May 6, 1999

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 30th-ranked Notre Dame men’s tennis team will take on 19th-ranked Harvard in the first round of the NCAA championship. The Irish qualified for their ninth consecutive appearance in the NCAA team championship by winning the BIG EAST Conference’s automatic bid with a 4-3 win over host Miami on April 25.

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW: Notre Dame will travel to Terre Haute, Ind., to take on 19th-ranked Harvard at 2:00 p.m. on Sat., May 15, in the first round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championships. Host and 66th-ranked Indiana State will play 15th-seed and 10th-ranked Baylor in the other first-round match at 10:00 a.m. First-round winners will play a second-round match on Sun., May 16, at 10:00 a.m. with the winner advancing to the round of 16 at the University of Georgia.

Notre Dame and Harvard each earned automatic bids into the tournament as the Irish won the BIG EAST title, and the Crimson won the Ivy League crown. Notre Dame has beaten Harvard once in the four previous meetings with the lone Irish win coming in 1998 at the Blue-Gray National Classic. The match likely will feature Harvard’s top-ranked sophomore James Blake against Notre Dame’s third-ranked junior Ryan Sachire (Canfield, Ohio) at No. 1 singles in a rematch of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Championships. Blake beat Sachire in that final of the second leg of the ITA collegiate grand slam 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) to win the first of his two grand slam wins this season.

Baylor beat Notre Dame 5-4 in the only meeting between the two teams in 1985. The Irish beat the Bears 4-3 in the fall of 1998 in an exhibition match at Notre Dame. The Irish lead the all-time series with Indiana State 17-2 but have not played since 1989.

IRISH AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: Notre Dame has an 8-8 record in its previous eight appearances in the 1990s. The Irish lost their first match in the last three regionals after reaching the 1995 regional final. Notre Dame played host to the ’94 regional and national championships and won the regional before falling in the first round. The ’93 Irish beat Mississippi State 5-3 before falling 5-0 to USC in the quarterfinals. Notre Dame became the only northern school to reach the team championship match in 1992 when it beat Mississippi State 5-3, host Georgia 5-4 and top-ranked USC 5-1 before falling 5-0 to Stanford in the championship match. In their first appearance in the NCAA team format which was instituted in 1978, the Irish beat Kansas 5-2 before falling 5-0 to USC.

IRISH RALLY TO WIN BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP: The Irish rallied from a 3-2 deficit with a pair of wins at 7-5 in the third sets by freshmen Javier Taborga (La Paz, Bolivia) and Casey Smith (Leawood, Kan.) to beat second-seeded host Miami 4-3 for its second BIG EAST championship. Notre Dame also beat the Hurricanes 5-2 in Coral Gables, Fla., on March 11, but was forced to face Miami on its home courts a second time without the services of senior captain and No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles player Brian Patterson (Falmouth, Maine), who did not make the trip to Miami because of an injury.

Miami took an early 1-0 lead with a pair of 8-6 wins at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles before sophomore Matt Daly (Wellesley, Mass.) knotted the match with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Jamin Thompson at No. 2 singles. The Hurricanes went ahead 2-1 when Johan Lindqvist downed Irish freshman Andrew Laflin (Tampa, Fla.) at No. 3 singles. Ryan Sachire pulled Notre Dame even again by beating Arpad Odry at No. 1 singles. Miami then went ahead 3-2 when Mark Arrowsmith beat Andy Warford (Bismarck, N.D.) at No. 5 singles. The match then came down to four freshmen playing at Nos. 4 and 6 singles.

Smith knotted the match at 3-3 when he hung on for a 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 win over Jose Lieberman at No. 4 singles after Lieberman served for the match at 5-4 in the second set. At 4-4 in the third set, Smith saved three break points to lead 5-4. After Lieberman held for 5-5, Smith then trailed 0-40 on his serve before winning nine consecutive points to win the match, winning five straight points to win his service game and then breaking Lieberman at love for the win after losing to Lieberman 6-3, 6-3 in the earlier dual match.

In the deciding match at No. 6 singles, Taborga split the first two sets against Joel Berman, who had lost to Taborga 7-5, 6-4 in the earlier dual match. Taborga went ahead 3-1 in the third set and had a number of break points for a 4-1 lead. Berman held serve for 4-2 and later broke Taborga to tie the third set. The pair remained on serve until Taborga broke Berman at 5-5. He saved a break point at 30-40 at 6-5 to hold serve and clinch the BIG EAST championship.

SACHIRE NAMED BIG EAST MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER: Ryan Sachire went 3-0 at No. 1 singles to become the first Notre Dame player to win the BIG EAST championship most outstanding player award. He won the clinching match against Boston College and Rutgers and gave Notre Dame its second point in the 4-3 win over Miami. Sachire entered the BIG EAST championship with a 1-2 singles record in his first two years before improving that to 4-2.

TABORGA PERFECT AT NO. 6: Freshman Javier Taborga has filled in at No. 6 singles in five matches this season and has a 4-0 mark in those matches, dropping just one set in the wins. The first dual match appearance of his career came over spring break on March 11, when he helped the Irish beat Miami 5-2 with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Joel Berman. Taborga also won straight matches against Ball State and Rutgers leading up to his clinching win in the BIG EAST championship match.

IRISH EARN REGIONAL HONORS: Brian Patterson, Ryan Sachire and assistant coach Mike Morgan have won three Region IV awards and now are eligible to win the national award for each honor. Patterson has been named the regional winner of the Tennis Magazine/Arthur Ashe Collegiate Award for Sportsmanship and Leadership, marking the fourth time in the last seven years that a Notre Dame player has won the award. Chuck Coleman won the regional and national award in 1993, while Mike Sprouse won the national and regional awards in 1995 and the regional in 1996. Sachire won the ITA Region IV Player to Watch Award, which is presented to a freshman, sophomore or junior who has the potential to make an impact on professional team after college. Morgan has been named the ITA Region IV assistant coach of the year, marking the second time in three years an assistant of Bob Bayliss has won the award after Andy Zurcher won in 1997.

PATTERSON TOPS AT NO. 2 IN REGION: Senior captain Brian Patterson, who has won 12 consecutive singles matches, completed the regular season with wins against every Region IV opponent at No. 2 singles. He cruised to a 12-0 record against other Midwest opponents in ’99, dropping just three sets against regional opponents. Patterson has not lost a singles match since falling 7-5, 2-6, 7-5 to Duke’s Pedro Escudero on Feb. 13. Since that lost, Patterson has won 12 consecutive matches to improve his record to 18-6 and 16-2 in 1999 dual matches. His only other dual-match loss in 1999 came in three sets at the hands Texas’ Brandon Hawk, currently ranked 36th. He entered the Intercollegiate Tennis Association singles rankings for the first time in his career on May 4, at No. 100.

SACHIRE SOLID IN SINGLES: Ryan Sachire remains third in the second consecutive ITA rankings released May 4, after taking over the No. 2 spot on Feb. 18. Sachire’s No. 2 ranking marked the highest for an Irish singles player since David DiLucia finished the 1992 regular season as the No. 1 player in the country. Sachire entered the 1998 fall season ranked No. 8 in the preseason but vaulted five spots to three based on his fall performance. His jump from three to two came after winning the Rolex National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships singles consolation.

WARFORD WINS KANALEY AWARD: Irish senior co-captain Andy Warford has been named one of five recipients of the Byron V. Kanaley Award, the most prestigious honor awarded to Notre Dame senior student-athletes who have been exemplary both as students and leaders. Warford is just the seventh winner in the 77-year history of Notre Dame men’s tennis to win a Kanaley Award, which have been presented each year since 1927, and the first men’s tennis recipient since ’93. He is the fourth men’s tennis player to receive a Kanaley award under 12th-year head coach Bob Bayliss and the fourth in the 1990s (Ryan Wenger – 1991, David DiLucia – 1992, Andy Zurcher – 1993). Warford, who has a 7-3 record at No. 6 singles, currently boasts a 3.806 cumulative-grade point average as a finance major in the College of Business Administration.

PATTERSON WINS O’CONNOR AWARD: Irish senior co-captain Brian Patterson has become the first men’s tennis player to receive the Frances Patrick O’Connor Award. The annual award is presented to one female and one male senior student-athlete who best display the total embodiment of the true spirit of Notre Dame as exemplified by their contributions and inspiration to their teams. Patterson has been active in a number of Notre Dame’s Like Skills Programs. He helped found the Notre Dame Family program, which coordinates Irish student-athlete appearances at local hospitals to visit children in oncology and hematology wards. He also has befriended a local South Bend man and long-time Notre Dame tennis fan suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease.

SACHIRE REACHES CENTURY MARK: Ryan Sachire became the first Irish junior to reach 100 wins since former All-American and No. 1 nationally-ranked collegiate singles player David DiLucia reached the century mark as a junior in 1991. DiLucia ended his career by leading the Irish to the 1992 NCAA championship title match with a 146-33 career record. Sachire currently has a 108-30 (.783) record and a 37-7 record in 1999.

PATTERSON JOINS RARE 80-80 CLUB: Brian Patterson won his 80th career doubles victory in April which, along with his 83-38 career singles record, makes him the only Notre Dame player under 12th-year head coach Bob Bayliss to win at least 80 singles and 80 doubles matches. His doubles wins are second only to his former three-year doubles partner Jakub Pietrowski, who won 95 doubles matches at Notre Dame before graduating in ’98. A two-time NCAA doubles participant with Pietrowski, Patterson’s doubles record stands at 82-42.

BAYLISS REACHES 500TH WIN: Irish head coach Bob Bayliss became the 11th active men’s tennis coach to record his 500th career win with a 7-0 win over Northwestern on Feb. 20. The two-time BIG EAST coach of the year is in his 12th year as head coach of the Irish, compiling a 231-102 (.694) record at Notre Dame and a career mark of 513-196 (.724), the sixth-best winning percentage among active men’s coaches. He has guided the Irish to NCAA championship appearances in each of the last nine years, including an NCAA second-place finish in 1992. The Richmond, Va., native, and 1966 graduate of Richmond has been named ITA national coach of the year in 1992 and ITA regional coach of the year three times. The five-time conference coach of year has coached his players to 12 All-America honors in his 11 years at Notre Dame, with junior Ryan Sachire his latest All-American.

DALY ON A ROLL: Sophomore Matt Daly has won 10 out of his last 14 matches after starting off 1999 with a 3-4 record. Of the 13 matches Daly has won in ’99, four have clinched wins for the Irish. His most recent win and the only match he completed at the BIG EAST championship came in the title match when he played at No. 2 singles in Brian Patterson’s absence and beat Miami’s Jamin Thompson 6-1, 6-3. Daly sports a 24-10 overall record after entering the spring dual match season with an 11-2 record in the fall, with one of the losses coming to teammate Casey Smith.

SACHIRE CONTINUES DUAL MATCH SUCCESS: Ryan Sachire entered his junior year with a 37-10 dual match record in his first two years and has improved that mark to 60-13 (.822) with his 23-3 mark this year. Three of his wins have come against top 10 players. His overall singles record is 37-7 this year with 17 wins against ranked opponents.

September18-20               at Rice Invitational                    NTS24-27               at T. Rowe Price National Clay Courts   NTS October2       Fri.        Stanford (Ex.)                          L, 2-58-11                at Arizona State Invitational           NTS15-18               at ITA All-American                     NTS30      Fri.        Baylor (Ex.)                            W, 4-3
November6-9 at ITA Midwest Singles/Doubles NTS
January23 Sat. adidas Quad Meet DePaul W, 4-2 William & Mary W, 6-126 Tues. at #63 Wisconsin W, 5-230 Sat. #7 Texas L, 3-4February4-7 Th.-Sun. at Rolex National Indoor NTS9 Tues. at #26 Kentucky L, 3-413 Sat. #10 Duke L, 0-720 Sat. #37 Northwestern W, 7-021 Sun. #23 Minnesota L, 3-424 Wed. Iowa W, 7-026 Fri. #43 Boise State W, 6-127 Sat. at Ohio State W, 7-0
March1 Mon. Indiana W, 4-23 Wed. at #53 Michigan State W, 4-313 Sat. at #43 Miami (Fla.) W, 5-218-21 Th.-Sun. at Blue-Gray Classic (Mont., Ala.) Thurs. vs. #58 North Carolina W, 4-0 Fri. vs. #19 Texas A&M L, 1-5 Sat. vs. #30 Tulane L, 1-427 Sat. #2 Illinois L, 2-5
April5 Mon. at #47 Purdue W, 4-37 Wed. Ball State W, 6-114 Wed. #43 Michigan W, 6-122-25 Th.-Sun. at BIG EAST Championship23 Fri. vs. Boston College W, 4-024 Sat. vs. Rutgers W, 4-025 Sun. at #52 Miami W, 4-3
May15-16 Sat.-Sun. NCAA 1st and 2nd Rounds22-30 Sat.-Sun. NCAA Champ. (Athens, Ga.)

Ryan Sachire, currently ranked second in the country in singles, recently moved into fifth place in singles wins among Notre Dame players under current Irish head coach Bob Bayliss (1988-99). Here is where Sachire compares to other Bayliss-coached Notre Dame players:

Name                Years   Singles1. David DiLucia    1989-92 146-332. Andy Zurcher     1990-94 128-603. Chuck Coleman    1990-93 123-584. Mark Schmidt     1990-93 113-445. Ryan Sachire     1996-99 108-30

Team Release: May 4, 1999

This    Last    School              Avg.Rank    Rank1.      1.      UCLA                62.022.      10.     Stanford            51.273.      3.      Duke *              48.434.      2.      Illinois *          47.745.      5.      Georgia             46.916.      7.      Texas *             45.947.      4.      Mississippi         45.848.      13.     LSU                 43.549.      6.      Florida             42.7410.     9.      Baylor              38.2911.     8.      SMU                 37.2112.     12.     Tennessee           37.0713.     19.     South Carolina      33.5714.     18.     Kentucky *          32.1815.     11.     USC                 32.1216.     20.     Alabama             28.8117.     14.     Arizona State       26.7318.     15.     Pepperdine          25.6419.     17.     Harvard             25.3420.     25.     Mississippi State   25.1921.     16.     TCU                 22.5622.     21.     VCU                 21.3323.     22.     Texas A&M *         19.7224.     23.     Washington          18.7525.     37.     Fresno State        18.6830.     31.     Notre Dame          14.75    * indicates Notre Dame opponents
Other Notre Dame opponents31. 30. Michigan 13.8138. 35. Minnesota 10.4039. 38. Boise State 10.3941. 42. Purdue 9.8542. 48. Indiana 9.7245. 45. William & Mary 8.5552. 52. Miami (Fla.) 7.0354. 39. Northwestern 6.8963. 72. North Carolina 5.2868. 69. Michigan State 4.68

Singles Release: May 4, 1999

This    Last    Name                SchoolRank    Rank1.      1.      James Blake         Harvard2.      2.      Jeff Morrison       Florida3.      3.      Ryan Sachire        Notre Dame4.      9.      Ryan Wolters        Stanford5.      8.      Francisco Rodriguez Alabama6.      6.      Esteban Carril      TCU7.      4.      Jean-Noel Grinda    UCLA8.      5.      Hirsham Hemeda      Georgia9.      10.     Oliver Freelove     Illinois10.     7.      Robert Kendrick     Washington11.     11.     Ignacio Hirigoyen   SMU12.     12.     Robert Samuelsson   Tulane13.     24.     Michal Chmela       LSU14.     14.     Brian Vahaly        Virignia15.     13.     Peter Handoyo       Tennessee16.     26.     Johann Jooste       Baylor17.     15.     Aaron Marchetti     Virginia Tech18.     21.     Efe Ustundag        Rice19.     16.     Daniel Andersson    VCU20.     17.     Jack Brasington     Texas