March 21, 2009
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The men’s tennis team was defeated by Wisconsin at the 2009 Blue Gray National Tennis Classic by a score of 4-3. The Irish rallied from a 2-0 deficit but could not hold onto a 3-2 lead as Wisconsin earned wins at fifth and sixth singles to clinch the match. With the loss, Notre Dame moves to 9-9 on the season.
Notre Dame, currently ranked 26th, dropped the doubles point, as Wisconsin, currently ranked 29th, won at first and third doubles. At first doubles, Notre Dame’s 25th-ranked team of Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West) and Tyler Davis (Nashville, Tenn./Father Ryan) were defeated by 17th-ranked Moritz Bauman and Marek Michalicka, 8-6. Stephen Havens (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Casey Watt (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine-Richland) earned an 8-3 win at second doubles over Luke Rassow-Kantor and Patrick Pohlmann. At third doubles the Badger tandem of Michael Dierberger and Michael Muskievicz downed Notre Dame’s Niall Fitzgerald (Wicklow, Ireland) and Matt Johnson (Portage, Mich./Portage Central), 8-6, to give Wisconsin a 1-0 lead entering singles play.
Wisconsin extended the lead to 2-0 by virtue of 47th-ranked Baumann’s win over 22nd-ranked Helgeson, 6-2, 6-0 at first singles. The Badger lead was then cut to one as Havens earned a win at second singles over 37th-ranked Michalicka, 6-3, 6-2. Daniel Stahl’s (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) 6-3, 7-5 win at fourth singles over Rassow-Kantor tied the match at 2-2.
Notre Dame took a 3-2 lead when Watt knocked off Pohlmann at third singles, 7-5, 6-3. But Wisconsin rallied for wins at fifth and sixth singles to take the match. At fifth singles, sophomore David Anderson (Sandwich, Mass./Sandwich) lost to Peter Marrack, 7-5, 6-1. At sixth singles, Muskievicz downed Fitzgerald, 6-3, 6-1.
The Irish return home to play host to BIG EAST foe South Florida on Saturday, March 28. The Irish will also play ninth-ranked Illinois at home on Sunday, March 29. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.
NOTES: Alabama and Tennessee will play for the 2009 Blue Gray National Tennis Classic title on Sunday … 2009 marks the 60th year of the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic … the Irish have taken part in the classic every year since 1991 … Notre Dame now holds a 40-24 all-time record at the event … the Irish are three-time champions, having won the tournament in 1993, 2001 and 2007 … the Irish earned runner-up status in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2006 … Saturday’s loss to Wisconsin marked Notre Dame’s second 4-3 loss of the season to the Badgers, having previously played Wisconsin on March 1 … the South Florida match will be Notre Dame’s first match of 2009 versus BIG EAST opposition.