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Weekend Preview: Tennis Double-Header

Feb 2, 2013, 9:53 AM EDT

Irish junior Greg Andrews (photo by Kaitlyn Kiely)

Last weekend, men’s tennis traveled to Norman, Okla. to play Harvard and Memphis. “Last weekend was certainly a tale of different days,” associate head coach Ryan Sachire said.

“All of us were disappointed with the result on Saturday against Harvard, not simply because we lost, but rather how we competed during certain situations in the match.”

The loss against Harvard fueled the team’s fire to compete against Memphis on Sunday.

“Our players bounced back on Sunday with an energy and execution level that we have not played with yet this season, and they all did a great job against what was the most talented team that we have played so far.”

This Sunday, Feb. 3, the men’s team will play Duke at noon and then Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) at 6:00 PM. Duke’s coach, Ramsey Smith, is the son of tennis great, and former World #1 player, Stan Smith.

“Duke presents a formidable challenge for us, as I believe that they might well be a Final Four team in May,” said head coach Bob Bayliss.

“I think the back to back losses against Northwestern and Harvard were a wake-up call for us and the win against Memphis was what we needed to get us back in the right frame of mind to prepare well leading into this match,” junior Billy Pecor expressed.

“Duke [is] our first top 10 ranked team. They have many talented players and it will be a tough match to say the least…[but] there is no doubt in my mind we can beat Duke…we will bring it on Sunday.”

Likewise, freshman Quentin Monaghan acknowledged, “We have some big matches coming up in the next couple of weeks, and I am very glad we learned from the Oklahoma trip. We could have a great season, but it will ultimately come down to the mindset and determination we have as a group.”

Is there a particular match to keep an eye out for? “The #1 match between [junior] Greg Andrews and [Duke senior] Henrique Cunha will be special, as both players have blistering forehands and can play agressive all-court tennis,” Bayliss said.

The Irish women will open the day beginning at 9:00 am, as they take on Tennessee.

“We are all really excited to play Tennessee at home this weekend because they are always a really tough team. We have been working really hard on our doubles play in practice and hope that it will show,” explained senior Chrissie McGaffigan.

As soon as the women are done playing Tennessee, they’ll be on the road to Iowa City to play Iowa on Monday. “At times it can be difficult to keep up with schoolwork when we are traveling on class days, but our team is pretty good about getting work done on the road.”

Free McDonald’s breakfast will be provided at the women’s matches and free gold pom-poms at the men’s, so if you’re around on Sunday, stop to watch some tennis and help the teams “Protect the Eck.”

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