take on Southern Methodist and Texas A&M.
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