April 11, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
Sophomore Austen Childs defeated 24th ranked Brett Helgeson 6-0, 2-6, 6-4 at No. 1 singles to clinch the match as the No. 26 University of Louisville men's tennis team edged No. 20 Notre Dame 4-3 Saturday at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center. The Cards close the regular season with an 18-6 record, while the Fighting Irish drop to 11-10.
Louisville opened the match by taking the doubles point with wins at Nos. 1 and 3. Alejandro Calligari and Robert Hall teamed to beat Daniel Stahl and David Anderson 8-1 at No. 3. Notre Dame's Tyler Davis and Casey Watt picked up an 8-5 win over Austen Childs and Sumit-Prakash Gupta at the two-spot to even the doubles matches at one apiece. Simon Childs and Viktor Maksimcuk clinched the point, outlasting the 23rd ranked duo of Brett Helgeson and Tyler Davis 9-8 (7-5) at the top seed.
"I was pleased with the effort our players gave in coming up with a huge doubles point," said U of L head coach Rex Ecarma. "With Alejandro Calligari and Robert Hall playing their best tennis of the year and Simon Childs really made a difference at No. 1 doubles - without that point, we wouldn't have won."
In singles action, Maksimcuk gave the Cards a 2-0 lead with his 6-0, 7-5 victory over Havens at the No. 2 slot. Notre Dame answered with wins at Nos. 5 and 3. Anderson beat Gupta 6-0, 6-2 at the five seed and Watt topped Simon Childs 6-1, 7-5 at the three-spot to tie the match at 2-2. Calligari put the Cards back on top again with a 6-3, 6-2 decision over Stahl at No. 4, but the Irish responded when Davis topped Andrew Carter 6-4, 6-2 at No. 6 to even the score at 3-3.
The match came down to the No. 1 court, which featured No. 41 Austen Childs
against No. 24 Helgeson for the deciding point. Childs cruised to a 6-0 win in the first set, but Helgeson rebounded to win the second set 6-2. The players battled back and forth in the third set before Childs prevailed 6-4 to secure the win.
"Austen, Alejandro and Viktor all played intense and high quality tennis," said assistant coach Rodrigo daSilva. "We had a great week of practice and worked hard on their consistency and serving. It really showed today. They played very focused and with purpose and that resulted in a win against Notre Dame."
he victory gives the Cardinals an 18-6 record on the season as they prepare for the BIG EAST Conference tournament April 16-19 in Tampa, Fla. Louisville will be playing for its second BIG EAST Conference tournament title and its sixth NCAA tournament appearance.
"I'd like to thank the crowd of nearly 200 people who came here on Easter weekend to watch us play," said Ecarma. "They were loud and really fired up our team. It was great to play in such a festive and intense atmosphere. In the big picture, this win makes us a leading candidate for a number one seed in the conference tournament, improves our national ranking and gives us momentum going into the post season. We are also hopeful that it gives us an opportunity to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA regional."
No. 26 Louisville 4 - No. 20 Notre Dame 3
April 11, 2009 - Bass-Rudd Tennis Center
1 - #41 Austen Childs (UL) d. #24 Brett Helgeson (UND) 6-0, 2-6, 6-4 *
2 - #78 Viktor Maksimcuk (UL) d. #124 Stephen Havens (UND) 6-0, 7-5
3 - Casey Watt (UND) d. Simon Childs (UL) 6-1, 7-5
4 - Alejandro Calligari (UL) d. Daniel Stahl (UND) 6-3, 6-2
5 - David Anderson (UND) d. Sumit-Prakash Gupta (UL) 6-0, 6-2
6 - Tyler Davis (UND) d. Andrew Carter (UL) 6-4, 6-2
Order of finish: 2,5,3,4,6,1
1 - S. Childs/Maksimcuk (UL) d. #23 Helgeson/Davis (UND) 9-8(7-5) *clinch
2 - Havens/Watt (UND) d. A. Childs/Gupta (UL) 8-5
3 - Calligari/Robert Hall (UL) d. Stahl/Anderson (UND) 8-1
Order of finish 3,2,1