Jan. 28, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Notre Dame men's tennis team returns to action this weekend when it takes part in the 2010 ITA Kick-Off weekend, which will serve as the regional qualifiers for the National Team Indoor Championships. The Irish are participating in the Ohio State regional in Columbus, Ohio.
The 30th-ranked Irish will face 35th-ranked Tulsa at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30. The other first round matchup at the regional will feature third-ranked Ohio State against 51st-ranked New Mexico. The winners of both matches will then play at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 31 for the right to take part in the ITA Team Indoor Championships, which will be hosted by Virginia on Feb. 12-15 at the Boar's Head Sports Club. The two first round losers will play a consolation match at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday.
Notre Dame and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane have met six times, with each recording three wins in the series. The Irish won the first meeting, 5-4, in 1979. This year's match marks the fourth consecutive year the teams will face each other. In 2007, Notre Dame earned a 4-1 win but Tulsa responded with a 4-0 win in 2008. Both of those matches were contested in Montgomery, Ala. as part of the Blue-Gray Classic.
Last season, the Irish travelled to Tulsa, Okla. for the National Team Indoor qualifiers. In the opening round, 12th-ranked Tulsa downed Notre Dame, 4-2, but the Irish rebounded on the second day to sweep 20th-ranked Texas Tech, 4-0. After winning the doubles point, singles wins form Stephen Havens (Cincinnati, Ohio/Hills Christian Academy), Casey Watt (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine-Richland) and Sam Keeton (Kansas City, Mo./The Pembroke Hill School) clinched the win over the Red Raiders.
Notre Dame has qualified for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships eight times since 1991. Most recently, the Irish made back-to-back appearances in 2007 and 2008. Their best showing came in 1992 when they tied for third.
To follow the Irish at the Ohio State regional, visit und.com for daily recaps. Live scoring of this weekend's qualifying matches will also be available by accessing the media tab located on Ohio State's men's tennis schedule page: http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/SportSelect.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=17300&SPID=10415&SPSID=87787
Notes: The ITA released the second round of team rankings for the 2010 season on Jan. 26 and the Irish remained 30th ... Notre Dame's class of 2014 has been ranked fifth-best in the country according to a recent tennisrecruiting.net poll, which was released on Jan. 25 ... The most recent ranking mark Notre Dame's third consecutive top-six signing class according to the website ... Notre Dame is the only program in the nation that can currently boast a top-six recruiting ranking for three consecutive years (2008, 2009 & 2010).