March 27, 2010
EVANSTON, Ill. -- The Notre Dame Fighting Irish managed emerge with a hard-fought, 5-2 victory over Northwestern on a cold, blustery Saturday afternoon at Vandy Christie Tennis Center. NU dropped doubles, but notched two points behind victories from Sidarth Balaji (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax) and Joshua Graves (Milwaukee, Wis./Nicolet). The ‘Cats are back on court Sunday at 1 p.m. when the Hoosiers head to town for the season’s second Big Ten dual.
The Irish jumped out to an early lead, taking the doubles point behind victories in the top two spots. Alex Sanborn (Houston, Texas/Kinkaid) and Spencer Wolf (Coral Springs, Fla./Laurel Springs) defeated ND's David Anderson and Dan Stahl at No. 3, 8-6, for the 'Cats lone doubles victory.
Graves teamed with Mark Schanerman (N. Miami Beach, Fla./Krop) at No. 2, where the Irish evened the doubles point behind an 8-6 victory by Niall Fitzgerald and Tyler Davis. Doubles came down to No. 1, where Tobias Reitz (Reinbeck, Germany/Sachsenwaldschule Reinbeck) and Andrew McCarthy (Cincinnati, Ohio/Indian Hill) took on Notre Dame's 61st-ranked Stephen Havens and Casey Watt.
The Irish managed to escape with a 9-8(6) victory to claim the point. Three of McCarthy and Reitz's last four matches have been 9-8 losses against ranked tandems, showing that it's just a matter of time before they break through and notch victories.
Notre Dame built on its lead with a 6-1, 6-4 win at No. 2 by 86th-ranked Stephen Havens over NU's McCarthy. Freshman Sidarth Balaji then put the 'Cats on the board with a straight sets win at No. 4, his fourth consecutive in singles.
At No. 3, Wolf and Stahl were tightly locked in the first set until Stahl got a critical break to take it, 7-5. The ND junior then took the second set, 6-2.
Sophomore Josh Graves pulled an upset at No. 1 singles, where he took on No. 27 Casey Watt. The Wildcat took it in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, with match point coming on a Fighting Irish lob that fell just long.
With Northwestern still alive in the dual, 2-3, it came down to No. 5 and No. 6 singles. At No. 6, Schanerman was down a break in the second set after dropping the first and the freshman managed to even it up at 5-all before ND's Blas Moros pulled away, 7-5.
The only match of the day to go the distance was No. 4 between Wildcat captain Sanborn and David Anderson. The two players exchanged the first two sets before Anderson pulled away to take the third, 6-4.
The 'Cats are back in action Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. when they welcome the Indiana Hoosiers to Combe Tennis Center. Both teams will be looking for their first conference victories of the season.
#36 Notre Dame 5, #45 Northwestern 2
1. #115 Joshua Graves (NU) def. #27 Casey Watt (UND) 6-3, 6-3
2. #86 Stephen Havens (UND) def. Andrew McCarthy (NU) 6-1, 6-4
3. Daniel Stahl (UND) def. Spencer Wolf (NU) 7-5, 6-2
4. Sidarth Balaji (NU) def. Samuel Keeton (UND) 6-2, 7-5
5. David Anderson (UND) def. Alex Sanborn (NU) 6-1, 4-6, 6-4
6. Blas Moros (UND) def. Mark Schanerman (NU) 6-3, 7-5
1. #61 Stephen Havens/Casey Watt (UND) def. Tobias Reitz/Andrew McCarthy (NU) 9-8 (8-6)
2. Niall Fitzgerald/Tyler Davis (UND) def. Mark Schanerman/Joshua Graves (NU) 8-6
3. Alex Sanborn/Spencer Wolf (NU) def. David Anderson/Daniel Stahl (UND) 8-6
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (2,4,3,1,6,5)