Men’s Tennis: Notre Dame earns one win at ITA Kick-Off
Sam Gans | Sunday, January 29, 2012
The No. 28 Irish started their weekend with a disappointing 6-1 loss to No. 29 Indiana on Saturday before rebounding with a 4-2 victory over No. 44 Cornell on Sunday in the consolation match of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Columbus, Ohio.
Notre Dame (4-2) began Saturday with hopes of defeating a fellow top-30 opponent and earning a bid to play against host No. 3 Ohio State, who defeated Cornell to earn a spot in the championship game. Unfortunately, the Irish couldn’t muster a solid effort against the Hoosiers (3-2).
“We didn’t play well in doubles to get off on the right foot, and then in singles we lost the matches I thought we were capable of winning,” Irish coach Bobby Bayliss said. “I certainly want to give Indiana credit. They fought awfully hard. It wasn’t our best match.”
The poor play against the Hoosiers continued early in the match against Cornell (2-2). However, after the slow start, the Irish turned it around to defeat the Big Red.
“Today, I think we began the match, to a certain extent, feeling a little sorry for ourselves and we allowed ourselves to get into a pretty big hole against Cornell, who has a really good young team,” Bayliss said. “The thing I was most proud of today was that we fought back from a deficit, and we were in a position where I think they were close to closing out the match. We saw some poise and emotional maturity from a couple of our guys that is very encouraging right now.”
Sophomore Greg Andrews continued his strong season with a straight-sets victory over Sam Fleck to remain undefeated on the year. Senior Sam Keeton and juniors Blas Moros and Michael Moore also won singles matches for the Irish, with Keeton and Moros winning in three sets.
The tenacity shown by the Irish after falling behind was impressive, Bayliss said.
“In sports, you learn a lot about character. We were in a position today where we had been kicked in the teeth and it would have been easy to roll over,” Bayliss said. “But particularly Sam Keeton and Blas Moros showed lots of poise under [duress] and were able to come through for us.”
The Irish take the courts next with a trip to North Carolina to play Wake Forest on Friday and Duke on Sunday.
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