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Men’s Tennis: Tough doubles point sets tone in ND victory

Meaghan Veselik | Monday, March 29, 2010

Notre Dame topped Northwestern 5-2 Saturday on the strength of a tiebreaker victory in the No. 1 doubles match, earning the doubles point and a lead the Irish did not relinquish.

Juniors Daniel Stahl and David Anderson fell first at No. 3 doubles to the Wildcats’ Alex Sanborn and Spencer Wolf 8-6 before the No. 2 doubles duo of sophomore Niall Fitzgerald and junior Tyler Davis evened the score with an 8-6 victory of their own.

Sophomore Casey Watt and junior Stephen Havens earned the doubles point with a 9-8 (8-6) victory in the No. 1 doubles slot.

“The doubles could not have been closer,” Irish coach Bobby Bayliss said. “All three of their doubles were pretty equal. They contributed their strength across each of the three teams.”
Havens’ strong play continued as he had one of his cleanest singles matches of the year, Bayliss said.

No. 2 Havens defeated McCarthy 6-1, 6-4 to win the first completed singles match of the day. Stahl made up for his doubles loss with a 7-5, 6-2 victory.

“[Stahl] really held his ground well and handled Wolf’s pace very well,” Bayliss said. “He took advantage of his position in a hard fought match. He deserves a lot of credit.”

The other Irish victories came from Anderson and freshman Blas Moros.

“[The match] went as well as can be expected, “Bayliss said of his team playing outdoors in 40-degree weather. “It’s a tribute to both teams that the level of play was as high as it was.”

The Irish (10-8) knew facing the Wildcats would be a tough match since their team is almost as good as they are, although there may be some difference in the rankings, Bayliss said.

“It really comes down to one, our ability to hold our own in a match like this, and two, the grit and determination our guys showed when the going got tough, and it got tough,” he said. “We expected a hard match and we got a hard match.”

Hoping to come out with some confidence from their recent win, the Irish will travel to Texas to take on SMU and Texas A&M next weekend.