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Men’s Tennis: Irish take down Spartans

Peter Steiner | Monday, February 11, 2013

Playing in a difficult road environment, the No. 29 Irish took down No. 48 Michigan State, 6-1, at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility in East Lansing, Mich., to claim their second road victory of the spring season.

Notre Dame (5-3) cruised through the singles matchups after taking a closely contested doubles point. The win marks the fifth straight time the Irish have defeated the Spartans (4-4) by a 6-1 or 7-0 margin.

“I think we played a strong match, pretty much top to bottom throughout the lineup,” Irish coach Bobby Bayliss said. “I was concerned about Michigan State because they’ve had a couple of good wins this year. I was pleasantly surprised the way our guys competed.”

Facing the Spartans on the road presented additional challenges because of the faster court surfaces and large crowd, Bayliss said.

“Michigan State has extremely fast courts, and we did everything we could to replicate that in practice, but you still have to make that adjustment on site,” Bayliss said. “I think beating them there is significant because it’s a more difficult place to play than most of the places we go. They also saved our match to serve as their celebration of 100 years of Michigan State tennis, so they had big crowd of people.”

The Irish started the match strong, taking the doubles point behind victories by No. 1 and No. 3 doubles. While Irish junior Greg Andrews and senior Spencer Talmadge defeated the Spartans top duo, 8-3, the Irish third doubles team, composed of juniors Matt Dooley and Ryan Bandy, needed two breaks near the end of the match to win 8-6. 

“We actually got behind at third doubles and came back, broke back at even and then broke them when they were serving at 6-7,” Bayliss said. “Matt Dooley hit a top-spin backhand lob winner on match point to clinch that match and that clinched the doubles point. No. 1 doubles was in control the whole way.”

Irish freshman Quentin Monaghan, sophomore Wyatt McCoy and senior Blas Moros highlighted the Irish singles victories, as each won in straight sets.

“Quentin Monaghan defeated [Spartans freshman] J.P. Mullane in straight sets,” Bayliss said. “He had lost to Mullane in the fall at our place and so I think that was significant. It was good to see Wyatt McCoy hold his ground and dictate a little bit in his match, which bodes well for him moving forward. Blas Moros played a strong match as well. He dominated a very good left-handed baseliner and was able to take control of the points off the ground.”

With the win, the Irish improve to 2-3 against top-50 ranked opponents this spring season. 

Notre Dame will face another ranked opponent Tuesday when it goes back on the road to play No. 7 Kentucky at 2:00 in Lexington, Ky. 

Contact Peter Steiner at [email protected]