Niall Fitzgerald secured the Irish victory over Villanova with his win at No. 4 singles, earning the squad a spot in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship.

Irish Make Quick Work Of Villanova, 5-0, For Spot In Semifinals

April 20, 2012

Box Score

TAMPA, Fla. – Riding a six-match win streak into the BIG EAST Tournament, the top-seeded University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team defeated eighth-seeded Villanova, 5-0, Friday at the P.E. Tennis Courts to earn a spot in the semifinals. The victory improved the Irish to 4-1 on the season against conference opposition.

In doubles action, the day started with a shutout victory as the Irish pairing of Sam Keeton (Kansas City, Mo.) and Wyatt McCoy (Shoreview, Minn.) defeated Kyle Grandin and Mark Miller at the No. 3 court, 8-0. Casey Watt (Gibsonia, Pa.) and Niall Fitzgerald (Wicklow, Ireland) then clinched the opening point of the match, knocking off Thomas O’Brien and Kelly Donaldson 8-4 at No. 1 doubles.

The final doubles match between the Irish pairing of Greg Andrews (Richland, Mich.) and Spencer Talmadge (Hillsborough, Calif.) and the Wildcats duo of Tim Abbracciamento and Mike Rosengren was abandoned with Notre Dame ahead 7-2 in the match.

Andrews finished first in singles competition, pulling away from Matt Colonnese for 6-0, 6-3 victory. The win marked the seventh consecutive for the Irish sophomore and improved him to a team-leading 23-3 dual record.

McCoy, making only his seventh appearance in singles on the dual season, finished next after defeating Miller at No. 6 singles, 6-0, 6-3 to move the contest to match point. The freshman won his second consecutive match and improved to 6-1 on the season with the victory.

Fitzgerald then clinched the quarterfinal victory, securing a win over Rosengren at No. 4 singles, 6-1, 6-2. The decision bumped the Irish senior’s dual record to 6-1 at court four. Blas Moros (Boca Raton, Fla.) also finished his match before the contest was called, knocking off Abbracciamento at the No. 5 court, 6-3, 6-2.

The remaining two matches were abandoned with Watt leading O’Brien at No. 1 (6-1, 4-5) and Billy Pecor (Scottsdale, Ariz.) leading at No. 3 (6-3, 4-1).

Notre Dame returns to action Saturday in a semifinal match against the winner of fourth-seeded USF and fifth-seeded DePaul. First serve is scheduled for noon (ET) at the Varsity Tennis Courts. Be sure to check back with for a complete recap of the match as the Irish look to advance to the tournament championship.

Notre Dame vs VillanovaP.E. Courts (Tampa, Fla.)#1 Notre Dame 5, #8 Villanova 0
Singles Competition:1. Casey Watt (ND) vs. Thomas O'Brien (VU) 6-1, 4-5 DNF2. Greg Andrews (ND) def. Matt Colonnese (VU) 6-0, 6-33. Billy Pecor (ND) vs. Ryan Peyton (VU) 6-3, 4-1 DNF4. Niall Fitzgerald (ND) def. Mike Rosengren (VU) 6-1, 6-2*5. Blas Moros (ND) def. Tim Abbracciamento (VU) 6-3, 6-26. Wyatt McCoy (ND) def. Mark Miller (VU) 6-0, 6-3
Doubles Competition:1. Casey Watt/Niall Fitzgerald (ND) def. Thomas O'Brien/Kelly Donaldson (VU) 8-4*2. Greg Andrews/Spencer Talmadge (ND) vs. Tim Abbracciamento/Mike Rosengren (VU) 7-2 DNF3. Sam Keeton/Wyatt McCoy (ND) def. Kyle Grandin/Mark Miller (VU) 8-0
Match Notes:Order of Finish: Doubles (3,1*); Singles (2,6,4*,5)* - clinching point