Jan. 6, 2010
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) released its first rankings of 2010 on January 5, with the Fighting Irish men’s tennis team placing 30th overall. The ITA also released its first round of singles rankings, which, led by sophomore Casey Watt at No. 18, include an impressive four members of the Notre Dame roster. Joining Watt in the rankings are freshman Blas Moros (No. 74) and juniors Stephen Havens (No. 93) and Daniel Stahl (No. 95).
After a dominating fall season that included a run to the ITA Midwest Regional finals and an 11-2 overall singles record, Watt (Gibsonia, Pa.) vaulted from 90th in the Sept. 4, 2009 rankings to 18th in the most recent rankings. He is the ninth Irish player to achieve an ITA top-20 singles ranking since 1992, joining a group of players that includes his former teammate Brett Helgeson ’09 and current associate head coach Ryan Sachire ’00.
Moros (Boca Raton, Fla.) is making his first career appearance in the ITA rankings after posting an 8-3 singles record with the Irish during the fall season. Havens (Cincinnati, Ohio) moved up five places since September’s preseason rankings to 93rd, his best mark since entering the rankings at 124th in March of 2009. Stahl (Bethesda, Md.) is appearing in the ITA rankings for the third time in his career, eclipsing his previous high-water mark of No. 112 (1/6/09) by 17 places.
All told, Notre Dame is one of only five Div. 1 schools with four or more players in the current singles rankings, which include the top 125 student-athletes. The Irish join USC (6 players), Virginia (6), Texas (5) and Tennessee (4) in that select group.
The Notre Dame men’s tennis team opens the 2010 dual season on Jan. 22 when they play host to 75th-ranked William & Mary at 5:00 p.m. in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Admission is free of charge.
Notes: The Irish concluded the 2009 season ranked 31st and open the 2010 season ranked 30th, marking their 307th consecutive appearance in the ITA team rankings – a streak that dates back to March 2, 1990 … The ITA rankings featured 25 teams until they were expanded to 50 teams for the 1993-94 season … since 1996-97 the ITA rankings have included 75 teams … the next team rankings will be released on Jan. 26, while the next round of singles and doubles rankings will be released on Feb. 18 … complete rankings can be accessed at: http://www.itatennis.com/AwardsAndRankings/Rankings/2009-10_NCAA_Division_I_Men_s_Rankings.htm
— ND —