Senior Casey Watt

No. 29 Notre Dame Meets BIG EAST Foe USF In Tampa

March 16, 2012

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Following a two-week break from competition, the No. 29 Notre Dame men’s tennis team returns to action on Saturday when it meets BIG EAST foe South Florida in a 1 p.m. match at USF Varsity Tennis Courts.

The match will be the first for the Irish on outdoor courts this year and will offer a preview of the courts that will play host to this year’s BIG EAST Championship, which will take place from April 19-22.

The Irish (12-6) last played on March 4 when they knocked off then No. 58 Maryland, 5-2, in a thrilling four-hour match.

Continuing to lead the way for the Irish is sophomore Greg Andrews, who has a 16-2 mark in singles and a 13-5 record in doubles. The Richland, Mich., native is 9-1 in his previous 10 singles matches. After beginning the year with senior Casey Watt, Andrews is 10-2 since being paired with junior Spencer Talmadge in doubles. Andrews is ranked No. 42 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings.

A pair of doubles teams have jumped into the latest ITA rankings as well. The No. 1 doubles duo of Watt and senior Niall Fizgerald break into the rankings at No. 49 with a 5-6 mark, primarily playing against fellow ranked foes. Despite not playing together since Jan. 29, the second Irish doubles team that is ranked is Fitzgerald and junior Spencer Talmadge. The pair enter the rankings at No. 76 with a 2-2 record.

Other standouts this spring season include Blas Moros, Casey Watt and Sam Keeton. Moros is 13-5 in playing between three and six singles, while Watt is 11-7, including 7-3 in his last 10 matches, playing primarily at No. 1 singles. Five of his seven losses have come against individuals that are ranked in the ITA’s top 10. Keeton is 10-6, including 7-3 in last 10 matches, playing primarily No. 3 singles.

The Bulls (3-11) have had a tough year, but always play well at home, winning all three contests at the friendly confines of USF Varsity Courts.

Notre Dame is 6-2 all-time versus the Bulls, having won two in a row after losing a pair of matches in Tampa in 2009 and 2010. The 2009 match was in the BIG EAST semifinals.