May 13, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - In a match that was closer than the final result indicated, the No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the No. 29 Notre Dame men's tennis team, 4-0, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday at Ohio State's Varsity Tennis Center.
Ohio State claimed the doubles point and won at one, two and four singles to pick up the win. The Irish end the year with an impressive 21-9 mark.
"I was proud of the way our guys fought throughout the match," said head coach Bobby Bayliss. "I feel like the final score is not an indication of how well we played. When the match was called we were in all three matches with a good chance to pick up wins. But all the credit goes to Ohio State. They are very strong across the board, especially at the top of their lineup and they deserve to go to Athens."
The Buckeyes opened the match by winning the doubles point to take the 1-0 lead. The duo of Peter Kobelt and Connor Smith topped Billy Pecor and Sam Keeton, 8-4, at No. 3 doubles, and the No. 1 team of Chase Buchanan and Blaz Rola defeated No. 55 Niall Fitzgerald and Casey Watt, 8-3, at No. 1 doubles. The closest doubles contest of the day came at two, where No. 32 Devin McCarthy and Ille Van Engelen led Greg Andrews and Spencer Talmadge, 7-6, before the match was stopped with the doubles point already decided.
Ohio State took a 2-0 lead as No. 10 Buchanan topped Casey Watt in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. The Buckeye lead went to 3-0 after Van Engelen knocked off Pecor in two sets, 6-4, 6-2. No. 9 Rola closed out the match at two singles with a hard-fought straight-set win over No. 54 Andrews, 7-5, 6-3.
Despite the 4-0 final margin, the three unfinished matches were close with the Irish in contention in all three. At three singles, Keeton dropped the first set, 6-4, but won the second set 6-0 before the match was called.
At five, Fitzgerald won the first set over McCarthy, 6-2, and was down 7-6 in the second set, while junior Blas Moros won the first set at six, 7-6 (7-3), and was down 2-1 to Smith in the second set.
The match was the final team contest for four Irish seniors - Daven Brodess, Niall Fitzgerald, Sam Keeton and Casey Watt.
Three members of the team will now turn their attention towards the singles and doubles portion of the championship. Andrews will take place in the NCAA Singles Championship, while Fitzgerald and Watt will compete in the NCAA Doubles Championship. The brackets will be released soon and action gets underway on May 23 and goes through May 28 at the University of Georgia. Stay tuned to UND.com for complete information on the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships.
No. 1 Singles
No. 10 Chase Buchanan (OSU) d. Casey Watt (ND), 6-3, 6-2
No. 2 Singles
No. 9 Blaz Rola (OSU) d. No. 54 Greg Andrews (ND), 7-5, 6-3
Peter Kobelt (OSU) vs. Sam Keeton (ND), 6-4, 0-6 (unfinished)
No. 4 Singles
Ille Van Engelen (OSU) d. Billy Pecor (ND), 6-4, 6-2
No. 5 Singles
Devin McCarthy (OSU) vs. Niall Fitzgerald (ND), 2-6, 7-6 (unfinished)
No. 6 Singles
Connor Smith (OSU) vs. Blas Moros (ND), 6-7 (3-7), 2-1 (unfinished)
Order of Finish: 1, 4, 2
No. 1 Doubles
No. 1 Chase Buchanan / Blaz Rola (OSU) d. No. 55 Niall Fitzgerald / Casey Watt (ND), 8-3
No. 2 Doubles
No. 32 Devin McCarthy / Ille Van Engelen (OSU) led Greg Andrews / Spencer Talmadge, 7-6 (unfinished)
No. 3 Doubles
Peter Kobelt / Connor Smith (OSU) d. Billy Pecor / Sam Keeton (ND), 8-4
Order of Finish: 3, 1