Jan. 13, 2003
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team is listed 27th in the preseason edition of the Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Rankings, released today by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Junior tri-captains Luis Haddock (Caguas, P.R./Notre Dame H.S.) and Matthew Scott (Oakton, Va./International School of Paris) are ranked 72nd and 119th, respectively, in the fall singles rankings. Notre Dame, which was seventh to begin last season, has been ranked in the preseason top 35 in each of the last 13 years. The Irish will travel to the National Collegiate Tennis Classic this weekend before facing Indiana on Fri., Jan. 24 at 4:00 p.m. in the Eck Tennis Pavilion to open a dual-match slate featuring six matches against teams in the top 30 of the preseason rankings.
Notre Dame finished 23-7 last season and advanced to the round of 16 for the first time since 1994, securing a final national ranking of 14th. Four monogram winners from that team, which peaked at No. 4, have returned.
Haddock, whose ranking is the highest of his career, was 11-3 in the fall season with three wins over top-75 players. He reached the quarterfinals in the Omni Hotels Midwest Championships and improved his career fall record to 32-7. Last season, he was 27-6 and peaked at 83rd in the national singles rankings. Haddock notched wins over #51 Aleksey Zharinov of Minnesota, #72 Scott Mayer of Purdue, and #47 Jonathan Chu of Harvard (now ranked 30th) in the fall, earning him a listing of 10th in the midwest region in singles.
Scott, who was ranked 85th in the preseason singles rankings, was 5-8 in the fall, dropping four contests in match tiebreakers. He advanced to the round of 16 in the Midwest Championships before losing to Illinois’ Phil Stolt, who is ranked sixth in the nation. A year ago, Scott was 32-5, including 24-3 in dual matches. He was 13th in last month?s midwest region rankings.
Of the 17 teams on the Irish dual-match slate, 13 were listed in the preseason top 50. The Irish will play host to eight ranked teams, including three listed in the top 20. Illinois, second in the preseason listing, will visit the Eck Tennis Pavilion on Jan. 29, while #11 Duke (Feb. 9) and #19 Minnesota (March 22) also will come to Notre Dame. The Illini, who feature the No. 2 singles player (Amer Delic) and the No. 2 doubles team (Delic and Michael Calkins) in the nation, won two of three meetings with Notre Dame a year ago, including one in the third round of the NCAA tournament. The Irish will face a tough road slate, highlighted by trips to #9 Kentucky (April 11), #24 Ohio State (Jan. 26) and #30 SMU (April 6).
UCLA, a national semifinalist a year ago, is ranked No. 1, followed by Illinois, Baylor, Stanford and Florida. NCAA runner-up Georgia is sixth and ’02 national champion USC is seventh. Baylor’s Benedikt Dorsch is the top-ranked singles player, while William Barker and Richard Barker of Rice are No. 1 in doubles.