Wildcats Bow to No. 1 Seed Notre Dame, 5-0, in BIG EAST Quarterfinal Match
April 21, 2012
TAMPA, Fla.--In the quarterfinal round of the BIG EAST Tennis Championship on Friday morning No. 8 seed Villanova (10-12) was shut out, 5-0, by No. 1 seed Notre Dame (19-7) at the P.E. courts on the USF campus. The loss relegates the Wildcats to the consolation bracket on Saturday afternoon, where they will face No. 5 seed DePaul in an elimination match.
Villanova played for the second time in as many days in the conference tournament after defeating No. 9 seed Connecticut, 4-3, in the opening match on Thursday morning. In today's match versus the Fighting Irish the Wildcats lost two doubles matches and trailed in a third when Notre Dame clinched the doubles point. Villanova then lost four singles matches in straight sets as the Fighting Irish clinched the outcome.
The best singles match played was the one at No. 1 singles, where sophomore Thomas O'Brien (Guilford, Conn.) lost the opening set to Casey Watt by a 6-1 match but led in the second set, 5-4, when the match was halted due to Notre Dame securing the deciding team points.
Niall Fitzgerald scored the clinching point for the Fighting Irish at No. 4 singles with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Wildcats freshman Michael Rosengren (Sharon, Mass.), while the duo of Watt and Fitzgerald also clinched the doubles point for Notre Dame with an 8-4 decision over O'Brien and freshman Kelly Donaldson (Broomfield, Colo.) in the No. 1 doubles match.
Later on Friday the fifth-seeded Blue Demons lost by a 4-0 score to No. 4 seed and tournament host USF, setting up the consolation bracket match between Villanova and DePaul on Saturday afternoon. The winner of that match will play the winner of a consolation match between No. 6 seed Marquette and No. 7 seed Georgetown on Sunday morning with that match on Sunday determining the fifth and sixth place finishers. The losers of the consolation matches on Saturday will finish tied for seventh place in the tournament.
NOTRE DAME 5, VILLANOVA 0
1. Casey Watt/Niall Fitzgerald (ND) defeated Thomas O'Brien/Kelly Donaldson (VU) 8-4 (*)
Order of Finish: 3, 1
1. Casey Watt (ND) vs. Thomas O'Brien (VU): 6-1, 4-5 (DNF)
Order of Finish: 6, 2, 4, 5