Feb. 1, 2009
TULSA, Okla. – The Notre Dame men’s tennis team knocked-off 20th-ranked Texas Tech, 4-0, in the consolation round at the Tulsa regional of the ITA National Team Indoors.
The Irish took the doubles point and won the first three singles matches to finish, improving their record to 2-4 on the season. The match, which was part of the inaugural ITA Kick-Off Weekend, took place inside Tulsa’s Case Tennis Center.
At third doubles, freshman Niall Fitzgerald (Wicklow, Ireland/Blackrock College) and sophomore Matt Johnson (Portage, Mich./Portage Central HS) downed David Gonzalez and Milos Kustudija, 8-4 to give the Irish a 1-0 lead in doubles play.
At first doubles, the 37th-ranked team of Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West) and Tyler Davis (Nashville, Tenn./Father Ryan HS) fell to Texas Tech’s seventh-ranked tandem of Raony Carvalho and Christian Rojmar, 8-5, tying the doubles match a 1-1.
At second doubles, freshman Casey Watt (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine-Richland HS) and sophomore Stephen Havens (Cincinnati, Ohio/Hills Christian School) defeated Michael Breler and Sinisa Markovic in a close match, 9-7 to clinch the doubles point for the Irish. Through six dual matches, Havens and Watt are now 4-2 at second doubles.
Though the matches remained close throughout singles play, the Irish won three straight singles matches to finish off the Red Raiders. The wins came at second, fourth and sixth singles.
Sixth singles finished first as Sam Keeton (Kansas City, Mo./The Pembroke Hill School) dispatched of Gonzalez, 7-6 (8), 7-5. The win gave the Irish a 2-0 overall lead and improved Keeton’s dual season singles record to 5-0.
Then, at second singles, Havens downed Markovic in straight sets, 7-6 (4), 7-5, to give the Irish a commanding 3-0 lead.
In what turned out to be the clinching match, Watt won at fourth singles against Breler. He dropped the first set, 6-2, before battling back to take the second set, 7-5. In the decisive third set, Watt proved victorious, 6-3.
Helgeson’s match at first singles, Daniel Stahl’s (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman HS) match at third singles and Fitzgerald’s match at fifth singles remained unfinished as the Irish clinched the win.
The Irish return to the courts on Sunday, February 8 as they play host to both the Duke Blue Devils and Toledo. Notre Dame’s match versus Duke will begin at noon, while their match against Toledo is slated to begin at 6:00 p.m. Both matches will take place inside the Eck Tennis Pavilion in Notre Dame, Ind.
#32 Notre Dame 4, #20 Texas Tech 0
Singles1. #20 Brett Helgeson (ND) vs. #19 Raony Carvalho (TTU), 4-6, 6-4, 3-2 unfinished2. Stephen Havens (ND) def. Sinisa Markovic (TTU), 7-6 (4), 7-53. Christian Rojmar (TTU) vs. #112 Daniel Stahl (ND), 6-3, 1-6, 6-6 (5-4) unfinished4. Casey Watt (ND) def. Michael Breler (TTU), 2-6, 7-5, 6-35. Niall Fitzgerald (ND) vs. Milos Kustudija (TTU), 6-4, 2-6, 3-2 unfinished6. Sam Keeton (ND) def. David Gonzalez (TTU), 7-6 (8), 7-5
Doubles1. #7 Carvalho/Rojmar (TTU) def. #37 Davis/Helgeson (ND), 8-52. Havens/Watt (ND) def. Breler/Markovic (TTU), 9-73. Fitzgerald/Johnson (ND) def. Gonzalez/Kustudija (TTU), 8-4
Match Notes:Texas Tech 1-1; National ranking #20Notre Dame 2-4; National ranking #32Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (6,2,4)
-- ND --