Sept. 14, 2002
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team continued its hot play Saturday afternoon in the season-opening Homewood Suites Fall Tribe Classic, going undefeated in six doubles matches and winning 10 of 13 matches overall. Despite posting a 3-1 mark in doubles on Friday, head coach Bob Bayliss elected to use all new doubles combinations on Saturday, which translated into six more victories. Further, the seven pairs used by Bayliss this weekend came into the tournament with just one combined match played together. Notre Dame players also won four of seven singles matches, with each coming against opponents from William & Mary. In two days of competition, Irish players have put together a 22-8 mark.
“So far our doubles play has been the highlight of our weekend,” said Bayliss. “Some things have just clicked for us in that area. This tournament has been an early chance to see where we stack up, but I think it is too early to make a lot of assessments. I’m pleased with the way we have competed and the effort level we have shown.”
Notre Dame, Virginia, Minnesota and host William & Mary will complete play in the tournament on Sunday. The event is the first of four fall tournaments for the Irish, who are coming off a 23-7 season in which they advanced to the NCAA round of 16 for the first time since 1994.
Four Notre Dame players were unbeaten on the day. Junior tri-captain Matthew Scott (Oakton, Va.), as well as classmate Nicolas Lopez-Acevedo (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) and sophomore Paul McNaughton (Hinsdale, Ill.) were triple winners, while freshman Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif.) gained a singles win in his only action of the day to improve to 4-0 (3-0 singles, 1-0 doubles) in his first collegiate tournament.
“Patrick Buchanan has really come out of the blocks playing well,” said Bayliss, who went on to point out that fellow freshman Eric Langenkamp, who went undefeated on the first day of action, also “has shown signs of being a solid player.”
After suffering a pair of singles losses on day one, Scott, ranked 85th in the country, defeated Geoffrey Russell 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5) in flight-two action. Lopez-Acevedo also bounced back from a difficult opening day, defeating the Tribe’s Alexander Fish 6-3, 6-3 in flight four to gain his first victory in an Irish uniform. Over the summer, Lopez-Acevedo transferred from Bowling Green State University to Notre Dame for his final season of eligibility after the former discontinued its men’s tennis program.
Buchanan rolled with a 6-2, 7-5 win against Zack Malmgren at flight five, while McNaughton beat Stephen Ward 6-2, 6-3 in flight six.
Three doubles pairs each delivered victories over Virginia and William & Mary. McNaughton and classmate Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo.) teamed at flight one for a pair of 8-5 wins, while Scott and fellow junior tri-captain Luis Haddock (Caguas, Puerto Rico) posted an 8-3 win against a Tribe team before downing a Cavalier pair 8-6. Lopez-Acevedo and senior Jake Cram (Littleton, Colo.) won 8-3 over a William & Mary team and then defeated a Virginia pair 8-4.
Sunday’s action will feature Notre Dame taking on Minnesota first in singles and then in doubles. The Golden Gophers were one of just six teams to defeat the Irish a year ago, posting a 4-3 home win early in the season. Action gets underway with singles at 9 a.m. (EDT) and doubles at 11:30 a.m. (EDT).
Homewood Suites Fall Tribe Classic
Jeff Kader (W&M) d. Luis Haddock (ND) 6-4, 2-6, 6-2
#85 Matthew Scott (ND) d. Geoffrey Russell (W&M) 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5)
Sean Kelleher (W&M) d. Brent D’Amico (ND) 7-5, 6-3
Nicolas Lopez-Acevedo (ND) d. Alexander Fish (W&M) 6-3, 6-3
Patrick Buchanan (ND) d. Zack Malmgren (W&M) 6-2, 7-5
Joe Brooks (W&M) d. Eric Langenkamp (ND) 7-5, 6-4
Paul McNaughton (ND) d. Stephen Ward (W&M) 6-2, 6-3
D’Amico/McNaughton (ND) d. Kader/Malmgren (W&M) 8-5
Haddock/Scott (ND) d. Kelleher/Ward (W&M) 8-3
Jake Cram/Lopez-Acevedo (ND) d. Brooks/Fish (W&M) 8-3
D’Amico/McNaughton (ND) d. Michael Duquette/Chris Gonyer (V) 8-5
Haddock/Scott (ND) d. Nick Meythaler/Rylan Rizza (V) 8-6
Cram/Lopez-Acevedo (ND) d. Darrin Cohen/Stephen Rozek (V) 8-4