Feb. 1, 2002
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 10th-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team captured the doubles point and then won the five singles matches at the top of the lineup to defeat #24 Ohio State 6-1 Friday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Seniors Javier Taborga (La Paz, Bolivia) and Aaron Talarico (Laguna Beach, Calif.) highlighted the victory, each upsetting players ranked in the national top 20 in singles. The Irish, who defeated Ohio State for the 14th consecutive time, improved to 5-1 for their best start since 1997. The Buckeyes lost for the first time in four matches in 2002. Notre Dame will return to action on Sunday with a match at #46 Northwestern at 3 p.m. Ohio State will also play Sunday, traveling to top-ranked Georgia.
The Irish captured a hotly-contested doubles point to take a 1-0 lead. Taborga and Casey Smith (Leawood, Kan.), the sixth-ranked doubles team in the nation, drew first blood with an 8-5 win at No. 1. The Buckeyes struck back at No. 2 when Conor Casey and Jeremy Wurtzman notched a win 8-5. Talarico and sophomore Matthew Scott (Paris, France) broke serve in the final game of the match to win 9-7 at No. 3, clinching the doubles point for the Irish.
Notre Dame won the first four singles matches off the court to open up a 5-0 lead. Talarico finished first, upsetting 16th-ranked Phil Metz 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2. The win marked the second time this season Metz has been upset by an Irish player. Scott defeated him in the second round of last fall’s Omni Hotels Region IV Championships. Talarico has won all six of his singles matches in straight sets this spring and has been victorious in 18 of his last 19 dual singles matches, dating back to last year. Metz is the highest-ranked player Talarico has defeated in his career.
Taborga, ranked 95th nationally, followed his classmate off the court with a 6-4, 6-2 win over 20th-ranked Wurtzman at No. 1. After never playing at No. 1 singles prior to this season, Taborga is 3-0 at that position in 2002. He has won nine of his last 11 matches and has now registered four wins over ranked opponents, including back-to-back triumphs over top-25 players. Taborga defeated 24th-ranked Michael Yani of Duke 6-3, 6-3 on Tuesday.
Scott clinched the Irish victory with a 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) win at No. 5 singles. He has won all six of his singles matches this spring and has won 12 of his last 13, dating back to last fall. After the outcome was determined, 83rd-ranked sophomore Luis Haddock-Morales (Caguas, Puerto Rico) turned in a 7-5, 6-3 win at No. 4 to improve to 10-0 in singles matches at home this season. Vince Ng got the Buckeyes on the board with a win at No. 6 before Smith, ranked 88th, registered a 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 7-5 win over 72nd-ranked Adrian Bohane at No. 3.
#10 Notre Dame 6, #24 Ohio State 1
No. 1: #95 Javier Taborga (ND) d. #20 Jeremy Wurtzman (OSU) 6-4, 6-2
No. 2: Aaron Talarico (ND) d. #16 Phil Metz (OSU) 6-2, 6-1
No. 3: #88 Casey Smith (ND) d. #72 Adrian Bohane (OSU) 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 7-5
No. 4: #83 Luis Haddock-Morales (ND) d. Paul Warkentin (OSU) 7-5, 6-3
No. 5: Matthew Scott (ND) d. Conor Casey (OSU) 6-1, 7-6 (7-4)
No. 6: Vince Ng (OSU) d. Brian Farrell (ND) 6-3, 7-6 (7-1)
No. 1: #6 Smith/Taborga (ND) d. Bohane/Warkentin (OSU) 8-5
No. 2: Casey/Wurtzman (OSU) d. James Malhame/Ashok Raju (ND) 8-5
No. 3: Scott/Talarico (ND) d. Brenton Contini/Metz (OSU) 9-7