April 9, 2012
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Behind four singles victories, including two wins over ranked foes, the No. 43 Notre Dame men’s tennis team went into the Mitchell Tennis Center on Monday night and shocked the No. 25 Texas A&M Aggies, 4-3, to give the Irish their highest-ranked win of the season.
With the win the Irish (17-7) became just the second opponent in the last 49 tries to knock off the Aggies on their home court. Notre Dame is now 7-6 on the year against ranked opponents. All seven of Notre Dame’s losses have come against teams that are currently ranked by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, with six coming to top-35 teams, including four to top-25 opponents.
For the second consecutive match in Texas the Irish trailed 1-0 after losing all three doubles contests. For the second time in three days Notre Dame came storming back to win the necessary singles contests to earn the victory. This time the Irish won matches at one, two, three and six singles, including two wins over ranked foes.
Senior co-captain Sam Keeton got the Irish started at three singles with a 6-1, 6-4 win over No. 103 John Lewis. After the Aggies took a 2-1 lead on the strength of a 6-3, 6-2 win from Jeffery Efferding over Billy Pecor at four singles, senior Casey Watt picked up his biggest win of the season at one singles with a 6-3, 6-4 triumph over No. 29 Alexis Kelgou. It was the highest-ranked opponent the Gibsonia, Pa., product had knocked off since No. 7 Mortiz Baumann of Wisconsin in 2010.
Texas A&M moved one point away from victory at No. 5 singles, where in a battle of the Nialls, Niall Angus defeated senior co-captain Niall Fitzgerald, 7-5, 7-6.
The Irish refused to give up however, as Blas Moros earned a hard-fought 7-6, 6-4 win over Jackson Withrow at No. 6 singles and sophomore Greg Andrews (No. 52) came from behind to knock off Colin Hoover in a three-set battle, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, to clinch the match for Notre Dame.
The squad leaves the heart of Texas with a pair of wins over SMU and the Aggies and now sports a five-match winning streak after a tough loss to conference foe USF on March 17.
Notre Dame closes out the regular season this Saturday when it hosts rival No. 35 Louisville in a 1 p.m. match on Senior Day.
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1
No. 1 Singles
Casey Watt (ND) d. No. 29 Alexis Klegou (A&M), 6-3, 6-4
No. 2 Singles
No. 52 Greg Andrews (ND) d. Colin Hoover (A&M), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
No. 3 Singles
Sam Keeton (ND) d. No. 103 John Lewis (A&M), 6-1, 6-4
No. 4 Singles
Jeremy Efferding (A&M) d. Billy Pecor (ND), 6-3, 6-2
No. 5 Singles
Niall Angus (A&M) d. Niall Fitzgerald (ND), 7-5, 7-6
No. 6 Singles
Blas Moros (ND) d. Jackson Withrow (A&M). 7-6, 6-4
Order of Finish: 3, 4, 1, 5, 6, 2