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Men’s Tennis:Notre Dame falls 5-2 to Cardinals outside

Kate Grabarek | Monday, April 12, 2010

The No. 36 Irish headed outside Saturday for their first outdoor home match since 2008, but were not able to earn a victory falling No. 16 Louisville 5-2.
The Irish faced their second straight tough opponent in the Cardinals after falling 7-0 to No. 2 Ohio State earlier in the week, a team they knew would be tough to beat. The Cardinals did prove themselves a challenge, especially with the powerful international players Irish coach Bobby Bayliss knew would be difficult to face.
“Each plays a different style,” he said before the match. “Austin Childs has very solid groundstrokes and is difficult to force. Simon Childs [no relation] is more of an aggressive player who gets to the net. [Victor] Maksimcuk is a big hitter who bangs from the baseline, while [Alejandro] Calligari is a great athlete who can hurt you from both sides. They play great doubles and have had a wonderful season.”
The Louisville players proved Bayliss right, as they took the top two doubles matches and four of the six singles. The No. 1 doubles pair of junior Stephen Havens and Casey Watt fell to Simon Childs and Calligari 8-2, while the No. 2 team of sophomore Niall Fitzgerald and junior Tyler Davis lost 8-3 to Austin Childs and Maksimcuk.
Losing the doubles point put the Irish behind early on, but they did manage to win at No. 3 doubles. The duo of juniors Daniel Stahl and David Anderson were able to defeat Louisville’s Sumit-Prakash Gupta and Robert Hall 8-5.
“David and Dan returned very well at crunch time,” Bayliss said.
Stahl dropped his match at No. 3 singles to give Louisville an early 2-0 lead over the Irish. Havens dropped his match (6-3, 7-6 (2)) at No. 2 singles to allow Louisville to clinch the overall match.
Notre Dame did come out with two singles victories on the day. Sophomore Sam Keeton got the Irish on the board with a win at No. 5 singles over Hall in three sets, 6-1, 6-7 (4), 6-3. At No. 6 singles, freshman Blas Moros was able to pull out a win to wrap up the match, also winning in three sets.
“Blas Moros played more aggressively,” Bayliss said. “He is growing before our eyes and it is rewarding to see. He served well at key times and did not back down under pressure.”
Bayliss was honored before the match began for recently earning his 700th career victory. He is now one of only four NCAA Division I coaches to hold that honor. Bayliss has been the head coach at Notre Dame, MIT and Navy, and has coached a total of 41 years.
The Irish will next host Ball State in their final home match of the year Wednesday, with the first serve set for 3:30 p.m.