March 19, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -
The No. 27 University of Notre Dame men's tennis team welcomes in four-time defending national champion USC (No. 3) to Eck Tennis Pavilion at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Admission is free to the match and fans can pick up a free t-shirt between doubles and singles while supplies last. Fans that can't make the match can follow online through UND.com.
The Irish (10-6) are coming off a third place finish at the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic after going 2-1 on the weekend in Montgomery, Ala. Notre Dame closed out the trip with an impressive 4-1 win over then-No. 29 Cornell. The only setback came at the hands of eventual winner Boise State (4-3), who surged to No. 46 from the ranks of the unbeaten in this week's Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll.
Notre Dame continues to be led by junior Greg Andrews, who is ranked No. 96 in the country in singles after posting a 9-6 record in singles and a 6-7 mark in doubles thus far during the spring season. Just below the Richland, Mich., native in the lineup are standouts Quentin Monaghan and Blas Moros. Monaghan is 9-3 overall in singles, having gone 4-2 at two after starting the year 5-1 at three. Moros posted a 4-3 record at two before dropping down and thriving at three, producing a 4-1 record so far.
In doubles Billy Pecor and Alex Lawson (5-5) are ranked 69th in the country.
Southern California (15-2) appears poised to compete for its fifth national title in a row as it has earned seven wins over top-25 foes - Texas, California, Texas A&M, Kentucky, UCLA, Pepperdine and Illinois. The Trojans most recent win was a 6-1 decision over the Fighting Illini Monday night in Champaign, Ill.
The Trojans boast a remarkable eight ranked singles players led by No. 2 Emilio Gomez. Also ranked are No. 9 Ray Sarmiento, No. 23 Roberto Quiroz, No. 61 Eric Johnson, No. 65 Yannick Hanfmann, No. 87 Max De Vroome, No. 90 Jonny Wang and No. 93 Michael Grant.
In doubles Sarmiento and Hanfmann are ranked 26th, Hanfmann and Johnson are 63rd and Gomez and Johnson are 71st.
The two squads have played 11 times since 1971, with the Trojans winning all but one of the contests ... however, the one Notre Dame victory went down as one of the finer moments in Irish history as it came in the semifinals of the 1992 NCAA Tournament ... led by All-American David DiLucia, No. 10 Notre Dame upset No. 1 USC, 5-1, to advance to the national championship match against No. 2 Stanford.
The victory over the Big Red gave the Irish six wins over teams ranked in the March 19 ITA poll - No. 19 Illinois, No. 31 Michigan, No. 33 Cornell, No. 44 Memphis, No. 53 Michigan State and No. 64 Wisconsin.
All of Notre Dame's six losses this season are to teams ranked in the top 50 of this week's ITA poll, including five teams in the top 25 ... the losses were to No. 4 Kentucky, No. 5 Ohio State, No. 8 Duke, No. 22 Northwestern, No. 23 Harvard and No. 46 Boise State ... four of the six losses have come in 4-3 setbacks.
Notre Dame is 3-4 when losing the doubles point ... all three wins have come over talented foes - Michigan, Wisconsin and Cornell ... the Irish are 7-2 when winning the doubles point ... the two losses came at Kentucky and to Boise State.