The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Men’s Tennis: Notre Dame falls to Red Raiders in tournament semifinals

Meaghan Veselik | Monday, March 22, 2010

Notre Dame took two of three at the Blue Gray Classic in Montgomery, Ala., falling to No. 16 Texas Tech Saturday as the team continues to adjust to playing outdoors again.
Heading into the tournament, Irish coach Bobby Bayliss had a few specific goals for his team as they continue in the spring season.
“Extend the rallies, be a little more patient outdoors, a little less quick to pull the trigger, become a much more sound outdoor team,” Bayliss said. “Fortunate that we have made a good transition.”
Notre Dame defeated Middle Tennessee State and No. 26 Fresno State in the first two rounds of the tournament that the Irish have played in since 1991. The Irish move to 9-8 on the season and 42-25 all-time at the tournament, having won it three times previously in 1993, 2001 and 2007.
The win over Middle Tennessee State was Bayliss’ 700th career win, and his record now stands at 701-306-1 in 41 seasons.
Notre Dame’s games against Texas Tech and Fresno State were the Irish’s 11th and 12th ranked opponents in their 17 matches. Over the weekend, sophomore Samuel Keeton improved to 10-0 in singles play for the season.
The Irish opened the tournament with a 4-2 win over Middle Tennessee State Thursday to move onto the quarterfinals. They secured the doubles point to get ahead, although the Blue Raiders pair of John Peers and Kyle Wishing took out the No. 61 duo of junior Stephen Havens and sophomore Casey Watt, 8-4.
Freshman Blas Moros secured his third straight win in straight sets (6-4, 6-3) to give the Irish their first singles point. Havens and Watt were again defeated at first and second singles, respectively, but Notre Dame juniors David Anderson and Daniel Stahl came through for the win.
Friday saw the Irish defeat a ranked Fresno State team, 4-3, to advance to the semifinals.
Notre Dame’s pairs struggled again at first and third doubles as Havens and Watt lost 8-4 at the top position while Anderson and Stahl traded points with the Bulldog’s Tejesvi Veerepalli and Siddharth Alapati to a 9-7 loss.
Anderson was downed again at fourth singles, but the Irish came back with wins by Watt, Stahl, Keeton and Moros.
The team’s win streak came to an end against Texas Tech Saturday, as the Irish fell 4-0. The Red Raiders grabbed the doubles point and wins at first, second and third singles to advance to the championship match.
Texas Tech claimed the first two doubles matches at second and third singles over the Irish duo of sophomore Niall Fitzgerald and junior Tyler Davis and the combination of Anderson and Stahl. With the doubles point already won, the first doubles pair of Havens and Watt did not take on the Red Raiders’ No. 18 duo of Raony Carvalho and Rafael Garcia.
No. 27 Watt was defeated 6-1, 6-0, by No. 15 Carvalho at first singles, and Havens lost 6-0, 6-3 to No. 63 Gonzalo Escobar. Stahl fell 6-2, 6-4 to Garcia. Anderson and Moros did not finish their matches with the overall match already decided.
Texas Tech went on to defeat No. 17 Oklahoma in the tournament’s title match Sunday.
Notre Dame returns to the courts next weekend at Northwestern as the Irish continue a nine-match road streak.