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ND Men’s Tennis: Seminoles visit ND for weekend matches

Deirdre Krasula | Saturday, February 3, 2007

All signs point forward for the Notre Dame men’s tennis team as the Irish will look for their second and third wins against No. 13 Florida State today at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.Notre Dame blanked Indiana 7-0 on Monday to better their record to 2-1 overall (1-0 at home). Notre Dame’s wins over Indiana and William and Mary gave the team a two-point jump in the Fila rankings to move to No. 11.The Irish last faced the Seminoles in 2006 where they rallied for a 4-3 win in Tallahassee. Notre Dame has won four of its last five against Florida State. The Seminoles have posted a 5-0 mark for the season after garnering victories over Florida Atlantic, Georgia State and Furman. The Seminoles first singles player, Jonathas Sucupira helped secure a victory over Georgia State with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Andres Arango.The Irish will look to get ahead early by taking at least two of the doubles matches. Coach Bobby Bayliss feels grabbing the doubles point will be a helpful boost for the team. “We’d really like to start off playing consistent and yet aggressive double,” he said.Jumping out to the 1-0 lead after doubles play will relieve pressure for the Irish singles.”It all starts there if we can get that first point of the match from doubles,” Bayliss said. “Either team that gets the doubles point only has to split the singles to win the match so it’s a big momentum builder.”Coming out of the gate with the doubles point under their belt will allow the Irish to focus on the singles matches. Notre Dame will be challenged by Sucupira as well as senior Ytai Abougzir. Abougzir is ranked No. 2 in the world in under-18 play.The Seminoles will have to make an adjustment to play on the indoor courts at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Irish also have the added boost of home court advantage as well as team that is healthy and playing well. “The added boost you get from a home crowd that spurs you on and pushes you a little higher is always an advantage,” he said.The Irish will look to come away from Florida State’s match with a win to prepare them for Saturday’s match against No. 8 Duke.Notre Dame fell to the Blue Devils 4-3 in Feb. 2006. The Blue Devils lost senior powerhouses Ludovic Walter and Jonathan Stokke, but have promising talent in freshman Dylan Arnould and Aaron Carpenter. Carpenter clinched the 7-5, 6-3 victory in sixth singles to give Duke the 5-2 win over No. 52 Old Dominion. Despite losing in 2006, the Irish will hope that the combination of home court advantage and talent will lead to a strong showing against the Blue Devils.”All signs point to our team playing a very good match both days.”