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Men’s Tennis: Co-captains lead Irish victories

Megan Finneran | Monday, September 17, 2012

This weekend the Irish split up for their first round of tournaments on American soil. Nearly every member of the team contributed an individual win.

Eight members of the squad traveled to Olympia Fields, Ill., for the OFCC Invitational hosted by the University of Illinois, where co-captains senior Blas Moros and junior Greg Andrews set the tempo. The other seven Notre Dame players competed in the Vredevelt Invitational, hosted by Western Michigan in Kalamazoo, Mich., where freshmen established themselves as contributors.

The Irish made up for a difficult time on the doubles courts by stepping up their game in singles competition, earning two spots on the All-Tournament team in each tournament.

“Our freshmen performed very well,” Moros said.

The luxury of a stunning location at the OFCC Invitational came with the cost of a clay court, a new surface for the Irish team that led to a rocky start in the first round of play. Despite this, the Irish turned things around. Both co-captains were name to the All-Tournament team and Andrews earned the Most Outstanding Player award. By the second day of competition, Notre Dame players had moved past their first round of three singles victories and picked up another eight. Moros led the squad with victories across the board in the first three rounds of singles play, taking down Chris Camillone of Texas, Brian Page of Illinois and Mousheg Hovhannisyan of Pepperdine, respectively. Freshman Quentin Monaghan also added to the tally on day one, winning his first collegiate match 6-1, 6-0 against Julian Childers of Illinois. Junior Billy Pecor took the third victory of the first day, topping David Sofaer of Pepperdine 6-3, 6-4.

The second day of play brought six other Irish victories to accompany Moros’ two, including one from Monaghan, who beat Sofaer once again 6-4, 1-6, 6-3. Freshman Alex Lawson also collected his first collegiate win against Pepperdine’s Damian Gryzelko. No. 24 Andrews bounced took two wins on the day, defeating Farris Gosea of Illinois and David Holiner of Texas. Senior Spencer Talmadge and sophomore Wyatt McCoy each added a win in the third round of singles play, with an easy 6-2, 6-3 over Childers for Talmadge and a three-set 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 comeback against Page for McCoy.

By the third day of play, the Irish had mastered their game plan. They captured three of four wins in doubles play and seven of eight wins in singles play.

“We had a very good weekend, but still have a lot of work to do in doubles,” Moros said.

In Kalamazoo, freshman Kenny Sabacinski led the squad, taking a win in singles play in each of the first three rounds to knock out players from Illinois State, Cleveland State and Green Bay. Sophomore Michael Fredericka added a singles victory on the first day of competition and freshman Nicolas Montoya contributed a pair of singles victories in the first two days. The only Irish win in a doubles match came from Fredericka and Montoya, who took down Patrick Bandy and Adam Krull of Xavier, 8-3. While a seemingly small win for the Irish, this was the only loss for the Xavier team in singles and doubles throughout the day.

During the final day of singles play, junior Ryan Bandy chalked up his first win of the tournament, defeating Mesa Mei of Xavier 6-3, 6-3, and Montoya added another win against Xavier’s Brandon MacDonald. On the doubles side, Notre Dame found its groove. Ryan Bandy and Sabacinski took down a Western Michigan pair, while sophomore Doug Barnard and Montoya took down the Broncos other team.
The Irish take a break this week in preparation for the IRA All-America Championships, which began Oct. 4 in Tulsa, Okla.

Contact Megan Finneran at mfinnera@nd.edu