Pack Secures 4-3 Upset Victory Over No. 12 Notre Dame
April 6, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. – Celebrating his birthday and with the match tied at three-all, junior Robbie Mudge of the NC State men’s tennis team sealed the squad’s 4-3 upset victory over No. 12 Notre Dame in a decisive third set Sunday afternoon at the Dail Outdoor Tennis Stadium. With the victory, the Wolfpack improves to 14-7 on the season while the Fighting Irish fall to 14-8 overall.
“The team has been working hard prior to today,” said head coach Jon Choboy. “After coming up short a few times, you have to keep your mind under control, stay the course and keep working. I thought our guys did a good job of stepping up to the challenge today. Notre Dame is a very good team.”
The Pack opened the match by claiming the crucial doubles point for the 17th time this season with wins at the No. 1 and No. 3 positions.
At the top spot of the order, the dynamic duo of Mudge and Ian Dempster claimed an upset victory over Notre Dame’s seventh-ranked tandem of Greg Andrews and Alex Lawson, 8-3. The win for Mudge and Dempster is their 16th of the dual season, as the pair is now tied for sixth in the program record books for wins by a doubles team in a dual season. The Fighting Irish answered with a victory at the No. 2 position, as Sean Weber and Nick Horton dropped a hard-fought match to Josh Hagar and Billy Pecor, 8-7 (6).
“Credit to our guys in that tiebreak,” Choboy said. “We were really solid. I thought Simon [Norenius] really did a good job stepping up at the net and stepping up with his returns. He asserted himself pretty good in doubles today.”
A native of Sydney, Australia, Horton captured the first singles match of the day to extend the Wolfpack lead to 2-0. He was able to break serve in the final game of the match to clinch the 6-4, 6-4 victory. The win is Horton’s third straight and 17th of the season.
Notre Dame secured a win at the No. 5 spot in the order, as Weber dropped the final home singles match of his career to Covalschi, 6-1, 6-4.
Meanwhile, Norenius answered back for State with his 19th victory of the season with a 6-4, 7-5 victory from the No. 4 spot in the order against Notre Dame’s Hagar. The Katrineholm, Sweden, native extended his current winning streak to six straight matches.
The Fighting Irish secured the match on court three, as Thomas Weigel dropped a hard-fought match against Bandy, 6-4, 6-4, while Powell dropped a hard-fought match against Andrews, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, at the top spot in the lineup.
After splitting the first two sets of the match, Mudge and Monaghan battled to a decisive third set at the No. 2 position in the order. Mudge was able to break serve and won the first three games of the set to take a 3-0 lead, before Monaghan battled back to get the match back on serve at 4-5. However, Mudge was able to break once again to take the final game and seal the 4-3 victory for the Wolfpack with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win. The Winston-Salem, N.C., native has won three of his last four matches and owns 19 victories for the season.
“Being able to win on my birthday and seal the team win for my team was the best feeling in the world,” Mudge said. “In that third set, I was just trying to keep things simple and focus on winning one point at a time.”
Weber and Ivan Sanchez Gomez were honored prior to Sunday’s match as part of Senior Day.
“I enjoyed having my family and coaches out there prior to the match,” Weber said. “It was a nice recognition and I’m really happy we were able to get the team win.”
Up next, State will travel to Charlottesville, Va., to face reigning NCAA Champion Virginia on Friday, April 11. First serve is set for 3 p.m.
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