May 13, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The University of Notre Dame men's tennis team defeated East Tennessee in a 4-3 nail-biting match Friday at the Stickney Tennis Center in Columbus, Ohio in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Championships. Freshman Greg Andrews (Gull Lake, Mich./Richland) showed no signs of first-year jitters as he clinched the match for the Irish at fourth singles and defeated Charles Bottoni in a three-set match, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5.
"I am proud of the way our guys fought," head coach Bobby Bayliss said. "It was far from a perfect match. To have our freshman be the last one on the court speaks volumes for Greg Andrews' poise. He was down 40-love at five all and won five-straight points to break serve. He put himself in the position and he won nine consecutive points. I was a little disappointed in our doubles. I don't think we played as well as we could have, but in singles we came out fighting against a scrappy team. I can see why they did some good things this season."
The Irish were unable to win the doubles point as junior Casey Watt (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine-Richland) and senior Stephen Havens (Cincinnati, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy) were defeated in an 8-6 decision by Jesus Bandres and Sander Gille at second doubles. Andrews and senior Daniel Stahl (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) were at a 7-5 score on third doubles and in a position to win the match, but before the match was finished junior Niall Fitzgerald (Wicklow, Ireland/Blackrock College) and sophomore Spencer Talmadge (Hillsborough, Calif./Junipero Serra) dropped 8-6 to Charles Bottoni and Grega Teraz at the No. 1 position.
As the Irish entered the match with a 1-0 deficit, 63rd-ranked Watt quickly even out the score with a victory over Teraz. The Irish junior downed the Buc in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3. Sophomore Blas Moros (Boca Raton, Fla./Pine-Crest) handled Roger Ordeig at six singles with a 6-0, 6-3 victory, which moved the Irish into the lead.
Notre Dame then dropped back-to-back matches as junior Sam Keeton (Kansas City, Mo./Pembroke Hill) fell in a hard fought 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 match to Ramirez at the No. 5 position. Havens had a strong start to his match at second singles as the senior downed Gille 6-1 in the first set, before falling 6-2 in the second set. The match came down to the wire in the third set, but Havens fell 7-6 and ETSU was able to regain the lead.
The 95th-ranked Stahl and Andrews remained on the courts at third and fourth singles, respectively. Stahl was in the second set (he had won the first set in a 7-6 decision) and concluded the match as he defeated Bandres 6-4 to place the score at 3-3.
Andrews remained on the No. 4 court and had split the first two sets with Bottoni, dropping the first set 6-2 and winning the second in a 6-4 decision. The freshman was down 40 to love at five all and fought back to win five-straight points to break serve and ended up winning nine consecutive points.
The Irish play the winner of the No. 4 Ohio State and Ball State match at 1:00 p.m. (ET) at the Stickney Tennis Center in Columbus, Ohio.
#30 Notre Dame 4, #61 ETSU 3
1. #63 Casey Watt (ND) def. Grega Teraz (ETSU) 6-2, 6-3
2. Sander Gille (ETSU) def. Stephen Havens (ND) 1-6, 6-2, 7-6
3. #95 Daniel Stahl (ND) def. Jesus Bandres (ETSU) 7-6, 6-4
4. Greg Andrews (ND) def. Charles Bottoni (ETSU) 2-6, 6-4, 7-5
5. Juan Ramirez (ETSU) def. Samuel Keeton (ND) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
6. Blas Moros (ND) def. Roger Ordeig (ETSU) 6-0, 6-3
1. Charles Bottoni/Grega Teraz (ETSU) def. #82 Niall Fitzgerald/Spencer Talmadge (ND) 8-6
2. Jesus Bandres/Sander Gille (ETSU) def. Casey Watt/Stephen Havens (ND) 8-6
3. Daniel Stahl/Greg Andrews (ND) vs. Robin Akser/Juan Ramirez (ETSU) 7-5, unfinished
Match Notes: ETSU 17-7; National ranking #61
Notre Dame 18-11; National ranking #30
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (1,6,5,2,3,4)
First Round of 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championship
Official: Vince Solomon T-3:50 Division I Men's Tennis Championship