Jan. 19, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Following a pair of Sunday sweeps over Illinois State and Toledo, the No. 28 Notre Dame men’s tennis team returns to action as it plays host to William & Mary on Friday night, before hitting the road for the first time on Sunday to face off with No. 17 Illinois.
Friday’s match gets underway at 6 p.m. at Eck Tennis Pavilion and will be available to fans via live stats. Sunday’s match begins at 4 p.m. (ET) at Atkins/Khan Tennis Center.
The Irish (2-0) are coming off a pair of 7-0 victories last Sunday over Illinois State and Toledo. In those two matches, four Irish student-athletes went 2-0 in singles including senior Casey Watt, junior Blas Moros, sophomore Greg Andrews and freshman Wyatt McCoy. Watt and Andrews also went 2-0 on the day as a doubles duo. Sophomore Billy Pecor went 2-0 in doubles and 1-0 in singles.
The Tribe enter Friday’s match with an equal 2-0 record, having knocked off Maryland-Baltimore County, 6-1, and Richmond, 4-3. William & Mary is led by No. 34 singles player Jamie Whiteford. Last year Notre Dame defeated the Tribe, 6-1, in Williamsburg, Va. The Irish are 10-2 all-time versus the Tribe.
“One of the challenges in playing a Peter Daub team is that you know they will play hard,” said head coach Bobby Bayliss. “They will come out and play aggressive and very good doubles. We need to meet that level in order to be ready.”
The Illini haven’t played a dual match yet this year, but did compete in the Gardnar Mulloy Miami Invitational last weekend in Miami. Illinois boasts two top-25 singles performers in No. 2 Dennis Nevolo and No. 24 Roy Kalmanovich. Last year the squads met twice, splitting a home and home as the Illini protected their home court, 4-1, before the Irish gained a measure of revenge with a 5-2 victory over No. 6 Illinois at Eck Tennis Pavilion. Notre Dame is 23-21 all-time against Illinois.
“The Illini have been a consistent fixture in the college top-10 rankings for more than a decade,” said Bayliss. “This year’s team is no different. They are particularly strong at the one and two positions with Nevolo and Lamanovich.”