Men’s Tennis: Notre Dame hosts two teams
Megan Finneran | Friday, February 1, 2013
Notre Dame returns home this weekend to host a pair of back-to-back dual meets.
The Irish (3-2) will host No. 5 Duke and IUPUI on Sunday afternoon in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Last weekend, Notre Dame fell 4-3 in a tough loss to No. 28 Harvard, but returned the next day to sweep No. 31 Memphis 4-0. In both matches, claiming the doubles point fueled Notre Dame’s momentum.
“We have been focusing on maintaining that energy and intensity that we brought against Memphis,” Irish junior Ryan Bandy said. “We will use that win to propel us into the weekend.”
The Irish will need to bring forward the lessons learned last weekend as they look to take down undefeated Duke (5-0). The Blue Devils most recently defeated No. 37 Northwestern 4-0, handing the Wildcats their first loss of the season. The Blue Devils shine in all areas of play, led by the No. 1 pair in the country in doubles play, Henrique Cunha and Raphael Hemmeler. No. 37 Fred Saba and Chris Mengel, along with No. 39 Jason Tahir and Michael Redlicki, join them in forming a formidable lineup.
In singles play, No. 11 Cunha leads the Blue Devils’ group of deep and talented players. Other ranked contenders include No. 14 Redlicki, No. 23 Saba, No. 38 Hemmeler, No. 43 Mengel and No. 123 Tahir.
IUPUI enters its match with Irish without a win. The Jaguars (0-6) most recently faced UW-Green Bay in a 7-0 loss. In that meet, they lost each singles set and each round of doubles competition.
The Irish enter the weekend of competition having recently seen one of their youngest contributors earn an award. Freshman Quentin Monaghan earned the Big East Player of the Week honor Wednesday after going 2-1 in the No. 3 singles slot last weekend. He follows junior teammate Greg Andrews, who earned the honor the week before. Both Monaghan and Andrews have played large roles in Notre Dame’s success this season.
The Irish have been struggling all season in doubles play, but the win over Memphis served as an opportunity for improvement when they won the doubles point. They will look to continue performing this weekend against both visiting squads.
“We have been working on doubles and on specific skills for individual guys,” senior Blas Moros said.
Play begins at 12 p.m. Sunday against Duke and will continue at 6 p.m. against IUPUI.
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