Feb. 26, 2004
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The 43rd-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team (7-3) lost 7-0 to #1 Illinois (11-0) Thursday in the Atkins Tennis Center. The defending national champions extended their winning streak to 43 consecutive matches, which is just two shy of the NCAA record, and won their 26th in a row at home, stretching back to a 4-3 loss in the last Irish visit (March 7, 2002). Notre Dame returns home for three matches in four days, as the Irish will welcome #12 Ohio State on Saturday at 2 p.m. (EST), BIG EAST rival #33 Miami on Sunday at 1 p.m., and #47 Michigan State on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
The Irish were without the services of a pair of starters. Senior tri-captain Luis Haddock (Caguas, P.R./Notre Dame H.S.) and sophomore Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) both missed the match with injuries. Haddock normally plays No. 1 singles and No. 1 or No. 2 doubles, while Langenkamp is the No. 6 singles player for Notre Dame.
Illinois swept the doubles matches to take a 1-0 lead. Michael Calkins and Chris Martin, the 18th-ranked team in college tennis, were off the court first with an 8-4 victory over senior tri-captain Matthew Scott (Oakton, Va./International School of Paris) and freshman Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) at No. 2. The No. 8 doubles pair in the nation, Philip Stolt and Brian Wilson, clinched the Illini point by topping junior tri-captain Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School) and freshman Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) 8-5 at No. 1. In the final match on-court, Ryler DeHeart and G.D. Jones beat senior Paul Hidaka (Tokyo, Japan/St. Mary’s International School) and freshman Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) 8-4 at No. 3.
Notre Dame has won the doubles point just twice in nine matches this season (doubles were not played against St. John’s).
DeHeart, ranked 100th nationally in singles, was the first off the court, with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Bass at No. 3. G.D. Jones put Illinois within a point of victory by topping Keckley by the same score at No. 5 before Pramod Dabir clinched the Illini triumph with a 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 6 over Irish sophomore Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.).
After the outcome was decided, Stolt, ranked 20th in college tennis in singles, downed Scott 6-3, 6-3 at No. 1 and 67th-ranked Martin topped King 6-3, 6-2 at No. 4. In the final contest, 54th-ranked Calkins defeated D’Amico 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 at No. 2.
The Irish are in the midst of a stretch of five consecutive matches against higher-ranked teams, one which started with Notre Dame upsets of #37 Northwestern and #40 SMU.
Each of Notre Dame’s three losses this season came against top-10 teams. The first two Irish losses came to #9 Texas A&M and at #8 Duke.
#1 Illinois 7, #43 Notre Dame 0
No. 1: #20 Philip Stolt (I) d. Matthew Scott (ND) 6-3, 6-3
No. 2: #54 Michael Calkins (I) d. Brent D’Amico (ND) 7-6 (7-4), 6-1
No. 3: #100 Ryler DeHeart (I) d. Stephen Bass (ND) 6-2, 6-1
No. 4: #67 Chris Martin (I) d. Barry King (ND) 6-3, 6-2
No. 5: GD Jones (I) d. Ryan Keckley (ND) 6-2, 6-1
No. 6: Pramod Dabir (I) d. Patrick Buchanan (ND) 6-3, 6-2
Order of Finish: 3, 5, 6*, 1, 4, 2
No. 1: #8 Stolt/Wilson (I) d. D’Amico/Ryan Keckley (ND) 8-5
No. 2: #18 Calkins/Martin (I) d. S. Bass/Scott (ND) 8-4
No. 3: DeHeart/Jones (I) d. Hidaka/King (ND) 8-5
Order of Finish: 2, 1*, 3
* denotes clinching match