NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 27 University of Notre Dame tennis team gave No. 3 USC Trojans a fight Wednesday night as the Irish took four singles matches to three sets before falling 6-1 to the visiting Trojans in front of 239 fans at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
“We played awfully hard tonight, but SC showed why it’s the four-time defending national champion,” said head coach Bobby Bayliss. “We were in every match, taking four to three sets and the other two we lost tiebreakers. I take my hat off to them and to head coach Peter Smith. They played very well in our place and I wish them luck the rest of the year. I felt like Greg Andrews played a great match and was a whisker away from beating the No. 2 ranked player in the country and those same thoughts apply to several of our other players.”
The Irish put up a heck of an effort in singles, taking four matches to third sets, while the other two were back-and-forth affairs. USC emerged victorious with wins at one, two, three, four and five to walk away with the win.
After claiming the doubles point, USC went up 2-0 with a weird 6-1, 0-6, 6-1 win at three as No. 65 Yannick Hanfmann took down senior Blas Moros in a match that wasn’t close in any set despite going the limit.
The advantage moved to 3-0 as No. 61 Eric Johnson beat senior Michael Moore, 7-6 (8-6), 6-2, at five.
Notre Dame got on the board at six as Bandy took down No. 90 Jonny Wang, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3. The ranked win was the first of Bandy’s career and improved the junior to 5-3 during the spring season.
USC closed out the match at two as No. 9 Ray Sarmiento got all he wanted from Irish freshman Quentin Monaghan before earning the win with a second-set tiebreaker victory to take the match, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).
With the contest already decided, No. 96 Greg Andrews took the second ranked player in the country to a third-set superset, eventually falling to Emilio Gomez, 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 1-0 (10-8).
USC picked up its final singles win of the evening with a 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 6-3 win at four as No. 23 Roberto Quiroz held off junior Billy Pecor.
Notre Dame falls to 10-7 and travels to William & Mary for a 10 a.m. Saturday match. Southern California improves to 16-2.
The Trojans claimed the doubles point with wins at two and three. USC gained the early doubles advantage as Quiroz and Gomez took down No. 69 Pecor and Alex Lawson, 8-4, at two.
Notre Dame put up a fight, however, as the team of Bandy and Matt Dooley battled back and forth with Johnson and Michael Grant at three before the USC duo earned the 8-6 win to seal the 1-0 lead.
Action at one was stopped after the Trojans clinched the point with the No. 26 duo of Hanfmann and Sarmiento holding a slim 7-6 lead over Andrews and senior Spencer Talmadge.
1: Greg Andrews / Spencer Talmadge (ND) vs. No. 26 Yannick Hanfmann / Ray Sarmiento (USC), 6-7, unfinished
2: Roberto Quiroz / Emilio Gomez (USC) d. Billy Pecor / Alex Lawson (ND), 8-4
3: Eric Johnson / Michael Grant (USC) d. Ryan Bandy / Matt Dooley (ND), 8-6
Order of Finish: 2, 3
1: No. 2 Emilio Gomez (USC) d. No. 96 Greg Andrews (ND), 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 1-0 (10-8)
2: No. 9 Ray Sarmiento (USC) d. Quentin Monaghan (ND), 6-3, 7-6 (7-5)
3: No. 65 Yannick Hanfmann (USC) d. Blas Moros (ND), 6-1, 0-6, 6-1
4: No. 23 Roberto Quiroz (USC) d. Billy Pecor (ND), 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 6-3
5: No. 61 Eric Johnson (USC) d. Michael Moore (ND), 7-6 (8-6), 6-2
6: Ryan Bandy (ND) d. No. 90 Jonny Wang (USC), 1-6, 6-3, 6-3
Order of Finish: 3, 5, 6, 2, 1, 4