May 1, 2011
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - -
The 24th ranked and top-seeded University of Louisville men's tennis team defeated second-seeded host Notre Dame 4-2 in the BIG EAST Conference Championship finals. This marks the second consecutive and third overall league title for the Cardinals (17-11).
The Cardinals earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Pairings will be announced Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.
"People always say when you win back-to-back championships that after the first it gets harder," said U of L head coach Rex Ecarma. "We found that to be true today. We have been fortunate enough to win our last six meetings, but this one was the hardest.
The Cardinals opened the match by taking a hotly contested the doubles point. Notre Dame's Casey Watt and Stephen Havens defeated Alejandro Calligari and Robert Hall 8-4 at the two-spot. Simon Childs and Viktor Maksimcuk edged Niall Fitzgerald and Spencer Talmadge 8-7 at the top-seed. The doubles point came down to court No. 3 where Austen Childs and Adam Donaldson teamed to beat Greg Andrews and Daniel Stahl 8-5 to put the Cards up 1-0.
"We came back from behind at No. 1 doubles after we lost No. 2 doubles," said Ecarma. "Viktor and Simon just started hitting winners when their backs were against the wall. Then it was Austen and Adam's turn. Adam played very well, but Austen's backhand inside out winner with two people at the net was legendary."
In singles, Austen Childs
, No. 16 in the ITA singles rankings, quickly added to the lead with a 6-1, 6-1 win over No. 60 Casey Watt.
Notre Dame picked up wins at Nos. 3 and 4 to even the match at 2-2. No. 94 Daniel Stahl beat Simon Childs 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3 while Andrews topped Hall 6-4, 6-3 at the four-spot.
Andrew Carter put the Cardinals back on top with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Blas Moros on court No. 6. At the No. 2 position, Maksimcuk and Havens went to three sets before Maksimcuk prevailed 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 to give Louisville its second straight league championship.
"Austen followed up our doubles point with a dominating singles performance, said Ecarma. "After Notre Dame tied it up 2-2, Andrew saved his most important win of the year. After a tough regular season, Viktor Maksimcuk was today's hero, clinching a three-set thriller. Today was kind of redemptive for Viktor and Andrew - and we could not have done it without them. These guys represent U of L so well and I am so proud of them."
No. 1seed (#24) Louisville 4, No. 2 seed (#30) Notre Dame 2
May 1, 2011
1. #57 Simon Childs/Viktor Maksimcuk (UL) def. #76 Niall Fitzgerald/Spencer Talmadge (ND), 8-7
2. Casey Watt/Stephen Havens (ND) def. Alejandro Calligari/Robert Hall (UL), 8-4
3. Austen Childs/Adam Donaldson (UL) def. Greg Andrews/Daniel Stahl (UL), 8-5*
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3*
1. #16 Austen Childs (UL) def. #60 Casey Watt (ND), 6-1, 6-1
2. #101 Viktor Maksimcuk (UL) def. Stephen Havens (ND), 6-2, 1-6, 6-3*
3. #94 Daniel Stahl (ND) def. Simon Childs (UL), 6-3, 6-2
4. Greg Andrews (ND) def. Robert Hall (UL), 6-4, 6-3
5. Sam Keeton (ND) vs. Alejandro Calligari (UL), 7-6 (7), 3-2 DNF
6. Andrew Carter (UL) def. Blas Moros (ND), 6-2, 6-2
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 4, 6, 2*
Duration of Match: 2:35