Feb. 5, 2012
Durham, N.C. – The 30th-ranked Notre Dame men’s tennis team was upended by the 10th-ranked Duke Blue Devils, 6-1, in their final match on the weekend docket at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center in Durham, N.C.
Coming off of a victory over No. 39 Wake Forest the previous day, the Irish were unable to take down the powerful Blue Devils, capturing only one point on the scorecard.
The Irish found themselves behind 1-0 early after losing two of three doubles matches. The battery of seniors Casey Watt and Niall Fitzgerald fell to Henrique Cunha and Fred Saba, 8-5, at the No. 1 doubles position. At No. 2 doubles, junior Spencer Talmadge and sophomore Greg Andrews claimed the only Irish doubles victory of the day when they downed David Holland and Chris Mengel, 8-5, while the No. 3 doubles team of Keeton and sophomore Billy Pecor were beaten by Torsten Wietoska and Raphael Hemmeler, 8-6.
The lone victory for Notre Dame came at No. 4 singles, as senior Sam Keeton (No. 74) quickly dispatched Duke’s Fred Saba (No. 110), 6-4, 6-3. Keeton’s triumph tied up the match at one before the highly-ranked Duke singles players began to turn the tide on the Irish.
With the score tied at one, seventh-ranked Cunha defeated Watt with a straight-set, 6-1, 6-2 victory at No. 1 singles. At No. 2 singles, Andrews lost to No. 17 Mengel, 6-4, 6-4, while Pecor succumbed to Duke’s Wietoska, 6-4, 6-2. Moros, playing No. 5 singles, fell to No. 120 Hemmeler, 6-2, 6-2.
The last singles match to finish was between Notre Dame’s Fitzgerald and Duke’s Tahir. Fitzgerald overpowered his opponent in the opening set, 6-1. The back-and-forth second set was finally claimed by Tahir (7-6), sending the match into a tiebreak that would be claimed by the Blue Devils (10-3).
The loss drops the 30th-ranked Irish to 5-3 on the season. Notre Dame steps back on the court, Feb. 7, at Northwestern in a match that is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. (ET).
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No. 1 Singles
No. 7 Cunha defeats Watt 6-1, 6-1
No. 2 Singles
No. 17 Mengel defeats Andrews 6-4, 6-4
No. 3 Singles
Wietoska defeats Pecor 6-4, 6-2
No. 4 Singles
No. 74 Keeton defeats No. 110 Fred Saba 6-4, 6-3
No. 5 Singles
No. 120 Hemmeler defeats Moros 6-2, 6-2
No. 6 Singles
Tahir defeats Fitzgerald 1-6, 7-6(2), 1-0(10-3)
No. 1 Doubles
Cunha/Saba defeat Watt/Fitzgerald 8-5
No. 2 Doubles
Talmadge/Andrews defeat Holland/Mengel 8-5
No. 3 Doubles
Wietoska/Hemmeler defeat Keeton/Pecor 8-6