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Men’s Tennis: ND sweeps final two home matches

Chris Michalski | Monday, March 30, 2009

No. 27 Notre Dame earned two important victories this weekend, defeating South Florida, 6-1, and upsetting No. 9 Illinois, 4-3, at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The wins put the Irish above the .500 mark at 11-9 on the season.

Against South Florida, the Irish claimed the doubles point as the No. 25 doubles team of senior Brett Helgeson and sophomore Tyler Davis picked up an 8-5 victory and the duo of sophomores Daniel Stahl and David Anderson won 8-1 in dominating fashion.

Stahl and Anderson capitalized on their momentum in singles play as both defeated their opponents in straight sets. With the Irish up 3-0, sophomore Stephen Havens stumbled against his opponent, falling 5-7, 0-6.

Notre Dame claimed the decisive fourth point when Davis took down his opponent 6-0, 6-4 giving the Irish a convincing victory over their conference foe.

Sunday, the Irish moved on to face a tougher opponent in the Fighting Illini. In that match, the Irish got off to another hot start claiming the doubles point and the early 1-0 lead.

The Irish then got singles wins from No. 22 Helgeson and Stahl, before dropping the next three matches to fall into a 3-3 tie heading into the final match.

Anderson clinched the Irish’s 4-3 upset with a masterful drop shot that caught the line and spun out of the reach of his competitor.

The win is Notre Dame’s first over a top-ten team since April 7, 2007 when they again took down No. 8 Illinois.

“This weekend was a great momentum builder for us,” Havens said. “But we need to keep improving so that we can stay on top of our goal, which is to be playing our best at the end of the season.”

The wins mark the conclusion of the home season for the Irish, where they achieved a 7-3 record. They will have a two-week break to prepare for their next Big East opponent, Louisville, followed by a match with Ball State.

“Louisville and Ball State are going to be two more tough matches and the next week of practice will be really important for us to work out any kinks in our games,” Havens said.

The Louisville match is scheduled for April 11 at 1 p.m.