No. 64 TRIBE 0, No. 30 NOTRE DAME 7
While most College students slept, the College of William and Mary men’s tennis team jumped around in a tight circle on a far corner of the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center with hopes of upsetting the 30th-ranked University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish Saturday morning.
With an emphatic shout of “Tribe!” the doubles pairings excitedly ran out to take their places.
As the seemingly sluggish visitors lumbered out to their sides of the court, it appeared that the 64th-ranked Tribe could shock its travel-weary opponents from South Bend, Ind. But the Tribe’s hot start in doubles gave way to a 7-0 defeat at the hands of the Fighting Irish.
The College’s no. 3 doubles pair, which includes junior Richard Wardell and freshman Ilja Orre, was the only duo to push its opponents to a tiebreak before losing 9-7.
After leading 3-2, seniors Dominic Pagon and Marwan Ramadan were unable to hold their advantage as Notre Dame sophomore Stephen Havens and freshman Casey Watt reeled off six games in a row to win 8-3. A hard-fought match between the no. 1 doubles pairings saw Tribe junior Keziel Juneau and sophomore Sebastien Vidal fall 8-5 to the nationally ranked doubles pairing of senior Brett Helgeson and sophomore Tyler Davis.
The Tribe was decidedly less competitive in singles play although Vidal’s match with no. 112 Daniel Stahl went to three sets. Vidal took the first set easily 6-2, but Stahl lived up to his ranking and rallied, winning 6-4 and 6-2 in the final two sets. Orre was the College’s only other singles player to win a set against the Fighting Irish. Orre, who won his first set 7-5, lost in three sets, dropping a super tiebreaker in the third set 10-5.
“We have got to learn to finish better,” Head Coach Peter Daub said after the morning match.
After its loss to Notre Dame, the Tribe stands at 7-2 – its best start since 2002.
The College faces its next ranked opponent Friday morning when its hosts no. 70 Brigham Young University at 8:30 a.m. at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center.