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Men’s Tennis: Irish record split over break

Kate Grabarek | Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Irish split their two matches over Spring Break, as they fell to Big East rival South Florida before recovering with a victory over Florida State.

In the loss on March 13, Notre Dame (7-7) rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie the match at 3-3 before junior David Anderson lost to Peter Frank 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, at No. 3 singles.

“David Anderson has come on strong for us as the season has progressed,” Irish coach Bobby Bayliss said. “He has added good all-court skills and can finish at the net, something that was problematic for him as a freshman. He has a big first serve, penetrating ground strokes and counters better than he did even a year ago. More than anything he has a real presence on the court and great determination.”

The Irish fell behind early when USF (5-6) earned the doubles point to take an early 1-0 lead.

The Irish avoided the sweep with a win at No. 3 doubles as Anderson and fellow junior Dan Stahl defeated Frank and Romain Deridder, 8-2.

“The loss to South Florida was difficult,” Bayliss said. “Casey Watt was unable to play, as he awoke vomiting due to food poisoning. We had to move everyone up a spot, but still were in a position to win. David Anderson led 4-3 in the third set and we had chances to win at both No. 1 and No. 2 doubles.”

With Watt out, Havens fell at No. 1 singles by a score of 6-2, 6-3, to Wael Killani, while Adderley defeated Stahl at No. 2 singles, 6-3, 6-4.

Freshman Blas Moros got the Irish on the board with a 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 5 singles.
Junior captain Tyler Davis was able to pull the Irish within one with a three-set win at No. 6 singles, and then sophomore Sam Keeton tied the score at three with a win at No. 5 singles.

In the second match of the weekend, the Irish were able to defeat No. 19 Florida State (8-3) by a score of 4-3 after rallying from another 3-0 deficit.

The Irish again dropped the doubles point and the No. 1 and No. 2 singles matches before taking the match.

“The doubles was exciting,” Bayliss said. “We came back from a break down at No. 1 to win 8-6. [Watt’s] presence made a huge difference.”

Havens and Watt were able to earn a win at No. 1 doubles but that was the only win the Irish would earn in doubles for the day.

Stahl was able to defeat No. 55 Clint Bowles at No. 3 singles, 7-5, 6-4.

Anderson again played a key role in the match at No. 4 singles, coming out on top this time in a three-set victory.

“David knotted the score at 3-3 by winning a difficult third set over Conner Smith, a great ball striker,” Bayliss said. “That left things in the substantial left hand of Sam Keeton, who showed remarkable poise for someone in his position. He handled the pressure very well, breaking serve three consecutive times to clinch. He played aggressively the entire match and was able to finish at the net often.”

Keeton was able to clinch the victory for the Irish at No. 5 singles with another three-set victory.

The Irish will next travel to Montgomery, Ala. for the Blue Gray National Classic, with their opening match Thursday.