Nov. 21, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame men’s tennis coach Bobby Bayliss has announced the signing of two incoming freshman for the 2008-09 school year. Casey Watt (Gibsonia, PA) and Sam Keeton (Kansas City, KS) have signed national letters of intent to enroll at Notre Dame next year and join the Irish tennis team in the fall. Both are ranked among the top 20 current high school seniors in the country.
“All of us involved with Notre Dame Tennis are absolutely thrilled to add Sam and Casey to our program,” said head coach Bobby Bayliss. “They both will bring great character and awesome attitudes to our team, as well as the ability to contribute right away. With additions like these, we know that the foundation of Notre Dame Tennis is strong.”
Watt is the 12th-ranked player in the country and top-ranked from the state of Pennsylvania by the Tennis Recruiting Network, the nation’s most comprehensive source for information about tennis recruiting. He has reached as high as No. 1,141 in the world in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior Rankings, and currently stands at No. 1,218.
“Casey has been recognized as one of the country’s elite prospects for some time, said Bayliss. “This past summer, he defeated the nation’s top ranked player at the National Boys’ Team Championships, proving the ability to elevate his game to another level. I am particularly excited about his upside. He is a fiery competitor who is at his best in big matches.”
Watt has reached the finals of five major junior events in the last year, winning the St. Louis Gateway Championship, L4 18-and-under Section Championship on two separate occasions, while posting an overall record of 45-14 in singles, including an 26-13 record against other TennisRecruiting.net blue-chip (11-6) and five-star (15-7) recruits. He has recorded victories over three of the top six-ranked senior players in the nation.
Keeton is the 19th-ranked player in the country and top-ranked from the state of Missouri by the Tennis Recruiting Network, the nation’s most comprehensive source for information about tennis recruiting. He has compiled a 48-12 juniors record in 2007, including a 19-8 record against other TennisRecruiting.net blue-chip (5-5) and five-star (14-3) recruits.
“Sam is just growing into a more aggressive game which will take him to new heights as a college player,” said Bayliss. “He has some very solid wins and can demonstrate some real firepower at times. He has a left-handed serve that will be a big weapon and ground strokes that can be punishing. He is one of the most improved junior players in the country.”
Keeton captured six major junior tournaments, including five consecutive events. He took home individual honors at the USTA National Opens, USTA Missouri Valley Sweet 16, USTA Missouri Valley Super 2 and two USTA Missouri Valley Outdoor Futures.
The 2007-08 Irish squad will open their dual-match season on Jan. 20 against Penn State (12:00 p.m.) in the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
— ND —