Jan. 28, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 36th-ranked Irish men’s tennis defeated the 17th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners 4-1 at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at the Atkins Center in Champaign, Ill.
“I am really proud of our guys,” head coach Bobby Bayliss said. “Oklahoma returns most of its players from it’s NCAA quarterfinals team last season. Our guys really competed and worked for each point they earned.”
The Irish came out with an early lead of 3-0 over the Sooners, winning second and third doubles, followed by wins at No. 6 and No. 3 singles. At second doubles, Niall Fitzgerald (Wicklow, Ireland/Blackrock College) and Spencer Talmadge (Hillsborough, Calif./Junipero Serra) defeated No. 48 Lawrence Formentera and John Warden in a hard fought 10-8 finish. Fitzgerald and Talmadge battled back-and-forth with the Sooners before ultimately, pulling away to secure the first win of the day for the Irish.
At first doubles Tyler Davis (Nashville, Tenn./Father Ryan) and Stephen Havens (Cincinnati, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy) clinched the doubles point over No.24 Ionut Beleleu and Costin Paval, 8-6. Third doubles Casey Watt (Gibsonia Pa./Pine-Richland) and Greg Andrews (Richland, Mich./Gull Lake) match went unfinished as Davis and Havens secured the point.
In singles action, No. 122 Davis handled John Warde in a two-set match at the No. 6 spot. The senior captain won the two-set match, 6-2, 6-2 to secure the first Irish singles win against Oklahoma, moving the score to 2-0. At No. 3 singles, Daniel Stahl (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) handled Laurentiu Gavrila 6-3 in the first set before closing out the match with a 6-4 victory in the second set to secure the second singles point for Notre Dame.
At No. 5 singles, Samuel Keeton (Kansas City, Mo./Pembroke Hill) was downed in the first set, 6-1 by Tsventan Mihov. Keeton then battled to a 6-6 score in the second set before dropping the set and match, 7-6 (10-8). At No. 1 singles, No. 104 Watt won the first set 7-6 (7-3) after trailing No. 26 Ionut Beleleu by a two-game deficit. Beleleu picked up the second set, 6-3 and Watt closed out the match, winning 6-3 to clinch the 4-1 win for the Irish.
The Irish are back in action at 7:00 p.m. (ET) Saturday to take on the winner of the No. 16 Illinois/No. 39 Denver match that takes place at 7:00 p.m. (CT) this evening.
1. #104 Casey Watt (ND) def. #26 Ionut Beleleu (OK) 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 6-3
2. #57 Costin Paval (OK) vs. #71 Stephen Havens (ND) 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 2-2, unfinished
3. Daniel Stahl (ND) def. Laurentiu Gavrila (OK) 6-3, 6-4
4. #70 Peerakit Siributwong (OK) vs. Greg Andrews (ND) 6-4, 6-6 (4-6), unfinished
5. Tsvetan Mihov (OK) def. Samuel Keeton (ND) 6-1, 7-6 (10-8)
6. #122 Tyler Davis (ND) def. John Warden (OK) 6-2, 6-2
1. #24 Ionut Beleleu/Costin Paval (OK) vs. #47 Tyler Davis/Stephen Havens (ND) 8-6
2. Niall Fitzgerald/Spencer Talmadge (ND) def. #48 Lawrence Formentera/John Warden (OK) 9-8 (7-5)
3. Casey Watt/Greg Andrews (ND) def. Tsvetan Mihov/Peerakit Siributwong (OK) unfinished
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (6,3,5,1)
Notre Dame (2-1); National ranking #36
Oklahoma (1-1); National ranking #17
First round of ITA National Team Indoor Championships