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Men’s Tennis: Split squads travel to Purdue and Illinois

Kate Grabarek | Monday, September 20, 2010

The Irish opened their fall competitive season on Friday with half the team in West Lafayette at the Purdue Invitational and the other half at the University of Illinois.

The team opened play on Friday combining for 20 wins between the two split squads.

Irish coach Bobby Bayliss led the squad Friday in Illinois that claimed ten wins, including debut wins for freshmen Greg Andrews and Billy Pecor, as well as an impressive win from senior Stephen Havens over Abe Souza of Illinois.

“Greg Andrews has one of the better forehands you will see this year and has become better moving forward and finishing at the net,” Bayliss said. “Billy Pecor has a big game, hitting with power from both sides. All he needs to do is play within himself and continue to take advantage of his opportunities to move forward.”

With associate head coach Ryan Sachire at the helm in West Lafayette, the Irish were just as successful with sophomore Spencer Talmadge and junior Niall Fitzgerald claiming back to back doubles wins over Dayton and Western Michigan.

Senior David Anderson, Talmadge, sophomore Michael Moore, senior Sean Tan, freshman Ryan Brandy and senior Bryan Kelly rounded out the win total for the Irish in West Lafayette.

Play was shortened on Saturday at the Olympia Fields Invitational in Illinois, and only one round of singles play was completed, as the Irish finishing with a record of 6-3.

Senior Tyler Davis, Havens, junior Samuel Keeton and Andrews all picked up wins for the Irish on the second day of play.

Junior Casey Watt also picked up a win for the Irish over Ricky Doverspike of the Crimson Tide.

At Purdue, Fitzgerald won two matches on Saturday before falling to Green Bay’s Paul Swanson in straight sets in the Flight A singles consolation bracket.

In the Flight B bracket, Brandy made it to the finals before falling to Western Michigan’s Casey Cullen in three sets.

The Irish will continue their fall season the weekend of Oct. 1 when they travel to Cambridge, Mass., to compete in the Harvard Invitational.