Men’s Tennis: Notre Dame hosts No. 21 Wolverines on Saturday
Megan Finneran | Friday, February 15, 2013
Coming off a thrilling 4-3 loss in the final set to No. 7 Kentucky, No. 29 Notre Dame will next host No. 21 Michigan on Saturday. This weekend will present the 74th meeting of the two squads. While the Wolverines (4-2) have the historical advantage at 44-29 overall, the Irish (5-4) have won seven of the last 10 contests.
The two teams both present a wide range of leadership. Notre Dame’s junior Greg Andrews was named Big East Player of the Week on Tuesday, gathering his second time with the title this season. Andrews recently moved up in the ranking from No. 80 to No. 71 in singles play. Michigan’s senior Evan King received the Big Ten Athlete of the Week award Feb. 6. King stands ranked No. 16.
Beyond these two individuals, both squads bring deeper rankings to the court. In singles play, junior Vlad Stefan stands at No. 50 for Michigan. The No. 9 duo of King and junior Shaun Bernstein will compete in the No. 1 slot this weekend, facing the No. 1 Irish tandem of Andrews and senior Spencer Talmadge.
When comparing losses, both Notre Dame and Michigan have only fallen to ranked opponents. Notre Dame carries losses from No. 9 Duke (No. 5 at the time of play), No. 33 Northwestern (No. 37 at the time of play), No. 47 Harvard (No. 28 at the time of play) and No. 7 Kentucky. Michigan has also fallen to Duke and to No. 14 California.
Most recently, Notre Dame and Kentucky battled set by set, alternating the leading team multiple times. While the match ended in a loss, the acquisition of the doubles point was a crucial step for a squad that was put focus on it the last few weeks.
“We came out ready to go and that was apparent when we captured the doubles point,” Moros said. “We knew we were still a long way from a win but it was a great start.”
Despite Tuesday’s loss to Kentucky, Notre Dame is looking forward to using this opportunity to continue what they learned against the Wildcats.
“It was a tough loss but I think we all know now that we are right there with a top ten team,” Moros said. “I’m proud of our guys and look forward to hosting Michigan.”
Doubles play will begin Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. in the Eck Tennis Pavilion.