Feb. 7, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. – The No. 30 Notre Dame men’s team won the first four points of the match as it cruised to a 5-2 victory over No. 64 Northwestern on Tuesday night at Combe Tennis Center. With the victory, the Irish (6-3) handed the Wildcats (5-1) their first loss of the season.
Knowing the importance of the doubles point to his team’s success, head coach Bobby Bayliss continued to tinker with the doubles lineup on Tuesday with great success as all three doubles teams claimed victory to give the Irish the early 1-0 lead.
At No. 1 doubles seniors Niall Fitzgerald and Casey Watt teamed up to take down the duo of Josh Graves and Spencer Wolf, 8-4. At No. 2 doubles Greg Andrews and Spencer Talmadge rolled past Raleigh Smith and Alex Pasareanu, 8-3, while Billy Pecor and Sam Keeton eked past the team of Tobias Reitz and Sidarth Balaji, 9-8, at No. 3 doubles to give Notre Dame the doubles sweep.
Notre Dame next claimed four victories in straight sets to take the match. Moving down from No. 5 singles, Fitzgerald got back on the right track as he rolled through Nikhil Jayashankar, 6-4, 6-1, giving Notre Dame a 2-0 advantage. No. 1 Watt won the next match, taking down Balaji, 7-5, 6-3, and No. 74 Sam Keeton clinched the match for the Irish at No. 3 singles with a 7-5, 6-2 win over No. 97 Spencer Wolf.
The final victory for the Irish came at No. 2 singles as Andrews bounced back from his first loss of the season on Sunday to drop Graves, 6-4, 6-4.
Notre Dame’s two losses came at four and five singles after the match had already been decided as the two matches played the third set as a superset. At four, Smith topped Pecor, 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8), while Pasareanu knocked off Blas Moros, 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-4).
The Irish return home to Eck Tennis Center this weekend after a brutal six-match road schedule that saw them play six ranked teams and go 3-3. Notre Dame plays host to Wisconsin on Friday at 4 p.m., and No. 6 Kentucky and IUPUI on Sunday at 12 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively. All three matches can be followed via live stats.
No. 1 Singles
Casey Watt (ND) def. Sidarth Balaji (NU) 7-5, 6-3
No. 2 Singles
Greg Andrews (ND) def. Josh Graves (NU) 6-4, 6-4
No. 3 Singles
#74 Sam Keeton (ND) def. #97 Spencer Wolf (NU) 7-5, 6-2
No. 4 Singles
Raleigh Smith (NU) def. Billy Pecor (ND) 7-6, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8)
No. 5 Singles
Alex Pasareanu (NU) def. Blas Moros (ND) 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-4)
No. 6 Singles
Niall Fitzgerald (ND) def. Nikhil Jayashankar (NU) 6-4, 6-1
Order of Finish: 6, 1, 3, 5, 2, 4
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3