Notre Dame’s football team wasn’t the only group the Irish sent to Dublin last week. The men’s tennis team also started their fall season in Ireland in an exhibition match against members of the country’s Davis Cup team.
Junior Greg Andrews and the rest of the men's tennis team played in Ireland Friday afternoon.
Notre Dame didn’t have quite as much success as its football-playing peers against the mixed group of professionals and experienced players from Ireland at Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club. The home group won nine of the 12 matches during the Friday afternoon contest.
Senior Michael Moore and sophomore Michael Fredericka won their singles matches for Notre Dame. The duo of junior Greg Andrews and Spencer Talmadge took down the top local doubles teams at the tournament, 6-7, 6-3, 10-8.
Andrews, who also started the year in Notre Dame’s No. 1 singles slot lost to Conor Niland, a 2011 U.S. Open qualifier, in his singles match. The Irish side featured two former Notre Dame players, Niall Fitzgerald (’12) and Barry King (’06), who both won their respective matches.
"It was great having all of my former teammates over to Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club," Fitzgerald told UND.com. "It was difficult with limited sleep and on a foreign surface (artificial grass), but they handled it in stride. They represented themselves and Notre Dame excellently, as always.”
The men’s team will have it first work on American soil on Sept. 14 at the Illini Invitational.
A balanced scoring attack for Notre Dame boosted the team’s record to 3-0 this weekend while taking home the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic championship for the first time since 1993.
Junior Harrison Shipp assisted both of senior Ryan Finley’s goals and added a score of his own in Notre Dame’s 3-2 win over San Diego State Friday night. On Sunday, sophomore Alex Priede and senior captain Dillon Powers helped the Irish overcome an own goal and beat Clemson 2-1.
The successful weekend pushed Notre Dame to No. 15 in the national rankings. The Irish will face their toughest test of the young season at home next weekend with a pair of games against Oregon State and Akron, the 2010 national champion.
The women’s Irish team had mixed results against some top competition this weekend. Notre Dame upset No. 16 Santa Clara 2-1 at home thanks to a late goal by sophomore Sammy Scofield.
They followed that win by dropping a 1-0 decision to perennial powerhouse No. 19 North Carolina. Freshman goalkeeper Elyse Hight made seven saves against the Tar Heels before giving up a goal with a little less than six minutes remaining in the game.
The Irish offense was shut out for the second time in what has been an up-and-down season for the front line so far. The team lost 1-0 in its season opener to Wisconsin then posted nine goals in its next three games. They travel to the west coast next week for games against Portland and Washington.
Notre Dame joined the men’s soccer team this weekend with a tournament win of its own. The hosting Irish swept the Shamrock Invitaitonal with definitive wins against Buffalo, Eastern Kentucky and Alabama-Birmingham.
Sophomore Jeni Houser set a career-high with 20 kills in the tournament-clinching win over UAB. Her classmate Toni Alugbue won the tournament MVP award and made it on the Big East honor roll after a solid, mistake-free performance during the three weekend games. She has hit double-digit kills in all six of Notre Dame’s game this fall.
Next weekend, the Irish head to USC’s campus for three games against talented Southern California schools.
Both Irish cross country teams opened their seasons Friday afternoon with second place finishes at the Crusader Invitational in Valparaiso, Ind.
The men’s team placed six runners in the top ten, including senior Jeff MacMillan who crossed the line in third place with a time of 19:20.7. Despite the strong team presence, Notre Dame fell two points short of Purdue in the final tally.
Purdue also beat the Irish in the women’s race by a slim six-point margin. Junior Meg Ryan took home second place in the race as Notre Dame’s top finisher.