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Individuals shine in Irish loss to Illinois

Kate Grabarek | Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The No. 38 Irish fell to No. 12 Illinois yesterday in Champaign despite a strong showing.

The Irish maintained their changes in the doubles lineup and were able to pull out a win at No. 1 doubles as sophomore Casey Watt and junior Stephen Havens defeated the No. 48 team by a score of 8-4.

“We switched some of our doubles teams,” Irish coach Bobby Bayliss said. “Casey [Watt] was playing with [junior] Tyler [Davis], but now he is playing with Stephen. Nothing is set yet, but it was good to see them pull out a win over Wisconsin over the weekend.”

The other doubles teams didn’t have as positive of results as the Irish dropped the doubles point to start off the match.

Sophomore Niall Fitzgerald and Davis dropped their match at No. 2 doubles to No. 38 Abe Souza and Connor Roth by a score of 8-6.

Juniors David Anderson and Matt Johnson lost their match 8-1 at No. 3 doubles.
The Irish were able to come away with two wins in singles starting off with sophomore Sam Keeton, who pulled off a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 5 singles to get the Irish started.

“Sam Keeton pulled out the biggest win of his career against Luke Ross O’Cannor [of Wisconsin],” Bayliss said. “Sam’s ability to finish at net a year ago cost him, came in a lot, and made a big difference.  Put us on the board, home court advantage.”

Havens also came away with an easy win, only dropping one game in a victory at No. 2 singles.

No. 19 Watt did not have such an easy time with his opponent at No. 1 singles. No. 109 Marek Czerwinski defeated Watt 7-5, 6-4.

Freshman Blas Moros was the next Irish player to fall, losing 6-4, 6-3 at No. 6 singles.
Anderson lost again at No. 4 singles in a tough three-set match by a score of 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Anderson was coming off of a big win for the Irish as he beat a talented freshman on the Wisconsin team over the weekend to help lift the Irish to a victory.

No. 72 junior Dan Stahl fought to a three-set finish with No. 66 Souza, as he jumped out to an early lead with a 6-2 victory in the first set and then dropped the second set 6-4, and was tied 6-6.

The Irish have 10 days off before they travel south to take on South Florida and Florida State over Spring Break.