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Men’s Tennis: Irish hope to compensate for injuries

Kate Grabarek | Friday, February 11, 2011

The No. 25 Irish will look to carry the momentum from a win on the road at Wisconsin into their doubleheader in East Lansing this weekend against Marquette and Michigan State.

“Playing two good teams in one day really is a tough chore, especially on the road,” Irish coach Bobby Bayliss said. “Adjusting to the faster courts will be important, as well as being able to go back-to-back that day. A couple of our guys are a little nicked up, so we are going to have to play opportunistically Saturday.”

The Irish have had a rough schedule to open their spring season, but the depth of their team is helping them stay strong.

With the addition of the freshmen to an already strong lineup that didn’t lose any starters last season, the Irish are very deep and have many options in each match.

“Our freshmen have been great,” Bayliss said. “Greg Andrews has been a superstar so far and our older guys respect him. Billy Pecor has been injured but keeps working diligently with our trainer, Tony Sutton, to rehab his knees. He is going to be a very good player here, perhaps a great one.”

One of the keys to the Irish strength this season has been their doubles play. The Irish have captured the doubles point in six of their seven matches this season.

The only time the Irish didn’t earn the doubles point was against No. 1 Virginia.

Bayliss said his team has had strong play around the net and on their return game, which has also been key.

Notre Dame will be ready for a tough challenge from Michigan State, which upset No. 21 Wake Forest last week.

“[The Spartans] won’t be able to sneak up on us, as our guys are very aware of the challenge,” Bayliss said. “We will need to be judicious in whom we play in each match. David Anderson was injured earlier in the year, but looks ready to go now, and Blas Moros is rested. This gives us some flexibility we did not have a year ago.”

The Irish will face Marquette at 11 a.m. and will play Michigan State afterward.

Notre Dame will then head to the National Team Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Va., on Feb. 18.