March 31, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Irish men’s tennis team moved up five places to 22nd overall in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) rankings, which were released on Tuesday morning. Notre Dame moved up on the strength of two wins last weekend over South Florida, 6-1, and ninth-ranked Illinois, 4-3. Notre Dame is now 11-9 on the season.
Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West) moved to 24th in ITA the singles rankings, while Stephen Havens (Cincinnati, Ohio/Hill Christian) entered the singles rankings for the first time in his career at No. 124. In the ITA doubles rankings, Helgeson and sophomore Tyler Davis (Nashville, Tenn./Father Ryan) moved up two spots to 23rd overall.
Helgeson carries a 10-8 record on the season, with all of his starts coming at first singles. Last weekend he won both his singles matches. He first beat South Florida’s 70th-ranked Lucas Jovita, 7-6, 6-2; then he downed 63rd-ranked Marc Spicijaric of Illinois, 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), 6-1. Helgeson has been ranked as high as 18th this season (2.19.09) and as high as 11th in his career (1.8.08).
Havens has played the majority of the season at second singles, where he has posted an 8-10 mark. Overall, Havens is 8-11 on the year, having recorded one decision at first singles in addition to his 18 decisions at second singles. He has played four straight ranked opponents and recorded his best win of the season over 37th-ranked Marek Michalicka of Wisconsin, 6-3, 6-2 on March 21. Havens joins Daniel Stahl (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) as Irish sophomores to appear in the ITA singles rankings for the first time in their careers in 2009.
In doubles play, the 23rd-ranked team of Helgeson and Davis earned two important wins last weekend. Against South Florida, they knocked-off the 27th-ranked team of Lucas Jovita and Thomas Estrada, 8-5. Next, Helgeson and Davis combined to beat 37th-ranked Marc Spicijaric and Marek Czerwinski of Illinois, 8-1. With the wins, the Irish duo improved to 10-9 on the season at first doubles and have achieved their highest ranking since being ranked 21st on March 3.
The Irish return to the courts when they travel to Louisville, Ky. on Saturday, April 11 to take on the Cardinals at 1:00 p.m. Two days later, the Irish conclude their regular season with a 2:00 p.m. match at Ball State on Monday, April 13. Recaps and box scores of both matches will also be posted on und.com.