Jan. 23, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 49th-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team (1-1) lost 5-2 to #9 Texas A&M Friday in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Aggies (4-0) swept the doubles matches and then won four of the singles matches. Notre Dame returns to action with a home doubleheader on Sunday, taking on St. John’s at 9 a.m. (EST) and Illinois State at 2 p.m. (EST).
Sophomore Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scardsale H.S) and freshman Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) were the lone winners for the Irish. Langenkamp topped Bryan Wooten 6-4, 6-3 at No. 6 to improve to 11-2 this season and 2-0 in the spring. Bass played the only match that was decided in three sets, eventually prevailing 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5) against senior Khaled El Dorry of Cairo, Egypt at No. 4. Bass has close three-set victories in both of his matches this spring and is 8-2 overall in 2003-04.
The Irish had opportunities to win the doubles point, but eventually dropped all three matches. El Dorry and Zack Malmgren broke serve at 6-6 and held for an 8-6 triumph over Bass and freshman Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College). Notre Dame’s 18th-ranked team of senior tri-captain Luis Haddock (Caguas, P.R./Notre Dame H.S.) and freshman Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) battled the No. 1 doubles team in collegiate tennis, Lester Cook and Ante Matijevic, but were broken in the final game of the match in dropping an 8-6 decision. In the remaining match on-court, it had initially appeared that Notre Dame was in control, as senior tri-captain Matthew Scott (Oakton, Va./International School of Paris) and junior tri-captain Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School) jumped out to a 4-1 advantage. But Mohamed Dakki and Brett Joelson reeled off seven consecutive games for an 8-4 triumph to complete the Aggie sweep.
Matijevic, ranked 19th nationally in singles, was first off the court in singles, having posted a 6-1, 6-1 victory over #68 Scott at No. 2. A&M then moved within a point of victory when 17th-ranked Cook completed a 6-1, 6-3 win over Haddock at No. 1.
Langenkamp kept Notre Dame alive, making the score 3-1 before the Aggies got a pair of additional points in quick succession to seal the win. Dakki delivered the clinching blow with a hard-fought 7-5, 6-4 win over D’Amico at No. 3. Moments later, Joelson topped King 6-2, 7-5 at No. 5, leaving Bass and El Dorry as the lone contest remaining.
Texas A&M was making its first-ever visit to Notre Dame, and the Aggies will be at #1 Illinois on Saturday.
Texas A&M 5, Notre Dame 2
No. 1: #17 Lester Cook (A&M) d. Luis Haddock (ND) 6-1, 6-3
No. 2: #19 Ante Matijevic(A&M) d. Matthew Scott (ND) 6-1, 6-1
No. 3: *Mohamed Dakki (A&M) d. Brent D’Amico (ND) 7-5, 6-4
No. 4: Stephen Bass (ND) d. Khaled El Dorry (A&M) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5)
No. 5: Brett Joelson (A&M) d. Barry King (ND) 6-2, 7-5
No. 6: Eric Langenkamp (ND) d. Bryan Wooten (A&M) 6-4, 6-3
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 6, 3*, 5, 4
No. 1: *#1 Cook/Matijevic (A&M) d. #18 Haddock/Keckley (ND) 8-6
No. 2: Dakki/Joelsom (A&M) d. D’Amico/Scott (ND) 8-4
No. 3: El Dorry/Malmgren (A&M) d. S. Bass/Barry King (ND) 8-6
Order of Finish: 3, 1*, 2
* denotes clinching match