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Men’s Tennis: Squad faces tough regional matches

Megan Finneran | Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Irish spent the tail-end of fall break competing at the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Championships in East Lansing, Mich., competing Thursday through Monday. Advancing deepest into the tournament were senior Spencer Talmadge and junior Greg Andrews, who advanced to the finals Monday in doubles.

“Overall it was a great tournament for [Talmadge and Andrews] and they are playing at a very high level,” Irish coach Bob Bayliss said.

Talmadge and Andrews faced No. 8 Farris Gosea and Tim Kopinski of Illinois in a tough match, falling 8-5 to the Illini duo. The beginning of the match took a 2-0 turn in favor of Illinois and the Irish were never able to bounce back.

“We certainly had many opportunities to be up 2-0, but instead found ourselves down 2-0,” Bayliss said.

Despite the fall in the final round of play, both Talmadge and Andrews performed better than expected.

“Greg’s doubles continues to approach his singles level which is something we were hoping for,” Bayliss said. “Spencer is beginning to come into his own and assuming a lot of responsibility. He is much more consistent on returns than he has been in the past.”

The duo sought revenge for Notre Dame on Sunday with an 8-6 win over Michigan’s Barrett Franks and Vlad Stefan to advance to the finals. Franks and Stefan had knocked out Notre Dame freshmen Kenneth Sabacinski and Nicolas Montoya in the third round of play.

The progression began Friday morning for Talmadge and Andrews when they first faced Lucas Waak and Eric Honert of Valparaiso, defeating the pair 8-2. In the second round they took down Rodrigo Campos and Zeeshan Ismail of Youngstown State, 8-4. The third round of play brought Denis Bogatov and Harry Jadun of Michigan State, with the Irish easily winning 8-0.

Outside the doubles performance, multiple Irish players advanced past the first round of play but many struggled to break deep into the tournament. 

“Several of our guys lost matches that I thought we were capable of winning,” Bayliss said. “Part of that was inexperience, part of that was adjusting to the quicker course of Michigan State, and part of it was not seizing the moment.”

Freshman Quentin Monaghan beat Drew Lied of Michigan State 6-4, 6-1 in the first round before falling to Ohio State’s Connor Smith 6-2, 6-4 and Andrews advanced to second round by beating Alex Robles of Wisconsin 6-1, 6-4 before Hunter Callaghan of Ohio State knocked him out of the tournament by a 6-4, 6-4 count.

Notre Dame has a break in the fall season before returning to competition at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships, which begin Nov. 8.

Contact Megan Finneran at mfinnera@nd.edu