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Men’s Tennis: Irish pick up pair of wins

Andrew Owens | Monday, February 14, 2011

The No. 25 Irish picked up two key wins in an important doubleheader victory over Michigan State and Marquette in East Lansing Saturday.

“It was good to get two wins over the weekend,” Irish associate head coach Ryan Sachire said. “We were able to keep the momentum going that we gained when we played

well against Virginia, Illinois and against Duke a man down.”

The Irish have now won four consecutive matches after dropping two in a row a few weeks back to Illinois and Duke.

“We’re doing some good things,” Sachire said. “The danger we faced was losing our confidence when we didn’t see ourselves winning. But in those losses we played well against good opponents.”

In the first match, Notre Dame defeated conference rival Marquette, 7-0. Junior Casey Watt led the way with victories in both singles and doubles. He won in straight sets at the No. 1 singles position, and won his doubles match with freshman Greg Andrews.

“Casey has been a force for us this year,” Sachire said. “He’s getting each opponent’s top player, which is very impressive with the quality of teams we have played, as we have one of the toughest schedules in the country.”

Senior Stephen Havens also added victories as both a singles and doubles player against Marquette. In the singles match, he came out on top in a tightly matched three-set victory, which was key in setting the tone for a strong team


In the second match, Notre Dame defeated Michigan State, giving the Spartans their first loss of the season. Once again, Watt picked up a victory at both the singles and doubles positions.

“He’s responded to the challenge this season,” Sachire said. “He had his ups and downs last year, but it gave him a sense of what to look for. His physical effort is as good as anyone in the country.”

Michigan State was previously undefeated and was coming off a victory over No. 21 Wake Forest heading into the doubleheader.

Notre Dame will attempt to continue their winning ways as the spring season picks up. The Irish host talented opponents Michigan and North Carolina next weekend.

“Those will be tough matches on our home court next weekend,” Sachire said.

The Irish will face Michigan on Saturday with a 1 p.m. start.