April 26, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame men's tennis player Greg Andrews has been named the BIG EAST Men's Tennis Player of the Year after putting together a 25-3 record during the spring season, the league office announced on Thursday.
The sophomore turned in a fine spring campaign, winning three BIG EAST Men's Tennis Player of the Week scrolls, while helping the Irish to another 20-win campaign.
Andrews knocked off four ranked foes, including No. 13 Alex Musialek of Kentucky (6-3, 6-2) and No. 24 Roy Kalmanovich of Illinois (6-2, 6-3). The Richland, Mich., native won 19 of his 25 matches in straight sets, while two of his three losses came to opponents ranked in the top 25. He went 23-3 at No. 2 singles and 2-0 at No. 1 singles.
He has been ranked among the top-65 singles players in the country since Feb. 16, with a high ranking of No. 42 on March 13. Andrews was the highest ranked player in the league at No. 57 when the latest ITA rankings came out on Tuesday.
A strong doubles performer as well, Andrews teamed with Spencer Talmadge to go 13-4 at two and 2-1 at one for a 15-5 doubles mark on the year. He also partnered with Casey Watt earlier in the season and went 3-3.
Andrews becomes the first Notre Dame men's tennis player to earn BIG EAST Player of the Year honors since the league added the award and the all-BIG EAST team in 2009. The honor comes on the heels of a freshman campaign that saw him earn conference Freshman of the Year honors and a spot on the all-BIG EAST team.
Keeton, who opened the spring campaign at No. 74 in the country, went 15-8 during the spring, including 14-8 at No. 3 singles. In doubles he teamed with Billy Pecor to go 14-6, primarily at No. 3 doubles.
Watt, who is a three-time member of the all-BIG EAST team, went 15-11 on the year, including 14-11 at No. 1 singles. Six of his 11 losses were to individuals ranked in the top 100, including five in the top 10. In doubles, the Gibsonia, Pa., product is ranked No. 55 in the country with teammate Niall Fitzgerald. The duo is 9-9 this year, with all but one match occurring at the No. 1 doubles slot.
The Irish tied Louisville for the most representatives on the all-BIG EAST team.
Notre Dame finished third at last weekend's BIG EAST Championship, and awaits word on its NCAA Tournament destination. The Selection Show is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Tuesday and can be watched live on NCAA.com.