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Men’s Tennis: Irish recover from loss to sweep Memphis

Megan Finneran | Monday, January 28, 2013

Notre Dame did not let a close 4-3 loss to No. 28 Harvard on Saturday ruin the weekend, bouncing back the following day to sweep No. 31 Memphis 4-0 Sunday in Norman, Okla., at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. The No. 30 Irish entered the weekend coming off another 4-3 loss last Tuesday to No. 37 Northwestern.

“We didn’t come out aggressive or confident enough for Harvard,” senior Blas Moros said. “We didn’t play the level we are capable of, but to their credit they took advantage of the opportunity.”

The Crimson captured the first point when they won doubles play, beating the Irish duo in each of the three matches. From there, the competition picked up as points bounced back and forth.

Junior Ryan Bandy took the first Irish point, winning the No. 6 set 6-2, 6-2. Freshman Quentin Monaghan stretched the lead to 2-1 for Notre Dame when he won the No. 3 slot 6-4, 6-4 against freshman Nicky Hu. Harvard then came back from behind when junior Casey MacMaster took down Irish junior Billy Pecor and sophomore Alex Steinroeder topped Moros 6-4, 6-3 in the No. 2 slot.

With Harvard ahead 3-2, the No. 5 and No. 1 courts both went into three sets. No. 80 junior Greg Andrews took a point for the Irish in the No. 1 spot when he beat sophomore Shaun Chaudhuri 6-3, 7-5, 6-0, but sophomore Wyatt McCoy fell 4-6, 7-6, 7-5 to freshman Nicolas Mahlangu.

“It was a very disappointing loss, but I was proud of our guys for their performance [the next day],” Moros said. 

Notre Dame had no time to dwell on the loss before facing Memphis the following day. The Irish instantly started on a better footing, winning the doubles point. Freshman Alex Lawson and junior Billy Pecor won the No. 2 doubles match 8-6 and Bandy and junior Matt Dooley took the No. 3 match 8-1 to secure the point.

From there, the wins lined up one after another.

“Memphis is a very good team and our guys came out fired up and ready to go from the first point, which is difficult after a tough loss,” Moros said. “It showed a lot about our character and I believe it is a good indicator of what is to come the rest of the season.”

Pecor added the first singles point to the Irish board, beating junior Johnny Grimal 7-5, 6-1 on the No. 4 court. McCoy followed suit, beating sophomore David O’Leary 6-2, 6-3 in the No. 5 spot. Monaghan closed out the day, beating freshman Lukas Vrnak 7-6, 6-2 in the No. 3 spot. 

“We just came out strong from the start and stayed on them the entire time,” Bandy said. “I think the difference was that we came into the Memphis game with a greater desire to win and compete.”

The Irish return home next weekend to host Duke and IUPUI in a series of dual meets Feb. 3 in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. 

Contact Megan Finneran at
mfinnera@nd.edu