Feb. 6, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 26 University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team was downed by 14th-ranked Duke in a 5-2 decision Sunday in the Eck Tennis Pavilion in Notre Dame, Ind. The Irish won the doubles point and junior Sam Keeton (Kansas City, Mo./Pembroke Hill) won 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 at the No. 4 position. The action continued in the Eck Tennis Pavilion when Notre Dame topped Toledo 7-0.
At the second doubles position, Niall Fitzgerald (Wicklow, Ireland/Blackrock College) and Spencer Talmadge (Hillsborough, Calif./Junipero Serra) improved their doubles record to 4-1, battling Jared Pinsky and Fred Saba 9-8 (5). The victory earned the Irish an early 1-0 lead.
“We have earned the doubles point in each of our matches with the exception of Virginia,” head coach Bobby Bayliss said. “I think we have a good start there, but have a lot to build on as well.”
In singles action, Andrews played at the No. 3 spot, battling No. 118 Mengel. The freshman fell in a two-set match (6-4, 6-3) and Duke evened the score to 1-1. At the No. 6 position, Blas Moros (Boca Raton, Fla./Pine Crest School) came out to an early 4-1 lead in the first set, before Duke’s Luke Marchese made a comeback to win the first set 6-4. The sophomore was unable to battle back in the second set and fell 7-5 to make the score 2-1.
Sam Keeton (Kansas City, Mo./Pembroke Hill) defeated Fred Saba in a three-set match. The junior handled Saba 6-2 in the first set, followed by a 3-6 loss in the second set. Keeton closed out the final set 6-2 to win the match at the No. 4 position.
With the score 2-2, Daniel Stahl (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) began the match with a 6-1 win in the first set over No. 5 Reid Carleton at the No. 2 position. The senior then fell 6-3, 6-3 in the final two sets to the No. 1 seed from the 2010 NCAA Championship, moving the score to 3-2 in Duke’s favor.
“Stahl, Keeton and Blas played as hard as they could,” associate head coach Ryan Sachire said. “They all had moments and put themselves in a place to win, but it is having the confidence to step up and not doubt oneself that will take us to the next level. I have to give Duke the credit they deserve, they fought hard and out-played us at the end of the day.”
At the No. 1 position, Watt was downed by No. 9 Henrique Cunha. The junior played to a nail-biting 7-6 (6) in the first set, before concluding the match with a 6-1 defeat. Cunha clinched the match for Duke.
Davis played at the No. 6 position and dropped a 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 decision to Luke Marchese, moving the final score to 5-2.
The Irish remained strong at doubles, claiming the point for another early 1-0 lead. At third doubles, Ryan Bandy (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) and Matt Johnson (Portage, Mich./Portage Central) downed Mircea Dimofte and Bryant Dudzik in an 8-5 decision.
Fitzgerald and Talmadge paired up against Aleksander Elezovic and Sven Burus. The Irish duo battled at first doubles, before ultimately falling 8-6 in the match. Davis and Andrews clinched the doubles point for the Irish, handling Leo Sarria and Terence Weigand 8-6.
Stahl handled Sven Burus at No. 2 singles, 6-2, 6-2 for the first singles win of the match. Senior David Anderson (Sandwich, Mass./Sandwich) topped Mircea Dimofte 6-1, 6-1, while Keeton defeated Bryant Dudzik in a 6-1, 6-4 decision to secure the match.
Andrews downed Leo Sarria 6-0, 6-4 in the No. 3 position, moving the score to 5-0, Irish. Moros and Watt closed-out the match against the Rockets, both earning wins. Moros won 6-2, 6-4 and Watt won 5-7, 6-1 and 10-8 to sweep Toledo, 7-0. The Irish return to action Tuesday at 5:00 (ET) to face No. 39 Wisconsin in Madison, Wis.