ND takes three matches on senior weekend
Greg Hadley | Sunday, April 13, 2014
Coming off a tough loss on the road, No. 12 Notre Dame sent its seniors off in style over the weekend, sweeping No. 47 Miami on Friday and taking two matches Sunday, over No. 30 Florida State and Valparaiso.The match against the Seminoles (16-10, 4-6 ACC), which the Irish (17-8, 6-4) won 6-1, also served as Senior Day for Greg Andrews, Ryan Bandy and Matt Dooley. All three seniors won at least one match, with Bandy and Dooley pairing up for a doubles win and Andrews taking a singles victory to go with his doubles win with freshman Josh Hagar.
“Throughout the last four years, it’s been a lot of fun to coach them, a lot of fun to work with them and a lot of fun to watch them grow,” Irish coach Ryan Sachire said. “All three have been through an enormous amount of growth through their time here at Notre Dame, and it’s not always been easy … and they’ve had a lot of challenges along the way, but I’ll tell you what ¾ these three guys have a lot of character.”
Andrews, ranked No. 20 in the nation, enjoyed a particularly good weekend, winning all three of his singles matches, including wins over Miami senior Omar Aly, ranked No. 70 in the country, and Florida State junior Dominic Cotrone, ranked No. 84. Andrews also paired with Hagar to collect two doubles victories.
Against Miami (14-9, 4-6), the Irish dominated, 7-0, with only one singles match going to a tiebreaking third set. Sophomore Quentin Monaghan, playing in the No. 3 spot for the Irish for the second time all season, grabbed the first of his three singles victories on the weekend.
After their two conference victories, the Irish returned to the court Sunday evening to take on Valparaiso (16-7, 2-2 Horizon) with almost an entirely new lineup. Sachire took the opportunity to give players who had not seen the court often in the spring some match experience. Early on in the match, the Crusaders seized on Notre Dame’s inexperience and took the lead in four of the six matches.
“You know, [Valparaiso] is a good mid-major team,” Sachire said. “I think there was a little anxiety on our part. Those guys haven’t been used to playing a lot of matches, so this was a big deal to them, and when you play a quality opponent like [Valparaiso], it’s going to be a close match.”
Behind a big rally from Andrews, who lost his first set to Valparaiso freshman Jeffrey Schorsch, 6-0, but came back to win, 0-6, 6-2, 6-2, the Irish stormed back to claim the 6-1 victory, which included their third straight doubles point on the weekend.
The Hurricanes and Seminoles currently sit in ninth and eighth place, respectively, in the ACC, while Notre Dame places fourth. After one last regular season match against Boston College on Saturday, the Irish head to the ACC conference championships, which are scheduled to begin on April 24, in Cary, N.C. The Irish own a 3-1 record at neutral sites, including a 4-0 upset of No. 15 Florida, and a 5-4 mark in away matches.
“We’ve had success everywhere we’ve played,” Sachire said. “Whether it’s at home, on the road or at a neutral site, we’ve done a really good job of performing at a consistently high level every match we’ve played in any venue. At the same time, we know that from here on out, we’re playing against some great teams, and every match will be a battle.”
The Irish finish off their regular season Saturday on the road against Boston College in Chesnut Hill, Mass. First serve is scheduled for 1 p.m.