Spartans Fall on the Road to the Irish, 7-0
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The #56 Michigan State men's tennis team fell to #29 Notre Dame on Sunday afternoon at the Eck Tennis Pavilion in South Bend. The Spartans pushed the Fighting Irish to the brink in the doubles match ups, forcing a tiebreaker in one and picking up one victory, but fell short throughout the singles lineups.
In the first doubles match up on court two, Austin Brooks and Harry Jadun fell to Greg Andrews and Spencer Talmadge, 8-5. The tandem of Denis Bogatov and Gijs Linders lost a close one to Sam Keeton and Billy Pecor, 8-6, on court three. Although the Spartans were unable to pick up the doubles point, Drew Lied and Aaron Pfister topped Niall Fitzgerald and Casey Watt in a tight tie-breaker, 9-8 (7-4).
The singles lineup was fairly similar, with the Spartans fighting hard in their matchups but unable to quite get over the hump in order to pull off a few wins. Will Davis fell first, on court six, to Blas Moros, 6-0, 6-1 and Linders followed closely after that with a 6-2, 6-4 loss to Billy Pecor. On court two, Bogatov came up short against the Irish's Watt with a 6-4, 6-4 score.
In his first matchup of the day Drew Lied pushed Notre Dame's Niall Fitgerald to a three-game set. After falling in the first set 6-1, Lied fought back with an impressive 1-6 second round but came up on the short end in the third and final set with a score of 6-3.
Austin Brooks took on Sam Keeton on court three. Brooks pushed the Irish in a tough two-set match, before falling 6-4, 7-5.
But perhaps the most impressive match of the day was the Spartan's number singles player, Aaron Pfister. Pfister, who currently stands at 6-2, in dual action for the season took the court against the #49 nationally ranked Greg Andrews. After falling behind 6-1 in the first set, Pfister bounced back to win the second in a tie-breaker, 6-7 (3-7). The final match went into a super tie-breaker, where the sophomore came up just short going 1-0 (12-10) to round out the action for the day.
MSU now sits at 8-6 on the season and return home for its final doubleheader of the season, this Saturday, Mar. 3, welcoming Ball State and Cleveland State to the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility. The Spartans faceoff against BSU at 12 p.m. and CSU at 6 p.m.
1. Drew Lied/Aaron Pfister (MSU) def. Niall Fitzgerald/Casey Watt (ND) 9-8 (7-4)
2. Greg Andrews/Spencer Talmadge (ND) def. Austin Brooks/Harry Jadun (MSU) 8-5
3. Sam Keeton/Billy Pecor (ND) def. Denis Bogatov/Gijs Linders (MSU) 8-6
1. #49 Greg Andrews (ND) def. Aaron Pfister (MSU) 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 1-0 (12-10)
2. Casey Watt (ND) def. Denis Bogatov (MSU) 6-4, 6-4
3. Sam Keeton (ND) def. Austin Brooks (MSU) 6-4, 7-5
4. Niall Fitzgerald (ND) def. Drew Lied (MSU) 6-1, 1-6, 6-3
5. Billy Pecor (ND) def. Gijs Linders (MSU) 6-2, 6-4
6. Blas Moros (ND) def. Will Davis (MSU) 6-0, 6-1
Michigan State 8-6; National ranking #56
Notre Dame 10-4; National ranking #29
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (6,5,2,4,3,1)