Sept. 15, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s tennis team opens up the 2011 fall season this weekend as it travels to Chicago, Ill., to compete in the loaded Illini Invitational. The event, which takes place on clay courts, will see elite teams Alabama, California, Illinois, Kentucky and Texas join the Irish in the three-day invitational.
Notre Dame, who ended the season ranked 31st, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, will face off with five other NCAA Tournament teams. Kentucky (No. 8), California (No. 14), Texas (No. 16) and Illinois (No. 17) all ended the 2011 season ranked in the top 20, and also all advanced to the second round or later of the NCAA Tournament, with Kentucky advancing all the way to the quarterfinals. Alabama finished the year 57th, and did not receive a bid to the NCAAs.
The Irish finished the 2010-11 season with an 18-12 record and return 11 players from the BIG EAST runner-up team.
Based on last season’s results, three Notre Dame student-athletes received national rankings to open the season. Senior Casey Watt enters the year ranked 28th in singles, while the duo of senior Niall Fitzgerald and junior Spencer Talmadge opens the year ranked 21st in doubles.
Expected to compete for the Irish this weekend will be seniors Watt, Fitzgerald and Sam Keeton, juniors Talmadge, Blas Moros and Talmadge, sophomores Greg Andrews, Ryan Bandy and Billy Pecor and freshman Wyatt McCoy.