Men’s Tennis: Andrews sets big goals as senior
Brian Hartnett | Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Notre Dame senior Greg Andrews has seemingly done it all in his college tennis career.
Achieve a national ranking? Check.
Reach the NCAA Singles Championship? Affirmative.
Win Big East Player of the Year? He’s done that, twice.
But the No. 1 singles player for the Irish admitted he still has a lot more to accomplish.
“Obviously, I haven’t won any NCAA championships, I haven’t been an All-American,” Andrews said. “There are always things I can keep striving for.”
Andrews will look to achieve his remaining goals in his final season at Notre Dame. As one of four seniors on the squad, he will also play the role of leader for the young team, which has seven underclassmen on its roster.
“I try to lead by example,” Andrews said. “I just try to do the right things and bring my best to practice every day. I hope the young guys see that and realize that’s the key to success.”
Success has been a constant theme throughout Andrews’ career at Notre Dame. In addition to his two-time conference player of the year crown, he reached the round of 32 at last season’s NCAA Singles Championships, and he’s ascended up the national rankings to reach his current spot as the No. 31 college singles player in the country.
Yet Andrews said his favorite victory with the Irish came as part of a team triumph in April’s Big East Championship.
“[The Big East Championship] was a great experience, especially in [former Irish] coach [Bobby] Bayliss’ last year,” Andrews said. “To win that for him was just amazing.”
Bayliss may have retired after last season, but Andrews said the team hasn’t skipped a beat under new head coach Ryan Sachire, a former Irish assistant.
“It was definitely an easy change because Coach Sachire has been with the program for so long,” Andrews said. “He’s brought in some great assistant coaches that have made the transition easy as well.”
The Richfield, Mich., native said he’s even talked with Sachire about the idea of playing professionally after graduation. Sachire has some expertise in the field, as he played on the professional circuit for five years after his own career with the Irish.
“[Sachire] told me not to worry about [deciding to play professionally] yet,” Andrews said. “I have a lot of time to make that decision, and I need to focus on my academics and my college tennis.”
Indeed, Andrews has done a noteworthy job of balancing academics with his athletic pursuits. An accounting major who’s been a Dean’s List regular at Notre Dame, Andrews was named to last season’s Capital One Academic All-American Division I At-Large team and currently has an accounting internship lined up for next summer.
“I’ve always really tried to focus on my academics and definitely not put them second to my athletics,” Andrews said. “I’ve always liked being a student-athlete because I felt it helped me manage my time, and it made me more efficient. Honestly, I don’t think I would have done as well as I have in tennis if I weren’t a student-athlete.”
Regardless of whether his future holds a pro tennis career or an accounting job, Andrews said he would make the most of his final collegiate season in the sport he’s been playing since he was six years old.
“I lived all over the world when I was younger, in Mexico, Texas, England and China,” he said. “When I traveled, tennis was the one sport that stuck with me, so when I got back to the states for good, I only played tennis. I just stuck with it.”
Andrews and the Irish return to action at the ITA All-American Championships, which begin Sept. 28.
Contact Brian Hartnett at [email protected]