Bots finishes thriller as Washington edges Notre Dame 4-3 in NCAA opener
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Fueled by a spectacular finish from Marton Bots, Washington survived a thrilling first-round NCAA matchup to defeat Notre Dame 4-3 on Friday. Tied at 3, rain forced the match inside where Bots did his best work, winning five consecutive games to pull out a three-set victory and clinch the win for UW.
"It was quite a storm that moved us inside," Washington head coach Matt Anger said. "There was thunder and lightning and the whole thing. Once we were inside it was Bots that brought the lightning."
Washington got things started with a big point in doubles. Emmett Egger and Jeff Hawke won their match at No. 2 after getting a quick break of serve and finishing strong to win 8-4. After Notre Dame won at No. 3 doubles, it was Bots and Kyle McMorrow who clinched the doubles point. The senior duo defeated the top team from Notre Dame 8-3.
In singles, UW moved ahead 2-0 with a win from Egger at No. 4. Egger defeated Billy Pecor 6-4, 6-1.
"Emmett had a super day," Anger said. "He was tough right from the get-go, breaking serve right away. He allowed his serve to be broken, but then fought back and got another break and was able to take care of business from there."
Notre Dame bounced back to win a pair of singles matches to even the score at 2. Wyatt McCoy defeated Jeff Hawke 6-3, 6-2, followed by No. 80 Greg Andrews beating No. 17 McMorrow 7-5, 6-4. It was just the fourth loss in dual matches this season for McMorrow and just the second time that Washington overcame his defeat for a team win.
"Kyle had a tough opponent [Friday]," said Anger. "I have been watching Andrews since he was a junior and he hits a very clean ball. Still, Kyle served for the first set and was very much in the match."
The Dawgs fought back to regain the lead when Nicholas Kamisar won at No. 6. The Husky defeated Alex Lawson 6-4, 6-4, earning the only two breaks of serve late in each set.
"Nick broke at 4-5 in the first and 4-4 in the second," Anger said. "He was just hitting his spots and not giving any points away. He was also able to hit a lot of returns and so even though the breaks didn't come until late, he was giving himself a lot of chances."
The Fighting Irish evened things when Blas Moros defeated Max Manthou at No. 3, just before the rains came. Moros overcame a third-set deficit to win 6-1, 1-6, 6-3.
That set the stage for Bots and his opponent Quentin Monaghan. Bots had pulled out a big first set in a tiebreak, but had lost the second set and was down a break in the third when the match was moved inside.
"I am not sure if moving inside helped or hurt Marton," Anger said. "Notre Dame probably plays inside more than we do, but if anything it gave Marton a chance to clear his head and start over."
Whatever the change was, Bots came out on fire. He lost the first game to fall behind 3-1, but then held serve and broke Monaghan to even the set. He never let up, winning out to make it five consecutive games, including two breaks to win 7-6 (10-8), 2-6, 6-3.