May 8, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 28 University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team kicks off the 2013 NCAA Championship at 10 a.m. (ET) Friday when the Irish meet No. 37 Washington in Columbus, Ohio at No. 5 seed Ohio State’s Varsity Tennis Courts.
The winner of the first-ever matchup between the Irish and the Huskies will play the winner of the contest between the Buckeyes (31-2) and Cleveland State (12-11) at 12 p.m. Saturday.
The Irish are making a return to Columbus for the NCAAs for the fifth time in the last six seasons, having also played there in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012. Notre Dame has participated in 22 NCAA Championships all-time, with all 22 appearances coming in the last 23 years under the watchful eye of ITA Hall of Fame head coach Bobby Bayliss.
Notre Dame has reached the round of 16 in the NCAA Championships on seven occasions, highlighted by a runner-up finish in 1992 and a 1993 quarterfinal result. The Irish lost in the opening round in 2004, ’05, ’08 and ’09, but reached the round of 16 in 2006 and ’07.
Last year the Irish advanced to the second round in the Columbus regional, defeating No. 40 Vanderbilt, 4-3, before falling to the Buckeyes, 4-0.
The Irish are coming off their ninth BIG EAST Championship, as it defeated St. John’s (4-0), Marquette (4-1) and then-No. 50 Louisville (4-0) to claim the crown. The squad also is riding a nine-match winning streak, which is the longest since the 2006-07 team won nine in a row and advanced to the NCAA Round of 16.
Junior Greg Andrews was named the championship’s most outstanding player and later earned a spot on the all-BIG EAST squad as well as BIG EAST Player of the Year accolades for the second year in a row. Also earning a spot on the all-BIG EAST team were senior Blas Moros, freshman Quention Monaghan and junior Billy Pecor. Monaghan was named the league’s freshman of the year, while Bayliss earned coach of the year honors for the eighth time in the BIG EAST.
Washington (17-11) is making its 19th consecutive appearance in the NCAA field and has reached five Sweet 16’s under veteran coach Matt Anger. The Huskies advanced to the second round of the Pac 12 Championship and are led by No. 17 Kyle McMorrow, who went 21-3 in dual matches.
Fans can follow Friday’s match through the live stats link on UND.com. Tickets for each match are $6 for adults and $4 for senior citizens, students and children.
Notre Dame owned the BIG EAST Men’s Tennis Player of the Week award this spring season, winning nine of the 13 awards the league office announced … junior Greg Andrews has won five times, fellow junior Billy Pecor has won twice and senior Blas Moros and freshman Quentin Monaghan has won once each.
The victory over Louisville in the BIG EAST Championship gave the Irish nine wins over teams that are ranked in the May 2 ITA poll – No. 22 Michigan, No. 26 Illinois, No. 32 Memphis, No. 43 Michigan State, No. 47 Louisville (2), No. 54 Cornell, No. 60 Wisconsin and No. 72 USF.
All of Notre Dame’s seven losses this season are to teams ranked in the top 45 of this week’s ITA poll, including four teams in the top 25 … the losses were to No. 4 USC, No. 5 Ohio State, No. 8 Kentucky, No. 9 Duke, No. 27 Harvard, No. 36 Northwestern and No. 42 Boise State … four of the seven losses have come in 4-3 setbacks.
Notre Dame is 4-5 when losing the doubles point … three of the four wins have come over ranked foes – Michigan, Wisconsin and Cornell … the Irish are 15-2 when winning the doubles point … the two losses came at Kentucky and to Boise State at the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic.