COLUMBUS, Ohio (May 13, 2011) - With the score tied at three apiece and only one match remaining, Notre Dame freshman Greg Andrews outlasted ETSU senior Charles Bottoni (Bois Guillaume, France) in the third set to propel the No. 30th-ranked Fighting Irish to a narrow 4-3 victory over the No. 55 Bucs on Friday afternoon in the NCAA Tournament at the Stickney Tennis Center.
After the Bucs took the doubles point to take an early 1-0 lead, Notre Dame responded by winning the first two singles matches to take the 2-1 advantage. However, the Bucs won the next two matches to regain the lead at 3-2.
Then, after Notre Dame picked up a victory at the No. 3 position to even the match at 3-3, only the No. 4 position match remained. Bottoni got off to a strong start by easily taking the opening set 6-2, but Andrews responded by taking the second set 6-4, to force a third set. Andrews got out to a quick start in the third set by jumping out to a 3-0 lead, but Bottoni fought his way back to tie it at 3-3. After Andrews won the next game to go up 4-3, both players traded games to make the score 5-4 in favor of Bottoni. However, Andrews battled back and took the next three games to clinch the victory for the Irish.
ETSU jumped out quickly in doubles competition by holding early leads in two of the three matches. The duo of Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium) and Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) continued their winning streak by defeating Casey Watt and Stephen Havens, 8-6, at the No. 2 position. Gille and Bandres closed out the season by winning their last 14 doubles matches.
The Bucs got out to the early 1-0 lead after the senior duo of Bottoni and Grega Teraz (Mojstrana, Slovenia) knocked off the No. 82-ranked doubles team in the country, Niall Fitzgerald and Spencer Talmadge, 8-6.
Notre Dame responded in singles play by earning two quick victories to take the lead. The first win came at the No. 1 position as No. 62-ranked Casey Watt defeated Teraz in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3. Then, Blas Moros knocked off ETSU freshman Roger Ordeig (Gurb, Spain), 6-0, 6-3.
ETSU tied the match back up after sophomore Juan Ramirez (Asuncion, Paraguay) won a three set thriller over Samuel Keeton, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Ramirez, who closed out the season tied for the team lead in wins with 21, won his last seven matches.
Then, with the match tied at two apiece, Gille picked up an exciting come from behind victory over Stephen Havens, 1-6, 6-2, 7-6, to put the Bucs back in front. Gille closed out the season with a 13-7 dual match singles record after winning his last eight matches.
The Bucs close out the 2011 campaign with a 17-7 overall record, while Notre Dame improves to 18-11.
Notre Dame advances to play the winner of the Ohio State-Ball State in the regional final tomorrow at 1 p.m.The winner of the regional final match will advance to the NCAA final site in Stanford, Calif.
For more information on ETSU menâs tennis please go to ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's tennis link. Also, be sure to follow ETSU Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.
May 13, 2011 at Columbus, Ohio (Stickney Tennis Center)
#30 Notre Dame 4, #55 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. Tyler Davis/Greg Andrews (ND) vs. Robin Akser/Juan Ramirez (ETSU) 7-5, unfinished
ETSU 17-7; National ranking #55
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