Oct. 26, 2001
EAST LANSING, Mich. – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team has four players in the third round of the singles draw at the Omni Hotels Region IV Championships after Irish competitors collected six victories Friday in the opening day of play at the Michigan State Indoor Tennis Facility and the Michigan Athletic Club. Highlighting the action was sophomore Matthew Scott (Paris, France), who upset the highest-ranked player in the draw.
In second round action, Scott defeated Ohio State’s Phil Metz, the second seed and 12th-ranked player in the nation, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. It was not only the first victory for Scott over a ranked opponent in his collegiate career, but it was also his first match against a ranked player in the college ranks.
“This was a breakout win for Matt,” said Irish head coach Bob Bayliss of the upset. “He has had a lot of success in satellite tournaments recently. Hopefully he can continue to create opportunities for himself.”
“I served really well and that proved to be a key in the match,” said Scott. “I am very pleased with the win, especially since it was over such a talented player.”
Metz was the highest-ranked player to fall victim to an Irish competitor since Javier Taborga (La Paz, Bolivia) knocked off third-ranked K.J. Hippensteel of Stanford 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 in the 2000 ITA All-American Championships. Hippensteel won the 1999 and 2001 titles at the All-Americans.
Scott reached the second round with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Alexander Kasarov of Wisconsin. In Scott’s only other appearance in the Region IV Championships, he lost in the first round last season.
In other first round play, junior Brian Farrell (Lilburn, Ga.) beat Wisconsin’s David Hippee 6-3, 6-1 in his first singles appearance at the Region IV Championships. Farrell fell later in the day to the eighth seed, 32nd-ranked Milan Rakvica of Indiana, 7-5, 6-3.
Four Irish players received byes into the second round, as the result of earning seeds, and three advanced to the third round. 76th-ranked Taborga, the 13th seed, beat Avery Ticer of Minnesota 6-1, 6-4 to continue his success at the Region IV Championships. He reached the round of 16 (2000) and quarterfinals (1999) in his two previous appearances.
Sophomore Luis Haddock-Morales (Caguas, Puerto Rico) was also a second-round winner, as he topped Louisville’s Paulo Carvalho 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-4. Haddock-Morales reached the round of 16 a season ago. 18th-seeded Aaron Talarico (Laguna Beach, Calif.) downed Michigan’s Greg Novak 6-3, 6-2. 38th-ranked senior Casey Smith (Leawood, Kan.) lost in his first match to Michigan’s Matt Lockin 7-6 (7-4), 6-3. Smith was the fifth seed in this year’s tournament marking the fourth consecutive year he earned a seed at the Region IV Championships.
There will be two rounds of singles on Saturday. Haddock-Morales will face 14th-seeded and 84th-ranked Jackie Jenkins of Northwestern at 8:00 a.m., while Taborga will take on the 17th seed, Mike Kosta of Illinois at the same time. In other third-round action, Talarico is scheduled to face the fourth seed, 27th-ranked Phil Stolt of Illinois, at 9:30 a.m. and Scott will play Butler’s Brandon Currie, the 20th seed, at 10:30 a.m. Matches in the round of 16 will follow.
In doubles action, senior Ashok Raju (Morgantown, W. Va.) and freshman Paul McNaughton (Hinsdale, Ill.) lost to Northwestern’s Ryan Edlefsen and Joost Hol 8-5. The loss continues a streak of disappointing doubles results for Notre Dame at the Region IV Championships. In each of the past two seasons, Notre Dame had all three doubles teams lose their first match in the draw despite earning the top seed a season ago, as well as the fifth and seventh seeds in 1999.
In 2001, two Irish doubles teams received seeds and, therefore, byes into Saturday’s second round of play. Smith and Taborga, ranked 34th, received the third seed and will face Bagnato and Magnes of Indiana. The 30th-ranked team of Haddock-Morales and Talarico is the sixth seed. The pair will play Toledo’s t eam of Farron-Mahon and Rao. Round of 16 doubles action will follow.
The Omni Hotels Region IV Championships consist of a 96-player singles draw and a 48-team doubles draw, both featuring the best players in the midwest taking part in indoor action. 24 singles players and 12 doubles teams are seeded. This year’s tournament has a very strong field, including 15 ranked singles players and seven ranked doubles teams. Seven of the top 40 singles players in the nation are at the championships. The singles finalists and the doubles champion of the main draw of each regional championship advance to the Nov. 8-11 Omni Hotels National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in Dallas, Texas, the premiere indoor collegiate tennis event of the season.
The tournament will go through Monday with the third and fourth rounds of singles, as well as the second and third rounds of doubles to be played on Saturday. Sunday will feature the singles quarterfinals and the doubles quarterfinals and semifinals. The singles semifinals, as well as both finals are scheduled for Monday.
Omni Hotels Region IV Championships
Brian Farrell (ND) d. David Hippee (Wisconsin) 6-3, 6-1
Matthew Scott (ND) d. Alexander Kasarov (Wisconsin) 6-2, 6-4
(19) #100 Luis Haddock-Morales (ND) d. Paulo Carvalho (Louisville) 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-4
(8) #32 Milan Rakvica (Indiana) d. Farrell (ND) 7-5, 6-3
(13) #76 Javier Taborga (ND) d. Avery Ticer (Minnesota) 6-1, 6-4
(18) Aaron Talarico (ND) d. Greg Novak (Michigan) 6-3, 6-2
Matt Lockin (Michigan) d. (5) #38 Casey Smith (ND) 7-6 (7-4), 6-3)
Scott d. (2) #12 Phil Metz (Ohio State) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
Ryan Edlefsen/Joost Hol (Northwestern) d. Paul McNaughton/Ashok Raju (ND) 8-4
Note: Numbers in parentheses indicate seeding. Numbers preceding name are ITA national rankings.