Jan. 22, 2012
URBANA, Ill. – Facing its first road trip of the season, the No. 28 Notre Dame men’s tennis team had opportunities to pull the mild upset at No. 17 Illinois, but couldn’t capitalize on an early doubles opportunity, losing a 4-3 heartbreaker to the host Illini in Urbana, Ill.
Trailing 1-0 after the doubles point, Notre Dame performed admirably in singles, with three wins against the talented Illini. Junior Blas Moros got the Irish off on the right foot with a straight-set win over Ross Guignon, 6-1, 6-3. Sophomore Greg Andrews rolled through No. 24 Roy Kalmanovich in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, to give Notre Dame a 2-1 lead.
Needing only one more point to clinch the match the Illini turned to number three singles, where Bruno Abdelnour knocked off No. 74 Sam Keeton, 7-6, 6-3.
Even with the match decided, sophomore Billy Pecor provided some fireworks with a thrilling three-set win over Stephen Hoh, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The Irish had a good shot at claiming the doubles point as they opened with a 1-0 lead after Illinois failed to fill the No. 3 doubles spot. The Illini’s Nevolo and Gosea tied the doubles up at one with an 8-5 victory over Fitzgerald and junior Spencer Talmadge. With the doubles point on the line, the No. 2 doubles team of Watt and Andrews traded leads with Kopinski and Guignon, but couldn’t close out the duo, losing 8-6.
The Irish will take the week off from competition before heading to Columbus, Ohio, next weekend, where they will meet Indiana on Friday and Ohio State or Cornell on Saturday.
Singles No. 1
#2 Dennis Nevolo (ILL) d. Casey Watt (ND), 6-1, 7-5
Singles No. 2
Greg Andrews (ND) d. #24 Roy Kalmanovich (ILL), 6-2, 6-3
Singles No. 3
Bruno Abdelnour (ILL) d. #74 Sam Keeton (ND), 7-6, 6-3
Singles No. 4
Billy Pecor (ND) d. Stephen Hoh (ILL), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Order of Finish: 6, 2, 1, 5, 3, 4
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2