March 2, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Looking to rebound from a 5-2 setback at Indiana that snapped a four match winning streak, the No. 26 Notre Dame men’s tennis team is set for a monster weekend at the Eck Tennis Pavilion as it welcomes in No. 2 Ohio State and No. 58 Maryland.
Notre Dame meets the Buckeyes at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, before battling the Terrapins at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
The matchup with the Buckeyes (14-1) offers the Irish a chance to go head to head with one of the country’s elite. OSU, who boasts six ranked singles players and four ranked doubles teams, finished second at the 2012 ITA National Team Indoor Championship a couple of weeks ago, losing to No. 1 Southern Cal, 4-3, in the championship match.
Among the ranked singles players include No. 6 Blaz Rola (10-1), No. 24 Chase Buchanan (5-2), No. 44 Devin McCarthy (10-2), No. 58 Peter Kobelt (7-5), No. 105 Ille Van Engelen (10-2) and No. 114 Connor Smith (12-0).
Rola and Buchanan are each apart of two ranked doubles teams as the duo is ranked No. 1 together, while Buchanan and Kobelt are No. 20 and Rola and Smith are No. 48. McCarthy and Van Engelen are No. 28.
Notre Dame is looking to break a six-match skid against the Buckeyes, with its last win coming in 2006 when the 26th ranked Irish upset the 11th ranked Buckeyes, 5-2, at Eck.
The Terrapins (3-5) boast two ranked singles players in No. 91 Maros Horny (4-4) and No. 122 Vlad Stefan (3-3). Horny also teams up with John Collins to form the No. 36 ranked doubles team.
The Irish are looking for their first win against Maryland, but haven’t played the Terrapins since an 8-1 loss in 1978.
Notre Dame is coming off a tough 5-2 loss to in-state rival Indiana. Despite winning at one and two singles, the Irish couldn’t pull off the victory at IU Tennis Center due to some tough losses at the bottom of the lineup and a heartbreaking tiebreaker loss at No. 3 doubles that gave the doubles point to the Hoosiers.
The Irish are hoping to continue their home success, as they are 7-1 on the year at Eck, with the lone loss coming to No. 6 Kentucky, 4-3.
The first 100 fans that enter the match against the Buckeyes will receive a free McDonalds breakfast. For fans that can’t make the trip to campus, both matches can be followed via live results, which can be found on UND.com.