Nov. 2, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s tennis team closes out the fall season this weekend as it travels to Minneapolis to compete in the four-team Minnesota Invitational.
Denver and Nebraska join the host Gophers and the Irish at the Baseline Tennis Center for the four-day event.
The tournament will be made up of pods of eight players each. The No. 1 and No. 2 players from each school we play each other. Similarly the No. 3 and No. 4 players will be grouped together as will the No. 5 and No. 6 players. The final groupings will be the No. 7 through No. 10 players. The Irish will also play Minnesota on Thursday before the tournament gets underway.
“We are using this tournament to see where we are at as a team as the fall season comes to an end,” said head coach Bobby Bayliss. “All three teams we will face have good squads, with Minnesota ending the year ranked 23rd and Nebraska 44th. We will also be monitoring our doubles teams to see where they stand heading into the winter.”
The invitational will be the first action for Notre Dame since its impressive showing at the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Championships in the middle of October. There the Irish placed five players in the final 16, with seniors Niall Fitzgerald and Casey Watt advancing to the final eight and four, respectively. Along the way Irish players defeated three seeded teams.
Also in singles action, freshman Douglas Barnard stormed through the singles draw qualifier bracket, defeating three opponents, to earn a place in the 64-team field.
The Irish open up their 2012 season on January 15, when they play host to Illinois State at 9 a.m. and Toledo at 6 p.m.