May 22, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Three members of the Notre Dame men’s tennis team are on their way to Athens, Ga., for the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships, which get underway on Wednesday at the University of Georgia’s Dan Magill Tennis Complex. BIG EAST Player of the Year Greg Andrews will participate in the NCAA Singles Championship, while seniors Niall Fitzgerald and Casey Watt will meet in the NCAA Doubles Championship.
No. 54 Andrews gets started on Wednesday at 10 a.m. as he meets Ole Miss’ No. 45 Jonas Lutjen in the round of 64. If the Richland, Mich., native advances, he would play the round of 32 on Thursday, the round of 16 on Friday, the quarterfinals on Saturday and the semifinals on Sunday, with the championship match on Monday. Andrews received a bid based on being the highest ranked player in the BIG EAST and enters the tournament with a 26-4 record during the spring season.
With Andrews berth in the singles championship, Notre Dame has now had an individual compete in the tourney in every year since 2006. He will look to become the first Irish player to advance past the second round since Sheeva Parbhu made it to the quarterfinals in 2006. Watt competed in the tournament the last two seasons, while current associate head coach Ryan Sachire was a member of the field all four years he wore the Irish blue and gold (1997-2000), advancing to the round of 16 in 1998.
Fitzgerald and Watt open the doubles championship on Thursday when they battle the No. 4 seeded duo of Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thacher of Stanford. The Irish pair are ranked No. 55 in the country and received an automatic berth based on being the highest ranked team in the BIG EAST. They enter the tournament with a 9-11 record during the spring season. If Fitzgerald and Watt advance they would play in the round of 16 on Friday, the quarterfinals on Saturday and the semifinals on Sunday, with the championship match on Monday.
The duo becomes the first Irish doubles team since 2007 to qualify for the NCAA Doubles Championship when Parbhu and Ryan Keckley qualified. The last twosome to advance past the first round were Brian Patterson and Jakub Pietrowski in 1998, who advanced to the round of 16.
For a complete recap of the Irish week in Athens, stay tuned to UND.com.