Casey Watt had an important singles win in Notre Dame's upset over then 13th-ranked Texas A&M last season.

Irish Set To Play Two In Texas

April 1, 2010

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Fighting Irish men’s tennis team will wrap-up a nine-match road swing this weekend when it travels to Texas for two matches. At 1:00 pm (CT) on Saturday, April 3, the Irish will play Southern Methodist University at the Mustangs’ Turpin Tennis Center in Dallas, Texas. Then, at 6:00 pm (CT) on Monday, April 5, Notre Dame plays Texas A&M at the Aggies’ George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas.

The Irish, who are currently ranked 36th, are in the midst of an impressive stretch of tennis that includes four wins in their last five matches. A complete recap of both contests will be posted on following each match. Stats and video coverage of Notre Dame’s showdown with 12th-ranked Texas A&M will be provided through the Aggies’ website,, and can also be accessed via Notre Dame’s schedule page.

Southern Methodist Series Breakdown
Notre Dame leads the brief all-time series with SMU, 5-3, with all eight meetings between the two teams coming in the Bobby Bayliss era at Notre Dame. The teams first met on Jan. 20, 1990 in Chicago, Ill., with Notre Dame earning a 6-3 win that day. The teams then took an 11-year break before resuming the series in 2001, when the Irish dropped a 4-3 decision at SMU. Notre Dame and SMU played every season from 2001-06 and then met again in 2008. The home team has held the upper hand in the series, as Notre Dame has posted a 4-0 mark at home versus the Mustangs and SMU earning all three of its series wins while at home.

The Irish carry a two-match winning streak versus the Mustangs into this weekend’s meeting. On April 8, 2006 the Irish recorded a 5-2 win and then, in the teams’ most recent meeting, the Irish earned a 4-3 win on Feb. 10, 2008. In the 4-3 win, current junior Stephen Havens (Cincinnati, Ohio/Hill Christian School) and Daniel Stahl (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) came up with crucial singles wins. Havens downed Oivind Alver 6-4, 6-0 at No. 4 singles and Stahl defeated Chris Hooshyar 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 at No. 6 singles.

Scouting The Mustangs
Southern Methodist enters the weekend on a three-match winning streak and with an overall record of 10-9. Notre Dame will be SMU’s fifth opponent of its current 11-match homestand. Junior Darren Walsh has paced the Mustangs of late; he has won his last six singles matches. He has appeared at the No. 2,3,4 and 5 positions for SMU. Junior Artem Baradach has held down the No. 1 position for the Mustangs, posting a 11-6 mark. He is currently 68th in the Campbell/ITA singles rankings.

SMU and the Irish have faced two common opponents this season in Tulsa and Wisconsin. The Mustangs and Irish each lost to Tulsa by identical 4-3 scores. SMU was defeated by Wisconsin, 4-0, while the Irish downed the Badgers, 4-3. Most recently, SMU downed Lamar, 7-0, on March 28.

Texas A&M Series Breakdown
The brief all-time series between Texas A&M and Notre Dame is tied at 3-3. The teams first met at the Blue Gray Tennis Classic on March 10, 1991 in Montgomery, Ala., with Notre Dame earning a 5-4 win on that day. More recently, the teams split a pair of meetings during the 2006 season before Notre Dame upset then 13th-ranked Texas A&M at home last season, 4-3. In that win, the Irish completed a dramatic comeback from a 0-3 deficit. Havens recorded the clinching win after singles triumphs from Brett Helgeson ’09, Casey Watt (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine-Richland) and David Anderson (Sandwich, Mass./Sandwich). Watt downed Alexey Grigorov 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 at No. 4 singles and Anderson earned a win at No. 6 singles against Colin Hoover 6-4, 3-6, 6-0.

Scouting The Aggies
The Aggies carry a 15-4 record into the weekend and a national ranking of 12th. Texas A&M will play at Nebraska on April 2 and then play host to UTSA at noon on Monday before taking on the Irish at 6:00. Most recently, the Aggies swept a home double header over UT Arlington (6-1) and Rice (4-3) on March 31. The Irish and the Aggies have faced three common opponents so far this season including Fresno State, Wisconsin and Illinois. Notre Dame (by a score of 4-3) and Texas A&M (5-2) each beat Wisconsin and the teams both lost to Illinois by identical 5-2 scores. Notre Dame downed Fresno State, 4-3, while the Aggies dropped a 4-3 decision to Fresno State.

On the individual level, the Aggies are led by a trio of nationally-ranked singles players including Austin Krajicek, Jeff Dadamo and Alexis Klegou. Krajicek is ranked eighth and boasts a 12-3 dual season singles record, all at No. 1 singles. Dadamo, ranked 46th, is 11-4 on the season, with 12 of those 15 starts coming at No. 2 singles. Klegou is ranked 121st and carries a dual season record of 9-5, including an 8-4 record at No. 3 singles.

Last Weekend
The Fighting Irish men’s tennis team took an early lead and never looked back as they defeated the Northwestern Wildcats, 5-2, Saturday, March 27 at the Vandy Christie Tennis Center in Evanston, Ill. With the win, Notre Dame improved to 10-8 on the season.

Notre Dame took an early 1-0 lead after taking two of three matches to win the doubles point. Havens put the Irish up 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Andrew McCarthy at second singles. Stahl gave Notre Dame a 3-1 advantage as he earned his ninth win of the season with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Spencer Wolf at third singles. Blas Moros (Boca Raton, Fla./Pine Crest) clinched the win for the Irish with his fifth straight victory, a 6-3, 7-5 win over Mark Schanerman at sixth singles. Anderson topped Alex Sanborn, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, at No. 5 singles to complete Notre Dame’s 5-2 win.

After recording a doubles and singles win against Northwestern, Havens was named the BIG EAST Men’s Tennis Player of the Week on March 31 … The most recent Campbell/ITA rankings were released on Tuesday, March 30 and the Irish remained 36th … In the singles rankings, Casey Watt moved to 29th and Daniel Stahl to 91st … The Irish have faced a ranked opponent in 13 of their 18 matches (the Campbell/ITA rankings slot the top-75 teams) … Notre Dame is 7-1 on the season when claiming the doubles point … Notre Dame’s win over Middle Tennessee State University (4-2) in the opening round of the 2010 Blue Gray tournament marked the 700th career win for head coach Bobby Bayliss (now 702-306-1/41 seasons) … Sam Keeton is 10-1 in 2010 dual season singles play … nine of Notre Dame’s 18 matches have been decided by just one point.