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Men’s Tennis: Stahl looks to finish career on high note

Andrew Owens | Tuesday, October 12, 2010

With many college athletes, everything is about being flashy and making the headlines while academics take a backseat. Irish senior Dan Stahl, however, quietly goes about his business on and off the court and continues to excel for Notre Dame.

The senior from Bethesda, Md., is looking to put together his strongest effort since his Irish career began in 2007 and lead the team deep into postseason play.

Stahl was recruited by the Irish after an outstanding run in high school. He led his team to the 2005 Maryland state championship and advanced to the finals of the singles bracket in 2007.

Despite his distinguished high school career, he flew under the radar when he came to campus as a freshman.

“Dan is a guy that wasn’t recruited as heavily as he should have been,” Irish assistant coach Ryan Sachire said. “He wasn’t ranked as highly as others, but he entered the starting lineup as a freshman and has progressed every year.”

As a freshman, Stahl was named to the Big East All-Tournament team after going 27-8 during the regular season. In his sophomore season, he was listed as the 112th best player in the nation.

Despite the early success, Stahl has never stopped working to improve his game. He has developed into an elite tennis player with strong serves and intimidating net play to compliment the impressive groundstrokes he had coming in as a freshman.

Sachire noted that Stahl’s impact on the team cannot be overvalued.

“He’s a great embodiment of who we are and is one of the hardest workers on the team,” he said. “He is a leader by example and really believes in himself.”

Stahl continues to focus on reaching team goals over individual ones.

“I think that individual goals are good to have as long as they do not take precedence over team goals,” Stahl said. “I would really like to make it into the NCAA singles tournament at the end of the season, and in doing so, maintaining a solid ranking. I can strive for that goal, but ultimately I will keep it in the back of my mind and focus on the team. I really want us to win the Big East tournament this year after losing to Louisville in the finals last year.”

Stahl has already left a mark on the program and is looking to take the Irish program to a new high before graduating this spring.