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Men’s Tennis: Irish host Midwest Regional

Kata Grabarek | Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Irish hosted the ITA Midwest Regional Tournament, showing once again that the team has the potential to follow up on last season’s success.

Junior Casey Watt was one of many Irish standouts this weekend, as he reached the semifinals of the tournament after defeating No. 1 seed Case Buchanan of Ohio State 7-6, 6-2.

“Watt’s upset over Chase Buchanan had national implications,” Irish coach Bobby Bayliss said. “Buchanan is a former winner of the U.S. National Juniors and the U.S. Open Juniors, and much of the summer speculation was over whether or not he would come back to school or turn professional, so that puts his win in perspective.”

Watt took on Matt Allare of Ohio State in the semifinals, but was unable to advance after falling to Allare in straight sets 6-3, 6-4.

Three Irish doubles teams also made it to the quarterfinals of the tournament before losing tough matches. The team of senior captain Tyler Davis and senior Stephen Havens was met with success before falling to Devin McCarthy and Balazs Novak of Ohio State 8-6 in the quarterfinals.

Watt and senior David Anderson made up the second doubles team, advancing to the quarterfinals before losing to Allare and Peter Kobelt of Ohio State.

“I was very encouraged at our doubles play,” Bayliss said. “Tyler Davis and Stephen Havens have been very good all fall, so their play came as no surprise to me. Spencer Tamadge and Niall Fitzgerald have talented hands and have become a pretty good team … We have shown that we are able to play with anyone, but we need to find a way to close the door better in doubles when we get a lead.”

Another standout match for the weekend was a contest between senior Dan Stahl and Michigan’s Evan King. Stahl fell to King in a tough three-setter, 1-6, 7-6 (7), 4-6.

“The Stahl-King match was played at a very high level,” Bayliss said. “Dan tried to take away King’s time by playing pretty far up in the court and it worked, but most impressive was his discipline and ability to stay in concrete patterns throughout the match, forcing King to blink first much of the time. He showed great poise much of the match and forced King to break the pattern first.”

The Irish will take this weekend off before rounding out their fall schedule at the Alabama Invitational beginning Nov. 5.