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Men’s Tennis: Irish take two of three matches in Alabama

Megan Finneran | Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The No. 22 Irish went 2-1 at the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala., last weekend.

The squad started the tournament well, sweeping Troy 4-0 on Friday. Notre Dame (10-6) fell in a 4-3 upset to Boise State in the semifinals Saturday before bouncing back with a 4-1 win over No. 29 Cornell in the consolation round Sunday.

“We have to expect a tough match from everyone we play and can’t take anyone for granted,” sophomore Michael Fredericka said.

Notre Dame entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed, joined by four other ranked squads. The Irish made quick work of Troy (7-9), starting the match by winning the doubles point with the No. 1 duo of junior Greg Andrews and senior Spencer Talmadge and the No. 3 pair of juniors Ryan Bandy and Matt Dooley.

Notre Dame’s singles play followed suit, with the Irish earning straight victories on courts one, two and five. No. 96 Andrews took down Troy senior Anas Rouchdi 6-2, 6-1 in the No. 1 slot, freshman Quentin Monaghan defeated Trojans junior Mansingh Athare 6-2, 6-0 at No. 2 and senior Michael Moore came out with a 6-2, 6-2 win against junior Tadju Davies at No. 5.

The win over Troy landed the Irish in the semifinals, where unranked Boise State (9-8) defeated them for a surprising win.

Notre Dame repeated Friday’s opening, winning the doubles point with the one and three pairs. The Broncos took control in singles play, winning three consecutive matches. On court five, Boise State sophomore Garrett Patton took down Bandy 6-4, 6-2, then Broncos freshman Thomas Tenreiro defeated Moore 6-4, 6-4 on court five. Boise State junior Nathan Sereke took the match to 3-1 by beating Monaghan 6-3, 6-3 on court two.

The Irish continued fighting, cutting the lead to 3-2 when senior Blas Moros won at the No. 3 spot against senior Scott Sears 6-4, 6-3. Junior Billy Pecor took the match to a tie after a three-set match, taking down senior Filipp Pogostkin on court four 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.

Despite Notre Dame’s best efforts, Boise State took the win when No. 25 junior Andrew Bettles took Andrews to three sets, winning the match and securing a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 Broncos win.

“Boise was a good team and they played us really tough, but we know we are a school everyone wants to beat,” Fredericka said.

Notre Dame struggled in doubles play against Cornell (10-4), dropping the point with losses on courts one and two. But the Irish instantly bounced back, winning four straight singles matches to take the 4-1 win.

Andrews started the streak, beating Cornell junior Venkat Iyer 6-2, 6-2 in the No. 1 spot. Moros followed in his tracks, taking down Big Red sophomore Alex Sidney on court three, 6-4, 6-1. At No. 4, Pecor overcame sophomore Quoc-Daniel Nguyen 6-2, 6-1. Moore closed out the day against sophomore Jason Luu at five, winning in three sets 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 to seal the 4-1 win.

The Irish return home Wednesday to host defending national champion and No. 2 Southern California.

Contact Megan Finneran at mfinnera@nd.edu