Men's Tennis Defeats Louisville In First Round Of NCAA Championships

May 15, 2004

URBANA, Illinois. - The Arizona State men's tennis team beat Louisville, 4-3, on Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Championships held at the University of Illinois Atkins Tennis Center. The Sun Devils earned the doubles point while Chris Stewart (Sr., Adelaide, Australia), Clinton Letcher (Jr., Melbourne, Australia) and Jonathan Kinsella (So., Astley, England) notched individual wins to help the squad advance to Sunday's second round matchup against top-ranked Illinois.

'Those kind of matches just make you better,' said Sun Devils' Head Coach Lou Belken of the nailbiter over the Cardinals. 'We only have one senior, and it's good to get opportunities like that in tournaments like this and learn about composure and scrapping it out.'

Arizona State took the doubles points with wins coming at No. 3 and No. 2. Daniel Davies (So., Sydney, Australia) and Letcher nipped Louisville's duo of Jakob Gustafsson and Damar Johnson, 9-8 (4) at No. 2 for the clinching victory in doubles. At No. 3, the Sun Devil duo of Christopher Biro (Fr., Adelaide, Australia) and Ryan McBride (So., Tempe, Ariz.) got past UL's Mark Kennedy and Octavian Nicodim, 8-6. The lone Cardinal doubles win came at No. 1, where 45th-ranked Jeremy Clark and Matt Mayer beat the 40th-ranked tandem of Kinsella and Stewart in another tight one, 9-8 (4).

Letcher won the first singles match at the No. 2 spot, 6-0, 6-1, over Nicodim to see ASU go up, 2-0. Louisville swept the next three matches as Gustafsson defeated McBride at No. 5, 6-2, 7-6 (4), Clark overcame Davies at No. 6, 7-6 (4), 6-3, and Johnson defeated Biro at No. 3, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1,. With their backs to the wall, down, 3-2, ASU's Stewart tied the match when he came from behind to defeat Mayer, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, at the No. 1 spot. The deciding match came at No. 4. Louisville's Jhonny Berrido double-faulted at game point when down, 5-4, allowing Kinsella to rally back and win the third set, 6-4, and take the match 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

'Illinois has had a great two years,' said Belken. 'We play some tough teams in the Pac-10 and we are looking forward to the opportunity to play Illinois tomorrow.'

NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championships
Round 1 action at Urbana, Illinois
No. 34 Arizona State 4, No. 36 Louisville 3

Doubles:
1 Jeremy Clark/Matt Mayer (LOU) def. Jonathan Kinsella/Chris Stewart (ASU) 9-8 (3)
2 Daniel Davies/Clint Letcher (ASU) def. Jakob Gustafsson/Damar Johnson (LOU) 9-8 (4)
3 Christopher Biro/Ryan McBride (ASU) def. Mark Kennedy/Octavian Nicodim (LOU) 8-6

Singles:
1 Chris Stewart (ASU) def. Matt Mayer (LOU) 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
2 Clinton Letcher (ASU) def. Octavian Nicodim (LOU) 6-0, 6-1
3 Damar Johnson (LOU) def. Christopher Biro (ASU) 6-1, 3-6, 6-1
4 Jonathan Kinsella (ASU) def. Jhonny Berrido (LOU) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
5 Jakob Gustafsson (LOU) def. Ryan McBride (ASU) 6-2, 7-6 (4)
6 Jeremy Clark (LOU) def. Daniel Davies (ASU) 7-6 (4), 6-3

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