NOTRE DAME, Ind. - In a thrilling match that saw four singles contests go three sets and two doubles matches go to tiebreakers, the No. 29 University of Notre Dame men's tennis team outlasted No. 21 Michigan, 4-3, in front of 258 fans at the Eck Tennis Pavilion Saturday afternoon.
The Irish (6-4) picked up their highest ranked win of the season with the victory over the rival Wolverines. Notre Dame lost the doubles point before winning matches at two, three, four and five singles to take the 3:46 match. The Irish improved to 1-3 this season when they loss the doubles point and have won three of their last four matches. Three of Notre Dame's four losses have been 4-3 to top-40 opponents.
Singles action lasted over 2:30 and went down to the final point at four.
At three Blas Moros was first off the court with an impressive 6-3, 6-1 win over Vlad Stefan, which tied the score at one.
The Wolverines went up 2-1 after Barrett Franks capitalized on a Ryan Bandy' injury to take six singles in three sets, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1. Bandy claimed the first set and was tied at two in the second when an injury limited him for the remainder of the contest.
Wyatt McCoy mounted a remarkable comeback at five in the second set to defeat Shaun Bernstein in straight sets, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5). McCoy was down 5-2 in the second before getting going and winning four of the final five games and then the tiebreaker to tie the score at two between the two regional rivals.
Moving up to No. 2 for only the second time all year, Quentin Monaghan earned a crucial three-set win over Alex Petrone, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2, to give Notre Dame a 3-2 lead with action still going at one and four singles.
At one No. 71 Greg Andrews put up quite a fight against No. 16 Evan King. The Richland, Mich., native forced a decisive third set with a gutsy 12-10 tiebreak win in set two. However, the highly ranked King proved to be too much as he took the decisive third set to win the match, 6-2, 6-7 (10-12), 6-2, to knot the contest at three wins apiece.
Billy Pecor locked up the match for the Irish with a 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4 win at four over Michael Zhu.
Notre Dame hits the road next week to a familiar location as it heads to Columbus, Ohio and a 1 p.m. (ET) Saturday matchup with No. 4 Ohio State.
The Wolverines claimed an absolutely thrilling doubles point with tiebreaker wins at one and three.
Notre Dame claimed the early lead in doubles after Pecor and Alex Lawson took down Stefan and Rossi, 8-5, at two.
Action then turned to one and three as each match went into a tiebreaker with the scores knotted at seven.
At one Andrews and Spencer Talmadge held a 6-3 lead, only to see No. 9 King and Bernstein rally back to tie the score at seven to force the tiebreaker. In the race to seven in the extra session, the score was tied at three when the two doubles teams switched sides, but the Wolverines went on a role to score four straight points and tie doubles at one with the 8-7 victory.
With the No. 3 court deciding the doubles point, all 258 people in attendance focused in on the action. The Irish team of Matt Dooley and Bandy trailed 6-3 early in the match to Petrone and Zhu, but rallied to force a tiebreaker. In the extra session the two teams battled back and forth with the Wolverines eventually claiming the 9-7 win in the tiebreaker to claim the 8-7 win and give Michigan the 1-0 lead heading into singles.