Fast forward a year — and oh how things have changed.
The tennis-playing Titans defeated the defending SOC I champions 4-1 Monday at Mound Park on the back of some outstanding singles play.
Notre Dame singles players Cameron Stevenson, Erin Harris and Patrick Welsh all won their matches 6-0, 6-0 over their Clay counterparts.
Notre Dame coach Maddie Rutman specifically mentioned Stevenson, the Titians' No. 1 Singles player.
"Cameron Stevenson really took off with tennis," Rutman said. "Last year was his first year and he has been playing non-stop since then. I actually asked him to play last year just to make the numbers and he's taken off with it."
On the doubles end, Notre Dame's top team of Matt Saab and Zachary Lewis defeated Clay's Jon Valentine and Tayler Carter 6-2, 6-2 while the Clay duo of Andrew White and Jacob Harris defeated the Titans' Lauren Angelos and Jacob Taylor 6-2, 6-4.
Clay coach Bob Hayes praised his No. 2 Doubles team for the win but noted that it will be a rebuilding season.
"They did a pretty decent job," Hayes said. "Not a single player has ever played any competitive tennis before. We know we're in a rebuilding mode.
"We have all freshmen and sophomores," he added. "We saw some decent play at both doubles matches. Perhaps we'll move some of those kids into singles. We'll hope to be competitive in some of the spots."
Notre Dame struggled last season, winning just one match. That said, winning the first match of the 2009 season is a milestone.
"It's always good for their confidence to win the first match of the season," Rutman said. "Everybody has been practicing hard and we had quite a few players play in the off-season so I'm excited."
JOHN STEGEMAN can be reached at email@example.com
No. 1 Singles — Stevenson (ND) def. Keeton (C) 6-0, 6-0
No. 2 Singles — Harris (ND) def. Singer (C) 6-0, 6-0
No. 3 Singles — Welsh (ND) def. McCrosky (C) 6-0, 6-0
No. 1 Doubles — Saab/Lewis (ND) def. Valentine/Carter (C) 6-2, 6-2
No. 2 Doubles — White/Harris (C) def. Angelos/Taylor (ND) 6-2, 6-4
Records — Clay 0-1; Notre Dame 1-0