March 31, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 27 University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team returns to action Monday afternoon when it travels to in-state rival Ball State for a 2 p.m. match at the Cardinal Creek Tennis Center in Muncie, Ind.
The Irish (11-7) are coming off a 6-1 win over William & Mary last Saturday, March 23. In the match Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead after winning doubles and then claimed victory at one through five singles to put away the Tribe.
Notre Dame continues to be led at the top of its lineup by junior Greg Andrews, who checks in at No. 109 in this week’s ITA rankings. The three-time BIG EAST Player of the Week is 10-7 at the top spot this spring season. Freshman Quentin Monaghan (10-4) and senior Blas Moros (9-5) continue to display steady play at two and three singles, respectively. At the bottom half of the lineup, Billy Pecor (8-6), Wyatt McCoy (7-5), Michael Moore (7-3) and Ryan Bandy (5-3) have all produced big wins for the Irish throughout the spring season.
The Cardinals (10-6) bested Illinois State, 4-3, on the road Saturday. Ball State has won eight of its last 10 matches, including four in a row. A pair of performers rotates at No. 1, as Dalton Albertin is a perfect 5-0 while Ray Leonard is 6-6. During the dual season Albertin is 11-6 and Leonard is 8-6. Performing especially well for the Cardinals are Patrick Elliot (12-3) and Austin Smith (12-4), who play anywhere from three to six in the Ball State lineup. Austin Sansone is 6-2 at six singles.
Notre Dame leads the all-time series against the Cardinals, 37-5, including 21-2 under ITA Hall of Fame head coach Bobby Bayliss.
Following the match with the Cardinals, the Irish return home to Courtney Tennis Center for three matches in two days. Notre Dame plays SMU at 4 p.m. Friday, April 5, before playing host to BIG EAST rival USF (1 p.m.) and Butler (6 p.m.) Saturday, April 6. Saturday will mark senior day for three Irish men’s tennis standouts – Michael Moore, Moros and Spencer Talmadge.
Notre Dame has owned the BIG EAST Men’s Tennis Player of the Week award this spring season, winning seven of the 10 awards the league office has announced … junior Greg Andrews has won three times, fellow junior Billy Pecor has won twice and senior Blas Moros and freshman Quentin Monaghan has won once each.
The victory over Cornell at the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic gave the Irish six wins over teams ranked that are in the March 26 ITA poll – No. 19 Illinois, No. 34 Memphis, No. 35 Michigan, No. 41 Cornell, No. 51 Michigan State and No. 70 Wisconsin.
All of Notre Dame’s seven losses this season are to teams ranked in the top 50 of this week’s ITA poll, including six teams in the top 25 … the losses were to No. 2 USC, No. 7 Ohio State, No. 8 Kentucky, No. 9 Duke, No. 16 Harvard, No. 26 Northwestern and No. 48 Boise State … four of the six losses have come in 4-3 setbacks.
Notre Dame is 3-5 when losing the doubles point … all three wins have come over ranked foes – Michigan, Wisconsin and Cornell … the Irish are 8-2 when winning the doubles point … the two losses came at Kentucky and to Boise State at the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic.