Casey Watt assisted in clinching the doubles point.

No. 36 Irish Lose Close Match To No. 16 Illinois

Jan. 29, 2011

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The 36th-ranked Irish men’s tennis team jumped out to an early lead after winning the doubles point against 16th-ranked Illinois, but could not hold off the Illini as Notre Dame dropped a hard-fought 4-1 decision Saturday at the Atkins Center in Champaign, Ill.

At first doubles, No. 47 Tyler Davis (Nashville, Tenn./Father Ryan) and Stephen Havens (Cincinnati, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy) were defeated by Dennis Nevolo and Johnny Hamui, 8-1. Niall Fitzgerald (Wicklow, Ireland/Blackrock College) and Spencer Talmadge (Hillsborough, Calif./Junipero Serra) went on a 6-0 run over Abe Souza and Bruno Abdelnour before claiming an 8-3 victory at second doubles.

Casey Watt (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine-Richland) and Greg Andrews (Richland, Mich./Gull Lake) won a hard-fought 9-7 match over Brian Alden and Stephen Hoh. The duo clinched the doubles point and secured an early 1-0 lead for the Fighting Irish.

Havens was downed by KU Singh in a three-set match at No. 2 singles. The senior came out with an early lead, handling Singh 6-2, followed by a 7-5 loss and 6-1 loss to conclude the match, making the score 1-1. Samuel Keeton (Kansas City, Mo./Pembroke Hill) was defeated by Roy Kalmanovich in a three-set match (6-2, 4-6, 3-6) at No. 5 singles. Watt battled Dennis Nevolo at No. 1 singles, the pair split the first two sets before Nevolo downed Watt 6-3 in the final set.

Andrews defeated No. 121 Abe Souza in the first set at No. 4 singles, but dropped the final two sets 3-6 and 7-6 (7-4). Souza’s victory clinched the match for the Illini, making the final score 4-1.

The Irish return to action Sunday, Feb. 6, facing Duke at noon, followed by Toledo at 6:00 p.m. at the Eck Tennis Pavilion in Notre Dame, Ind.

Singles competition

1. #11 Dennis Nevolo (ILL) def. #104 Casey Watt (ND) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3

2. KU Singh (ILL) def. #71 Stephen Havens (ND) 2-6, 7-5, 6-1

3. #111 Johnny Hamui (ILL) vs. Daniel Stahl (ND) 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-4), 2-1, unfinished

4. #121 Abe Souza (ILL) def. Greg Andrews (ND) 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)

5. Roy Kalmanovich (ILL) def. Samuel Keeton (ND) 2-6, 6-4, 6-3

6. Stephen Hoh (ILL) vs. #122 Tyler Davis (ND) 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 3-2, unfinished

Doubles competition

1. Dennis Nevolo/Johnny Hamui (ILL) def. #47 Tyler Davis/Stephen Havens (ND) 8-1

2. Niall Fitzgerald/Spencer Talmadge (ND) def. Abe Souza/Bruno Abdelnour (ILL) 8-3

3. Greg Andrews/Casey Watt (ND) def. Brian Alden/Stephen Hoh (ILL) 9-7

Match Notes:

Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (2,5,1,4)

Notre Dame (2-2); National ranking #36

Illinois (2-1); National ranking #16

Second round of ITA National Team Indoor Championships