Jan. 31, 2003
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – For the second time in eight days, the University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team fought to a 3-3 tie, but could not come through in the final match on-court, as the Irish lost a thrilling 4-3 decision to Florida State Friday in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Seminole Mat Cloer rallied from a first-set deficit for a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Luis Haddock (Caguas, P.R./Notre Dame H.S.) at No. 1 singles in the deciding contest to give 50th-ranked FSU its third straight win to open the season. The Irish, ranked 34th, are 0-4 for the first time in school history.
After Florida State won the doubles point and got a victory at No. 6 singles, Notre Dame mounted a rally. Junior tri-captain Matthew Scott (Oakton, Va./International School of Paris), ranked 119th in the nation, got his first win of the spring, a 6-3, 6-1 win over Romain Jurd at No. 2. In his previous two matches, Scott had dropped close decisions to two players ranked in the national top 10: #7 Jeremy Wurtzman of Ohio State and #2 Amer Delic of Illinois.
The Seminoles went up 3-1 with a win at No. 5 before Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School) pulled off his second upset in as many matches with a 6-3, 6-3 victory against No. 114 Alex Herrera at No. 3. D’Amico had no wins over ranked opponents until he knocked off 84th-ranked Ryler DeHeart of Illinois on Wednesday. The Irish sophomore improved to 4-0 this spring at No. 3 after not being a regular part of the singles lineup a year ago, going 1-3 at No. 6 in his only dual-match action.
Senior tri-captain Brian Farrell (Lilburn, Ga./St. Pius X H.S.) tied the match at 3-3 with a 6-4, 7-5 triumph over Chris Westerhof at No. 4. It was the first win for Farrell since Feb. 20, 2002 after he missed most of last spring and fall with a shoulder injury.
Florida State claimed the first point of the match with wins at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles. The Seminoles won 8-5 at No. 3 before D’Amico and Scott posted an 8-3 win at No. 1. In the decisive match, Herrera and Jurd, the 38th-ranked team in college tennis, got an 8-5 win at No. 2 over Haddock and junior Ben Hatten (Potomac, Md./Winston Churchill H.S.).
Notre Dame, which had never opened the season with more than two consecutive losses prior to this year, will seek its first victory on Tuesday at Wisconsin in a 3 p.m. match that was originally scheduled for two days later. Of the four losses for the Irish, two came to teams ranked in the top 25 (#24 Ohio State and #2 Illinois) and the other two were 4-3 decisions that came down to the last match on the court (Indiana and Florida State).
#50 Florida State 4, #34 Notre Dame 3
No. 1: Mat Cloer (FSU) d. #72 Luis Haddock (ND) 7-5, 6-4
No. 2: #119 Matthew Scott (ND) d. Romain Jurd (FSU) 6-3, 6-1
No. 3: Brent D’Amico (ND) d. #114 Alex Herrera (FSU) 6-3, 6-3
No. 4: Brian Farrell (ND) d. Chris Westerhof (FSU) 6-4, 7-5
No. 5: Chip Webb (FSU) d. Patrick Buchanan (ND) 6-4, 6-3
No. 6: Heiner Tadault (FSU) d. Eric Langenkamp (ND) 6-3, 6-2
No. 1: D’Amico/Scott (ND) d. Cloer/Rodrigo Laub (FSU) 8-3
No. 2: #38 Herrera/Jurd (FSU) d. Haddock/Ben Hatten (ND) 8-5
No. 3: Jeff Groslimond/Westerhof (FSU) d. Farrell/Paul McNaughton (ND) 8-5