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Men’s Tennis: Two Irish bounced in qualifier

Andrew Owens | Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Irish senior Daniel Stahl and sophomore Blas Moros fell Monday in the singles division qualifying round of the ITA All-American Championships at the Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla., taking them out of the tournament’s next round.

University of Florida sophomore Nassim Slilam eliminated Stahl in straight sets (6-0, 6-0). The senior qualified for the tournament after being ranked No. 69 in the preseason.

After a tightly contested three-set match with Virginia standout Julen Uriguen, Moros fell 3-0 (3-6, 6-3, 6-3). He earned a berth in the tournament by being ranked 112th during the preseason while Uriguen, a Guatemala native, is currently ranked fourth.

“There aren’t any bad players in this tournament,” Irish coach Ryan Sachire said. “We knew going in that they were going to face top competition.”

Despite the losses, Sachire said he feels good about the talented players moving forward.

“The fall is all about development,” he said. “While we are trying to win in the fall, it is the spring when it counts the most. The goal is to get better and learn and we’re trying to apply that to our matches.”

Irish junior Casey Watt, who also traveled to Tulsa to compete, will not play until the main draw begins Thursday. The top 54 players face off in the main draw, and Watt is currently 39th.

“We expect Casey to go out and compete and see what he can do,” Sachire said. “He has really put in a lot of work and has improved a lot since the NCAA Tournament last May.”

Sachire said he expects Watt to use his development to his advantage.

“He’s really improved with his forehand and volley,” he said. “It’s a matter of cementing things in competition. He feels good and he’s going to go out and see what he can do on Thursday.”

Following the ITA All-American Championships, the Irish will have a break in competition until Oct. 21-25 when they will host the Midwest Regional Championships.