March 17, 2010
The Fighting Irish men’s tennis team is set to take part in the 2010 Blue Gray Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala., this weekend. Notre Dame’s first match of the tournament will be played on Thursday, March 18 against Middle Tennessee State University at 4:30 p.m. All the matches at the Blue Gray Tennis Classic will be contested at the Lagoon Park Tennis Center. The winner of the Notre Dame-East Tennessee match will progress to face the winner of the Boise State-Fresno State match.
2010 marks the 61st year of the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic and the Irish have taken part in the classic in every year since the 1991 season. All-time, Notre Dame holds a 40-24 record at the event and the Irish are three-time champions, having won the tournament in 1993, 2001 and 2007. In addition, they have earned runner-up status in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2006.
The 2010 Blue Gray Tennis Classic field includes Texas Tech, Harvard, Penn State, Oklahoma State, Middle Tennessee State, Notre Dame, Fresno State, Boise State, Arizona, William & Mary, Tulsa, Furman, VCU, South Florida, Oklahoma and San Diego State.
The Irish are coming off a split versus South Florida and Florida State last weekend. After being edged at USF, 4-3, the Irish downed 19th-ranked FSU, 4-3. Samuel Keeton (Kansas City, Mo./The Pembroke Hill School) earned the decisive win at No. 5 singles to complete Notre Dame’s comeback from an 0-3 deficit to clinch the win. It marked Notre Dame’s best win over a ranked opponent since defeating then ninth-ranked Illinois, 4-3, on March 29, 2009.
Recaps of all the Notre Dame matches from the Blue Gray Tennis Classic will be posted on UND.com, while Irish fans can also follow along through the Blue Gray website (www.bluegraytennis.com), where live stats and photo galleries will be available. Coverage of days one and two will also be provided by Radio Tennis (www.RadioTennis.com).
The Irish are now 7-7 on the year and ranked 38th (the latest Campbell/ITA Tennis rankings were released on March 16) … in the individual rankings, Casey Watt moved to 27th and Daniel Stahl to 86th … Watt and Stephen Havens entered the doubles rankings at No. 61 … Notre Dame has faced a ranked opponent in 10 of its 14 matches (the Campbell/ITA rankings slot the top-75 teams) … Sam Keeton is 9-0 in 2010 dual season singles play … eight of Notre Dame’s 14 matches have been decided by just one point … Notre Dame is 5-1 on the season when claiming the doubles point.