April 21, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. – Leading by a score of 3-2 with two matches left on court, the University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team was unable to close out BIG EAST Championship host USF Saturday, falling 4-3 in the semifinals at the P.E. Tennis Courts.
The Irish opened up the early 1-0 lead in the contest, claiming the doubles point with wins at No. 2 and 3 doubles. Greg Andrews (Richland, Mich.) and Spencer Talmadge (Hillsborough, Calif.) finished off Wael Kilani and Federico Sabogal at court two (8-5) before Sam Keeton (Kansas City, Mo.) and Billy Pecor (Scottsdale, Ariz.) pulled out a tiebreak victory over Lucas Marin-Salcedo and Guillermo de Vilchez at court three (9-8 (7-3)) to clinch.
The remaining doubles match also went to tiebreak between the Irish team of Casey Watt (Gibsonia, Pa.) and Niall Fitzgerald (Wicklow, Ireland) and the Bulls duo of Yannick Yoshizawa and Oliver Pramming at the No. 1 court, but was abandoned after the point was clinched with the Irish ahead 8-8 (5-1).
USF quickly jumped into the lead at the beginning of singles as Watt fell at court one to Kilani (6-1, 6-0) before Keeton lost to Sabogal at No. 3 singles, 6-2, 6-1. The Irish rebounded, however, claiming the next two points to move to within match point in the contest.
Andrews finished first to level the match at 2-2, defeating Yoshizawa at the No. 2 court, 6-1, 6-1. The victory marked the eighth in a row for the Irish sophomore and improved him to 24-3 overall on the dual season.
The remaining three matches all would go the full three sets, with Fitzgerald wrapping up first amongst the three as he defeated Ravi Patel at No. 5 (7-5, 4-6, 6-3). The win improved Fitzgerald to 2-0 at the BIG EAST Championship and increased his overall record to 15-7 on the dual season.
Needing just one more point to close out the contest, the Irish took both of the final two matches deciding sets to seven games but were unable to walk away with either of the two. Blas Moros (Boca Raton, Fla.) took the first set (6-2) against Pramming at No. 6 singles, but lost the second and third sets by matching 7-6 (7-2) outcomes to level the match at 3-3. Pecor then fell to Juan Carlos Acuna Gerard at No. 4 singles (6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-4), 7-5) to end the near five-hour long match.
Notre Dame now looks to bounce back as it takes on St. John’s at 9 a.m. (ET) Sunday at the P.E. Courts for third place. Be sure to check back with UND.com for a complete recap of the match and for in-game updates be sure to follow @NDMensTennis.
Singles Competition:1. Wael Kilani (USF) def. Casey Watt (ND) 6-1, 6-02. Greg Andrews (ND) def. Yannick Yoshizawa (USF) 6-1, 6-13. Federico Sabogal (USF) def. Sam Keeton (ND) 6-2, 6-14. Juan Carlos Acuna Gerard (USF) def. Billy Pecor (ND) 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4), 7-5*5. Niall Fitzgerald (ND) def. Ravi Patel (USF) 7-5, 4-6, 6-36. Oliver Pramming (USF) def. Blas Moros (ND) 2-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (2)
Doubles Competition:1. Casey Watt/Niall Fitzgerald (ND) vs. Yannick Yoshizawa/Oliver Pramming (USF) 8-8 (5-1) DNF2. Greg Andrews/Spencer Talmadge (ND) def. Wael Kilani/Federico Sabogal (USF) 8-53. Sam Keeton/Billy Pecor (ND) def. Lucas Marin-Salcedo/Guillermo de Vilchez (USF) 9-8 (7-3)*
Match Notes:Order of Finish: Doubles (2,3*); Singles (1, 3, 2, 5, 6, 4*)* - clinching point