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Men’s Tennis: No. 25 Notre Dame captures win over No. 39 Wisconsin

Kate Grabarek | Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The No. 25 Irish (4-2) won a big bounce back match on the road against No. 39 Wisconsin after splitting a decision Sunday.

The Irish started the match off on the right foot by earning the doubles point with wins at No. 2 and 3 doubles.

Coming into the spring season Irish coach Bobby Bayliss said the Irish needed to be more consistent in capturing the doubles point.

“We have won the doubles point in six out of our seven matches this season,” Bayliss said. “The only match we didn’t earn the doubles point was against No. 1 Virginia.”

Junior Niall Fitzgerald and sophomore Spencer Talmadge earned the first doubles victory over Fredrik Ask, and Petr Satral 8-3 at No. 2 doubles.

The senior duo of Stephen Havens and Tyler Davis fell at No. 1 doubles to Marek Michalika and Billy Bertha 8-5.

Junior Casey Watt and freshman Greg Andrews clinched the point for the Irish at No. 3 with a win over Ricardo Martin and Rodney Carey 8-6.

“We played well at two and three doubles tonight,” Bayliss said. “I am still looking for a stronger presence from our No. 1 team. At No. 2 doubles we were able to break a few times early and held the rest of the way through. At No. 3 we broke early and also held a close match.”

The Irish faced tough matches in singles with three going the full distance.

No. 104 Watt fell to Michalika at No. 1 6-1, 7-5.

“Watt lost but fought very well throughout his match,” Bayliss said. “He didn’t have his A game tonight, and Michalika played a little too big off the ground for him.”

Davis earned the first Irish win in singles at No. 6 defeating Carey 6-3, 7-5.

Andrews took down Satral 6-2, 7-6 at four singles to give the Irish a 3-1 advantage with the other matches coming down to a third set.

Stahl came up with the next win for the Irish in a third set defeating Bertha at No. 3 singles 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

No. 71 Havens claimed the next and clinching victory for the 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 over Martin at No. 2 singles.

Junior Sam Keeton won by retirement at No. 5 singles over Ask, 2-6, 6-4, 5-2.

The Irish will take the courts again in East Lansing for a double header against Marquette and Michigan State Saturday.

“Michigan State will pose a difficult test for us,” Bayliss said. “They beat No. 21 Wake Forest last week, and they have courts that are faster than ours. We have had a tough stretch here, that can only make us stronger.”