Feb. 9, 2003
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After losing the doubles point, the 43rd-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team took the first set in four of six singles matches, but could not complete the upset, eventually dropping a 4-2 decision to No. 8 Duke Sunday afternoon in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The match came down to three-set matches at Nos. 3 and 5 singles, with freshman Jonathan Stokke finally converting on the fourth team match point for a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 win over Irish senior Brian Farrell (Lilburn, Ga./St. Pius X H.S.), who was playing No. 3 singles for the first time in his career, to give the Blue Devils (4-1) the win. The Irish (2-5) played singles without sophomore Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School), who was injured during the doubles portion of the event. D’Amico is 6-0 this spring at No. 3 singles.
With Duke leading 3-2, both Stokke and Peter Shults came back to force a third set in their singles matches. Stokke went up 5-2 in the deciding set, but Farrell would not fold. The Irish tri-captain held serve to make it 5-3 and then saved a pair of team match points to rally from a 15-40 deficit and break Stokke’s serve. After saving a break point, Farrell held serve to even the set at 5-5. Stokke went up 6-5 and then got to double match point again on Farrell’s serve, finally converting with a volley winner to clinch Duke’s victory.
Meanwhile, Shults had taken a 2-1 lead in the third set at No. 5, but the match was abandoned due to Duke travel arrangements. Notre Dame freshman Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) had taken the first set in the match, 6-4, before Shults won the second, 6-3.
Duke jumped out to a 2-0 lead when Phillip King completed a 6-3, 6-1 win over Notre Dame’s Luis Haddock (Caguas, P.R./Notre Dame H.S.) at No. 1 singles. King has been ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation, but is not currently ranked because he did not play collegiately in the fall. He is 4-0 this spring.
The Irish rallied with wins at Nos. 4 and 6 singles. Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.) continued his outstanding week with a 6-4, 6-1 win at No. 4 over Ryan Heinberg. Heading into this week, the freshman had lost five straight and 11 of his last 13 matches, but Buchanan is 3-0 in the last six days, including the clinching victory on Tuesday against Wisconsin and a win yesterday against Purdue.
Nicolas Lopez-Acevedo (Guaynabo, P.R./Colegio Marista) evened the match at 2-2 with a 6-3, 6-1 victory at No. 6 against Yorke Allen. The Irish junior, who transferred from Bowling Green State for his final season of eligibility when the Falcon tennis program was discontinued, got his second straight victory.
Freshman Ludovic Walter, ranked 77th nationally in singles, put the Blue Devils within a point of victory by finishing his 6-3, 6-4 win at No. 2 over #119 Matthew Scott (Oakton, Va./International School of Paris).
The Blue Devils swept the three doubles matches to take the initial point of the contest. King and Shults finished first with an 8-3 win at No. 2. Stokke and Jason Zimmermann, the No. 16 team in the nation, clinched the point with an 8-4 win at No. 1. Walter and Heinberg completed the sweep with an 8-6 win at No. 3. Notre Dame, which lost five of its top six doubles players from last year’s team, has dropped the doubles point five times in seven matches this spring and has lost all three doubles matches on four occasions.
Duke was without the services of senior Michael Yani, who normally plays No. 1 doubles and No. 2 singles. Yani, who is 33rd nationally in singles, was injured in the Blue Devils’ loss to No. 2 Illinois on Friday.
The Devils, who lost 4-3 at home to the Irish in 2002, have won in four of their last five trips to Notre Dame.
Notre Dame has lost three matches this season to top-25 teams (#2 Illinois, #8 Duke, #24 Ohio State) and has dropped three contests at home decided in the final matches on-court, after losing 4-3 to Indiana and Florida State earlier this spring.
Notre Dame, which had not opened with multiple losses at home under head coach Bob Bayliss until this year, is 0-4 in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Irish will not be in action for 10 days, next taking the court on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at #65 Michigan State. Notre Dame will return home on Saturday, Feb. 22 vs. #39 Northwestern at 1 p.m. (EST).
#8 Duke 4, #43 Notre Dame 2
No. 1: Phillip King (D) d. #72 Luis Haddock (ND) 6-3, 6-1
No. 2: #77 Ludovic Walter (D) d. #119 Matthew Scott (ND) 6-3, 6-4
No. 3: Jonathan Stokke (D) d. Brian Farrell (ND) 3-6, 6-3, 7-5
No. 4: Patrick Buchanan (ND) d. Ryan Heinberg (D) 6-4, 6-1
No. 5: Peter Shults (D) vs. Eric Langenkamp (ND) 4-6, 6-3, 2-1, abandoned
No. 6: Nicolas Lopez-Acevedo (ND) d. Yorke Allen (D) 6-3, 6-1
No. 1: #16 Stokke/Jason Zimmermann (D) d. D’Amico/Scott (ND) 8-4
No. 2: King/Shults (D) d. Haddock/Lopez-Acevedo (ND) 8-3
No. 3: Heinberg/Walter (D) d. Buchanan/Ben Hatten (ND) 8-6