Feb. 15, 2014
HOUSTON, Texas --- The Notre Dame men's tennis team has been seeing a lot of the word "upset" lately, but tonight they may have laid the term to rest. After giving No. 1 a Virginia a run in the first round of the ITA National Indoor Championships yesterday, the No. 16 Irish handily took down the higher ranked No. 9 Mississippi State in the consolation play today, 4-1.
The Irish were in trouble early, as they lost the doubles point at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. Notre Dame has not dropped the doubles point to an opponent since the match against Minnesota three weeks ago.
But the Irish have proven their grit in recent weeks' tough matchups, and they went into the singles matches with determination and energy. Notre Dame won the first set of all six singles matches, setting the tone for the rest of the match.
"We've been doing a great job in doubles this season, having gone for eight of nine in doubles points coming into this match," explained head coach Ryan Sachire. "You wonder how you will respond after losing that doubles point, but we did a really good job refocusing ourselves and turning the momentum around in singles."
Senior Ryan Bandy was the first off the court at No. 3 singles. Despite being down early in his first set to Jordan Angus (ranked 115th), the senior battled back to win, 6-2, 6-3.
Sophomore Eric Schnurrenberger next defeated Tassilo Schmid at No. 6, 6-3, 6-4. After winning his first set, Schnurrenberger had to battle back from a 3-0 deficit in his second set.
Freshman Josh Hagar won the third point for the Irish, taking down Zach White, 6-2, 6-4 at No. 4.
And the match was clinched by senior Greg Andrews, who defeated 52nd-ranked Florian Lakat, 6-5(5), 6-4. Tonight's victory broke a six-loss streak for the senior.
"It's been a tough go of it for Greg in the last month," Sachire said. "He's played some really good players, and he'd played good tennis but just hasn't been able to win the tough sets. For him to break through and get that first set tonight--especially in a tiebreaker--was really good for him. We've seen him building to where he can be in the last couple matches. Each time on the court, he's been a little bit better each time. We felt the momentum coming, he felt the momentum coming, and he went out with a lot of confidence. For him, when he's doing that and playing with belief, he's as good as any player in the country."
Notre Dame will play its last match of competition tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. (ET) against No. 12 Florida. Fans can find results here at UND.com or at the ITA Tournament Central.
--Lauren Chval, Media Relations Assistant