April 15, 2003
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team (8-12) concluded its regular season with a 5-2 victory over #69 Indiana State (10-9) Tuesday afternoon at the Courtney Tennis Center. The Irish, ranked 60th in the most recent national rankings, won the doubles point and four of six singles matches to win their third consecutive home match.
After jumping out to a 3-0 lead, Notre Dame found itself needing a three-set win from at least one of its tri-captains. Two obliged, with junior Matthew Scott (Oakton, Va./International School of Paris) completing a 6-1, 1-6, 6-1 win over Henry Choi at No. 2 singles to clinch the victory before classmate Luis Haddock (Caguas, P.R./Notre Dame H.S.) finished a come-from-behind upset of #89 Verdan Vidovic at No. 1. The Puerto Rican, ranked 97th in the national singles rankings, gained his seventh victory of the season over a ranked player with a 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 win. Haddock has won five of his last seven matches at No. 1 and is 20-14 overall this season. The win improved his career singles mark to 70-30.
For the first time in five matches and just the second time in the last eight, the Irish jumped out to a 1-0 lead by snatching the doubles point. Junior Nicolas Lopez-Acevedo (Guaynabo, P.R./Colegio Marista) and sophomore Paul McNaughton (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central H.S.) delivered the point by holding on for a 9-8 (10-8) triumph at No. 3 over Ionut Hurduc and Dmytro Ishtuganov. The Sycamore pair saved numerous match points in rallying from a 7-4 deficit to force a tiebreaker and move within two points of victory by taking a 5-1 lead in the breaker. Lopez-Acevedo and McNaughton then rattled off five straight points, but could not convert on match points at 6-5 or 7-6. When the Indiana State squad was within a point of victory at 8-7, the Irish team converted three straight points for the victory.
Scott and sophomore Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School) were off the court first with an 8-2 victory at No. 1, the third in the last four matches for that pair. Vidovic and Lovre Brajkovic then broke through for a 9-7 win at No. 2 to place the fate of the initial point of the match in the hands of the No. 3 teams.
D’Amico worked quickly in singles, as well, finishing first with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Brajkovic at No. 3. It marked the 11th time this season the Irish sophomore held his opponent to seven games or fewer.
Freshman Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.) put Notre Dame within a point of victory with a 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 6 over Ivan D’Argence Areco. It was the third straight win for Buchanan and just the second loss of the season for D’Argence Areco, who entered the match 9-1.
David O’Connell got the Sycamores on the board with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Lopez-Acevedo at No. 5. In the last match on the court, Ishtuganov won 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 over Irish senior tri-captain Brian Farrell (Lilburn, Ga./St. Pius X H.S.), who was playing his final home match.
The Irish finished the season with four wins in their final five home matches.
Notre Dame now will have 10 days off before defending its title at the BIG EAST Championship, slated for April 25-27 in Coral Gables, Fla. The Irish have faced Miami in the final in each of the previous seven BIG EAST tournaments, winning three times. The six-team field and seedings for this year’s championship will be announced next week.
#60 Notre Dame 5, #69 Indiana State 2
No. 1: #97 Luis Haddock (ND) d. #89 Verdan Vidovic (ISU) 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1
No. 2: *Matthew Scott (ND) d. Henry Choi (ISU) 6-1, 1-6, 6-1
No. 3: Brent D’Amico (ND) d. Lovre Brajkovic (ISU) 6-3, 6-0
No. 4: Dmytro Ishtuganov (ISU) d. Brian Farrell (ND) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
No. 5: David O’Connell (ISU) d. Nicolas Lopez-Acevedo (ND) 6-3, 6-4
No. 6: Patrick Buchanan (ND) d. Ivan D’Argence Areco (ISU) 6-2, 6-2
Order of Finish: 3, 6, 5, 2*, 1, 4
No. 1: D’Amico/Scott (ND) d. Choi/O’Connell (ISU) 8-2
No. 2: Brajkovic/Vidovic (ISU) d. Farrell/Haddock (ND) 9-7
No. 3: *Lopez-Acevedo/Paul McNaughton (ND) d. Ionut Hurduc/Ishtuganov (ISU) 9-8 (10-8)
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3*