Feb. 1, 2004
DURHAM, N.C. – The 49th-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team (3-2) lost 7-0 to #8 Duke (3-0) Sunday afternoon in the Sheffield Tennis Center. The Blue Devils swept the doubles matches and dropped just two sets in singles in Notre Dame’s second match against a top-10 foe in eight days. The Irish will return to action next Sunday, Feb. 8, with a match against #53 Purdue at 1 p.m. (EST) in the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
“Duke is a very good team,” said Irish head coach Bob Bayliss. “They are better than their ranking indicates. They have a chance to be a Final Four team this year.”
A pair of tri-captains, senior Matthew Scott (Oakton, Va./International School of Paris) and junior Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School), were the closest to putting the Irish in the scoring column after the team trailed 5-0. Scott, ranked 68th nationally, took the opening set 6-3 against the No. 7 player in college tennis, Ludovic Walter, at No. 2. Scott then led 4-3 in the second set, but the Blue Devil struck back for a 7-5 triumph and then won a match tiebreaker, played in lieu of a third set, 10-4 to preserve the Duke shutout in the final match on-court. Walter also defeated Scott in the final of the adidas Invitational last fall. Scott holds a 77-32 (.706) career singles record, and eight of his defeats have come in match tiebreakers.
D’Amico also captured the opening set, by a score of 6-1 against Jason Zimmermann at No. 3. But the Duke junior came back for a three-set victory by taking the ensuing frames 6-2, 6-1.
Notre Dame continued its early-season struggles in doubles, dropping all three matches. The Irish are 3-9 in doubles contests this spring, having won the match’s initial point only in the opener vs. Indiana.
As in singles, Scott and D’Amico came the closest to giving Notre Dame a doubles victory, falling 9-8 (7-5) to Stephen Armitraj and Peter Rodrigues. At No. 3 doubles, Phillip King and Jonathan Stokke beat freshmen Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) and Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) 8-5.
Senior tri-captain Luis Haddock (Caguas, P.R./Notre Dame H.S.) and freshman Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.), the nation’s 18th-ranked team, fell 8-5 to the No. 2 pair in collegiate tennis, Walter and Zimmermann. Eight days ago, Haddock and Keckley dropped an 8-6 decision to the nation’s top-ranked team, Lester Cook and Ante Matijevic of Texas A&M.
Duke took a 2-0 lead when Keckley retired due to a sprained ankle, trailing 6-1, 1-0 against Christopher Brown at No. 6. It was Keckley’s first dual-match singles action of the season after sustaining a leg injury in the doubles portion of the spring opener.
The Blue Devils moved within a point of victory when King topped Haddock 6-1, 6-3 at No. 1. King was ranked 15th in the preseason national singles rankings, but did not play in the fall and, thus, is not currently ranked.
Rodrigues clinched the victory for Duke with a 6-3, 6-2 win over King at No. 5. Soon thereafter, Stokke beat Bass 6-4, 6-4 at No. 4.
The match marked the first 7-0 loss for the Irish since Feb. 13, 1999, when the 10th-ranked Blue Devils topped #24 Notre Dame by that score in the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
#8 Duke 7, #49 Notre Dame 0
No. 1: Phillip King (D) d. Luis Haddock (ND) 6-1, 6-3
No. 2: #7 Ludovic Walter (D) d. #68 Matthew Scott (ND) 3-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-4)
No. 3: Jason Zimmermann (D) d. Brent D’Amico (ND) 1-6, 6-2, 6-1
No. 4: Jonathan Stokke (D) d. Stephen Bass (ND) 6-4, 6-4
No. 5: *Peter Rodrigues (D) d. Barry King (ND) 6-3, 6-2
No. 6: Christopher Brown (D) d. Ryan Keckley (ND) 6-1, 1-0, ret.
Order of Finish: 6, 1, 5*, 4, 3, 2
No. 1: #2 Walter/Zimmermann (D) d. #18 Haddock/Keckley (ND) 8-5
No. 2: Stephen Armitraj/Rodrigues (D) d. D’Amico/Scott (ND) 9-8 (7-5)
No. 3: Phillip King/Jonathan Stokke (D) d. S. Bass/King (ND) 8-5
Order of Finish: 3, 1*, 2
* denotes clinching match