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Men’s Tennis: ND overpowers Spartans, Eagles

Megan Finneran | Sunday, February 26, 2012

No. 29 Notre Dame had no problem taking down both No. 56 Michigan State, its sixth win in nine games against ranked opponents this season, and Marquette on Sunday in the Eck Center.

A team effort granted a 7-0 sweep against the Spartans and a 6-1 win over the Golden Eagles.

“I think today went as expected,” senior Sam Keeton said”We knew both teams would come out with a lot of intensity. We were able to match that intensity and build early leads that we never looked back from.”

The Irish continued their momentum from last weekend, when they came from behind in singles play after losing the double point at Michigan to win the match 4-3On top of that success, sophomore Greg Andrews provided encouragement with his recent climb to No. 49 in the national rankings.

The afternoon started smoothly with doubles play, when the No. 2 pair of Andrews and junior Spencer Talmadge combined with the No. 3 pair of Keeton and sophomore Billy Pecor to take the point for the Irish.

In singles play, only two of the matches required a third set to allow the final decision, all of which went to Notre Dame. These crucial individual wins from each member of the roster clinched the win.

Junior Blas Moros paved the way for the afternoon in the No. 6 slot, defeating Gijs Linders cleanly 6-0, 6-1. Pecor followed suit directly after in the No. 5 slot, also taking the point in only two matches 6-2, 6-4. Senior Casey Watt slid past Spartan Dennis Bogatov in a similar fashion, adding his point with back-to-back 6-4 matches.

From there, senior Niall Fitzgerald, Keeton and Andrews sealed the win, taking their singles matches, (6-1, 1-6, 6-3), (6-4, 7-5) and (6-1, 7-6, 1-0), respectively.

“It was important for us to get the sweep so we can preserve our energy for this tough stretch we have coming up this week,” Keeton said.

Doubles play against Marquette went even better, as all three Irish pairs beat their opponents. The closest match came in the No. 1 slot, where Watt and Fitzgerald just nudged past the Golden Eagles’ Jose Crowley and Dan Mamalat 8-7. The same teams from earlier in the afternoon in the second and third slot had little trouble confirming the Irish point, winning their matches 8-2 and 8-3, respectively.

Keeton urged the Irish ahead, finishing the first singles match of the evening to bring the Irish to a 2-0 lead with his 6-0, 7-6 set.

Freshman Wyatt McCoy moved into the No. 5 spot in singles play, bringing the Irish to a 3-0 lead when he took his first two sets 7-5, 6-2. Moros secured the win with his 6-1, 6-4 victory.

Andrews and Watt each contributed a point to bring the Irish total to six. Junior Michael Moore fell in a close final set to Cameron Tehrani, going 3-6, 6-2, 7-5.

The Irish travel to Indiana on Wednesdayto compete against the Hoosiers at 2 p.m.



Contact Megan Finneran at [email protected]