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Men’s Tennis: Irish look to recover from loss

Andrew Owens | Monday, February 7, 2011

The Irish dropped their second consecutive match yesterday afternoon to No. 14 Duke before capping off the day with a victory over Toledo in a split doubleheader at home.

Duke (6-0) fell behind early to the Irish, but was able to comeback and rally for a 5-2 victory. It was the first deficit that the Blue Devils had faced all season prior to competing at Notre Dame.

Forcing that deficit were the Irish No. 2 and No. 3 doubles pairings. The No. 3 doubles pair of freshman Greg Andrews and junior Casey Watt took down Duke’s David Holland and Chris Mengal 8-6. At the No. 2 position, junior Niall Fitzgerald and sophomore Spencer Talmadge improved their doubles record to 4-1 when they defeated Jared Pinsky and Fred Saba 9-8, securing the doubles point.

At No. 1, seniors Tyler Davis and Stephen Havens fell to Reid Carleton and Henrique Cunha in an 8-4 decision.

Cunha defeated No. 1 singles Watt, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1. It was the junior’s second consecutive loss since coming up with the clinching singles victory over No. 17 Oklahoma last weekend.

Junior Samuel Keeton picked up the lone singles victory for the Irish as he topped freshman Fred Saba, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, for a win at the No. 4 singles position.

In the evening, Notre Dame (3-2) bounced back and snapped their two-match losing streak with a 7-0 victory over Toledo (4-3).

All of the doubles matches were pro sets, as the Irish continued their success at the position from earlier in the day by taking two of the three matches.

The combination of Fitzgerald and Talmadge lost a hard-fought match at No. 1 doubles, 8-6.

At third doubles, freshman Ryan Bandy and senior Matt Johnson downed Mircea Dimofte and Bryant Dudzik in an 8-5 decision at third doubles. Davis and Andrews clinched the doubles point, defeating Leo Sarria and Terence Weigand 8-6.

Watt led the charge at the No. 1 singles position again for the Irish, winning 5-7, 6-1, 10-8. The remaining singles players all won in straight sets.

The Irish will face Wisconsin Tuesday in Madison. The team will conclude the week with another doubleheader this weekend at Michigan State.



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



Men’s Tennis: Irish look to recover from loss

Andrew Owens | Friday, February 4, 2011

Despite the cold currently experienced in the South Bend winter, the season is heating up for the Irish, as they will play a doubleheader Sunday, as they host No. 14 Duke and Toledo.

“Duke is very good,” associate head coach Ryan Sachire said. “They’re a top 15 team this year and they were a top 15 team last year when they went to the Sweet Sixteen. They are loaded from top to bottom.”

Part of the challenge for the Irish will be getting the bad taste out of their mouth from a weekend loss to No. 16 Illinois.

Freshman Greg Andrews and junior Casey Watt won a doubles match to give the Irish an early 1-0 advantage. The Illini, however, finished the match with four consecutive victories to beat Notre Dame, 4-1.

“We did not execute or play well against Illinois,” Sachire said. “It’s important that we step up and play like we can.”

The Blue Devils are yet another ranked opponent that the Irish will face in the early part of the spring season.

“We need to play well and compete well,” Sachire said. “Duke is very well-coached and has a lot of talent. We will be in the match if we play and execute like we are capable of. Duke is certainly one of the more talented teams on our schedule.”

The Blue Devils qualified for the Indoor Championships with a tournament win last weekend. The championships will be held in two weeks.

The doubleheader Sunday will be the first of a string of matches the Irish will compete in over the course of the next couple weeks. On Tuesday, Notre Dame will play at Big Ten competitor Wisconsin before playing Michigan State and Marquette in East Lansing, Mich., next weekend.

The Irish will face Duke at 12 p.m. and Toledo at 6 p.m Sunday at the Eck Tennis Center.