Men's Tennis: Notre Dame hosts No. 2 USC
Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 03:03
The No. 22 Irish return home tonight to host No. 2 USC, their highest-ranked opponent this season. Notre Dame (10-6) will play in their familiar indoor arena after a 2-1 weekend of outdoor play in Alabama over spring break.
While the squad hoped to win the Blue Gray Classic last week as the No. 1 seed, the Irish still saw the weekend as a success despite an upset loss to unranked Boise State in the semifinals.
“It was a good experience and a good test of our ability to deal with tough conditions,” freshman Quentin Monaghan said. “Although we didn’t win [the tournament], it was a great experience.”
Notre Dame saw great improvement in doubles play during the tournament and looks to continue progress on the doubles and singles courts today.
“I think we have some confidence and momentum going into USC,” Monaghan said. “We have played great matches at the Eck [Tennis Pavilion], and we all look forward to a great match.”
Southern Cal boasts an elite squad with a deep roster of individuals. In singles play, it brings eight ranked Trojans led by No. 2 junior Emilio Gomez. Also in the top-10 nationally is No. 9 junior Ray Sarmiento. Next in line is No. 23 sophomore Robert Quiroz to round out the top tier of the squad. No. 61 sophomore Eric Johnson, No. 65 sophomore Yannick Hanfmann, No. 87 freshman Max de Vroome, No. 90 sophomore Jonny Wang and No. 93 junior Michael Grant close out the ranked opponents traveling to South Bend today.
On the doubles courts, the Trojans also bring a set of skilled duos and diverse pairings across the board. Sarmiento and Hanfmann stand at No. 26 nationally, Hanfmann and Johnson come in at No. 63, and Gomez and Johnson take the No. 71 position.
The Irish bring the No. 69 pair of freshman Alex Lawson and junior Billy Pecor to the match.
The numbers appear threatening, but the Irish, led by No. 96 junior Greg Andrews, are excited for the competition.
“USC is a great team, but there is definitely a vibe going around our team that we could be special this year,” Monaghan said. “We are definitely looking forward to the match.”
Doubles play against USC will begin in the Eck Tennis Pavilion today at 4 p.m.
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