Men’s Tennis: Irish finish strong on final day of tournament
Walker Carey | Monday, September 19, 2011
The Irish competed in the Illini Invitational in Olympia Fields, Ill., this weekend in a field that included four top-20 teams. The Irish finished 5-3 in doubles and 11-17 in singles at the three-day event.
“The competition at [the Illini Invitational] was very solid,” Irish coach Bobby Bayliss said. “I think we did a pretty good job of holding our own.”
On Friday, the doubles teams of freshman Wyatt McCoy and senior Sam Keeton and junior Blas Moros and sophomore Ryan Bandy notched two victories each, while the team of senior Niall Fitzgerald and junior Spencer Talmadge picked up one victory.
“I was very pleased with our doubles performance,” Bayliss said. “We had some new combinations out there and I believe they worked out. There was definitely some good chemistry.”
The Irish had a difficult Saturday morning, winning just one singles match out of nine, but their resiliency showed when they took four of six matches in the afternoon.
Bandy was the star on Saturday, winning both of his matches, while Keeton, McCoy and sophomore Greg Andrews also earned victories.
The final day at the Illini Invitational was shortened by inclement weather, but not before Moros and senior Casey Watt were able to pick up singles victories.
While Bayliss was happy with his squad’s resiliency, he did acknowledge that there are some areas where the Irish need to make improvements.
“It was troubling that we lost several close matches,” Bayliss said. “We need to place more of an emphasis on earning those victories in close matches.”
While the Irish have a short week before returning to action this upcoming weekend, Bayliss believes they have some time to make necessary adjustments.
“Even though it is a short week, I believe we can work on some things that will make us a better team,” Bayliss said. “We just need to work on refining a few things and tying up some loose ends, which I believe we are capable of doing.”
Bayliss does believe that the Irish have done an admirable job of developing toughness.
“I really liked the fact that we were competitive all weekend,” he said. “It is always good to see your team continue to develop some toughness.”
Bayliss will accompany part of the squad to California to compete in the Napa Valley USTA/ITA Invitational, while the other part of the team will stay at home and compete in the Tom Fallon Invitational, which is held on campus at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
Contact Walker Carey at [email protected]