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Men’s Tennis: Irish find success during final fall competition

Walker Carey | Thursday, November 3, 2011

Notre Dame successfully opened up the final weekend of its fall schedule with a dual match victory over Minnesota on Thursday as part of the Gopher Invitational on the Gophers’ home court.

Seniors Niall Fitzgerald and Sam Keeton, junior Blas Moros and sophomores Greg Andrews and Billy Pecor won matches for the Irish. Notre Dame won five of eight matches, but Irish coach Bobby Bayliss believes with a little luck they could have won more.

“Today was an overall great effort,” Bayliss said. “It is always nice when you can win more matches than the other team. I think that if we had a little more luck we could have won possibly one or two more, so it was a very competitive day.”

The Irish suffered a couple of injuries, as senior Casey Watt felt the effects of a lingering foot injury and junior Spencer Talmadge slightly pulled his groin during practice.

“[Watt and Talmadge] were hurting a little bit,” Bayliss said. “We are definitely hoping that they are minor injuries. The trainer will check them out and hopefully we will have them for the remainder of the weekend.”

Topping Minnesota was no small feat, as the Golden Gophers finished last season ranked 23rd and Bayliss believes they are destined for another top-25 finish.

“Minnesota is definitely a quality team,” Bayliss said. “They were very successful last season and they should continue on that [success] this season. Having four out of our top five beat four out of their top five was very impressive.”

The Irish will continue play in the Gopher Invitational today against an unfamiliar foe, Nebraska.

“It will be interesting to play Nebraska, as we have never played them before,” Bayliss said. “I know they are pretty good and made the NCAA tournament last year, so it should be another competitive day. I think we are all pretty excited.”

The Irish will continue play in the Gopher Invitational in Minneapolis through Sunday.