Jan. 16, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Junior tri-captain Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School) and sophomore Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) posted good results in non-collegiate tournaments over Notre Dame’s winter break. D’Amico registered a runner-up doubles finish in the Georgia Tech Holiday Tennis Challenge that featured a number of top professional players, while Langenkamp won a bronze ball for a semifinal appearance in the National Open Championships at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow, N.Y.
D’Amico and partner Brad Friedman, a 2003 graduate of Alabama, defeated Burke/Schwieg 6-1, 6-2 in the first round and Azucki/Darko 6-2, 6-1 in the round of 16. The pair then upset the tournament’s fourth seed, former Alabama All-American Francisco Rodriguez and former West Virginia All-American Paul Mencini 6-4, 7-6 (10-8), 6-2 to reach a semifinal match with the top-seeded team of Robby Ginepri and Bobby Reynolds. Ginepri is ranked 32nd in the world in singles and Reynolds is a former national No. 1 in singles at Vanderbilt, but the pair withdrew due to injury. After the walkover, D’Amico and Friedman lost to Georgia Tech head coach Kenny Thorne and T.J. Middleton 6-2, 7-6.
D’Amico posted a 6-0, 6-0 win over Wesley Davila in the first round of the singles bracket, but lost 6-4, 6-2 in the next to third-seeded Rodriguez, who eventually lost to Reynolds in the final. Among the other top players in the field was former Virginia All-American Brian Vahaly, now ranked 75th in the world in singles.
After reaching the final of the 2002 event, Langenkamp was the ninth seed in the ’03 National Open. Following a first-round bye, he beat Quinnipiac’s Jonathan Russo 6-1, 6-0 in the next round and Keith Kessler (6-4, 6-3) of Florida Tech in the ensuing match. Langenkamp then upset the No. 5 seed, Colgate’s Reed Hagmann, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals. Another three-set upset, this time a 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-3 decision vs. top-seeded Kyle Kliegerman of Princeton, propelled the Irish sophomore into the semifinals, where he fell 6-0, 6-1 to fourth-seeded Erik Scharf of St. John’s.
The Irish junior, Notre Dame’s MVP a season ago, played No. 3 singles and No. 1 doubles for the Irish in 2003-04. D’Amico was ranked 99th in singles and 50th in doubles in the preseason, but saw limited action in the fall after undergoing elbow surgery in June. He was 2-2 in doubles and did not compete collegiately in singles.
Langenkamp was 9-2 in singles and 4-2 in doubles in the fall of ’03, matching his win totals in both singles and doubles from his freshman season. He played in the Irish singles lineup on six occasions, splitting time between Nos. 5 and 6.
Notre Dame, ranked 49th in the preseason, will begin its dual-match slate Saturday at #51 Indiana before opening at home on Jan. 23 vs. ninth-ranked Texas A&M at 4 p.m. (EST) in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. It will be the Aggies’ first-ever trip to Notre Dame and this season’s men’s tennis “Gold Game,” a distinction created by the Student-Athlete Advisory Council to encourage the entire Notre Dame community to attend designated contests.