Oct. 17, 2003
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team lost 5-2 to USC in an exhibition match Friday in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Trojans won the doubles point and four of six singles matches to take the victory,.
Notre Dame got its points on singles victories by freshman Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) at No. 3 and sophomore Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) at No. 6. The Irish also got a win at No. 3 doubles from Bass and senior Paul Hidaka (Tokyo, Japan/St. Mary’s International School) in their first time pairing together.
Because the Notre Dame and USC women’s tennis teams played concurrently, the match featured Nos. 4, 5, and 6 singles played first, followed by Nos. 1, 2, and 3 doubles, and finally, Nos. 1, 2, and 3 singles.
The Trojans held a 2-1 lead after the first wave of matches, though Langenkamp handed the Irish the match’s initial point. He defeated Scott Patterson 6-1, 6-3 to improve to 6-1 this season. Troy evened the match with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 triumph from Brian Wright at No. 5 against Irish freshman Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.). The loss was the first of the local product’s collegiate career, following six wins to open the fall, and marked Keckley’s first defeat in a competitive high school or college match in nearly two years, since the 2001 Indiana state tournament.
Drew Hoskins of USC then gave his team an advantage with a 7-5, 6-3 win against Notre Dame freshman Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College).
The doubles point came down to the No. 2 match, between Southern California’s pair of Hoskins and Wright and the Irish duo of Keckley and senior tri-captain Luis Haddock (Caguas, P.R./Notre Dame H.S.). The Trojan team seemed to have the match in hand, leading 7-2, but Notre Dame rallied to capture four consecutive games. Hoskins and Wright finally served out the match for an 8-6 win and a 3-1 USC lead.
The Trojan point was set up by a win at No. 1 doubles in the first match off the court, with Johan Berg and Daniel Langre upsetting Notre Dame’s team 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). The Irish pair, ranked 50th nationally, fell 8-5.
Notre Dame evened things in the doubles portion of the match with an 8-6 win at No. 3 from Bass and Hidaka against Patterson and Ruben Torres.
USC wasted no time in clinching the victory, getting a 6-4, 6-4 win from Langre over 64th-ranked Haddock at No. 2. After the outcome was determined, 87th-ranked Berg outlasted Scott 7-6 (7-5), 0-6, 6-2 at No. 1 before Bass rallied to beat Torres 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 at No. 3. Bass is 6-1 in his young collegiate career.
The exhibition match between the schools on the eve of their meeting in football in Notre Dame Stadium is a tradition that dates back to 1989. USC has won five of the six contests.
The Irish will return to action Oct. 23-28 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Midwest Championships in East Lansing, Mich. and will next play at home on Friday, Jan. 23 against Texas A&M at 4 p.m. (EST).
USC 5, Notre Dame 2 (exhibition)
No. 1: #87 Johan Berg (USC) d. Matthew Scott (ND) 7-6 (7-5), 0-6, 6-2
No. 2: *Daniel Langre (USC) d. #64 Luis Haddock (ND) 6-4, 6-4
No. 3: Stephen Bass (ND) d. Ruben Torres (USC) 2-6, 6-1, 7-6
No. 4: Drew Hoskins (USC) d. Barry King (ND) 7-5, 6-3
No. 5: Brian Wright (USC) d. Ryan Keckley (ND) 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
No. 6: Eric Langenkamp (ND) d. Scott Patterson (USC) 6-1, 6-3
Order of Finish: 6, 5, 4, 2*, 1, 3
No. 1: Berg/Langre (USC) d. #50 D’Amico/Scott (ND) 8-5
No. 2: *Hoskins/Wright (USC) d. Haddock/Keckley (ND) 8-6
No. 3: Stephen Bass/Paul Hidaka (ND) d. Patterson/Torres (USC) 8-6
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2*
* denotes clinching match