March 2, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 43rd-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team (8-5) won every match in registering a 7-0 victory over #47 Michigan State (11-3) Tuesday afternoon in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Irish, who have beaten the Spartans 15 consecutive times, dropped just one set in improving to 5-2 against Big Ten teams this season and snapping a three-match losing streak.
Notre Dame continued its recent hot play in doubles by sweeping the first three contests of the match. Sophomore Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) and freshman Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) improved to 4-0 as a team with an 8-3 victory over Michael Flowers and Joseph McWilliams at No. 3. The Irish broke serve in five of six MSU service games in the match. Notre Dame was 1-9 at No. 3 this spring prior to Langenkamp and Bass being inserted into the spot on Sunday and responding with back-to-back triumphs.
Junior tri-captain Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]) and freshman Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) clinched the doubles point with an 8-3 victory at No. 1 over Cameron Marshall and Eric Simonton. D’Amico and Keckley have won three matches in a row and are 6-3 on the season.
Luis Haddock (Caguas, P.R./Notre Dame H.S.) and Matthew Scott (Oakton, Va./International School of Paris), a pair of senior tri-captains, finally converted on their fifth match point to deliver the Irish sweep with a 9-7 triumph over Andrew Formanczyk and Chris Mitchell at No. 2. Haddock and Scott are 8-1 this season, including 5-1 in dual-match play at No. 2, and hold a 13-3 career mark as a team.
Notre Dame has won the doubles point in each of the last three matches after taking it in just two of nine prior tries this spring. Over the last three contests, the Irish are 8-1 in doubles after going just 8-19 over the first 10 dual matches.
Keckley was first off the court in singles, putting the Irish up 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over McWilliams at No. 5. The win snapped a three-match losing streak for the Irish freshman.
Scott put Notre Dame within a point of victory by defeating Marshall 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2. The Notre Dame senior is 17-10 this season, including a 4-2 mark at his normal No. 2 position.
Haddock, who had not played singles in the previous three matches due to a groin injury, provided the clinching win for the third time this season. He defeated Formanczyk 7-5, 7-5 at No. 1 to move to 13-9 in 2003-04.
Soon thereafter, Bass finished a 6-4, 6-4 victory over senior Eric Simonton at No. 4. The Notre Dame freshman is 16-5 this season, including a 10-3 mark in dual-match play (4-2 at No. 3, 6-1 at No. 4). He has won six of his last seven matches.
Seconds later, Langenkamp made it 6-0 by beating Flowers 6-0, 7-6 (7-0) at No. 6. He is 17-5 on the season, including 8-3 in dual matches.
Mitchell was the only Spartan to win a set, but D’Amico rallied for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory at No. 3. D’Amico has won five of his last six matches, including an upset of #50 Joey Atas of Ohio State on Saturday.
The Irish were without their No. 5 singles player on Tuesday, as Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) missed the match with an injury.
The win was the second shutout for Notre Dame this season, after the Irish beat St. John’s 6-0 on Jan. 25 (singles was played first and doubles was not contested). It was the first 7-0 win for Notre Dame since beating Wisconsin by that score on Feb. 4 of last year. The last time the Irish won 7-0 at home was in MSU’s last visit, on Feb. 20, 2002.
The match was the last scheduled home contest for Notre Dame this season, though a tilt with Kentucky, originally scheduled for Jan. 27 but postponed due to Wildcat travel complications, is likely to be rescheduled for some time in April at the Courtney Tennis Center.
Notre Dame will head to La Jolla, Calif. this weekend for the Pacific Coast Doubles Classic, as well as a dual match against St. Joseph’s on Sunday at 3 p.m. (PST). The tournament, which runs Thursday-Sunday, is a multiple-flight doubles event also open to non-collegiate players that traditionally marks Notre Dame’s first outdoor play of the spring. The Irish have played in the Pacific Coast Doubles Classic in seven of the last eight years (all except 1999), though results do not count toward official player records. The match with the Hawks on Sunday will be the first-ever meeting between Notre Dame and St. Joseph’s.
#43 Notre Dame 7, #47 Michigan State 0
No. 1: *Luis Haddock (ND) d. Andrew Formanczyk (MSU) 7-5, 7-5
No. 2: Matthew Scott (ND) d. Cameron Marshall (MSU) 6-1, 6-2
No. 3: Brent D’Amico (ND) d. Chris Mitchell (MSU) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
No. 4: Stephen Bass (ND) d. Eric Simonton (MSU) 6-4, 6-4
No. 5: Ryan Keckley (ND) d. Joseph McWilliams (MSU) 6-1, 6-3
No. 6: Eric Langenkamp (ND) d. Michael Flowers (MSU) 6-0, 7-6 (7-0)
Order of Finish: 5, 2, 1*, 4, 6, 3
No. 1: *D’Amico/Keckley (ND) d. Marshall/Simonton (MSU) 8-3
No. 2: Haddock/Scott (ND) d. Formanczyk/Mitchell (MSU) 9-7
No. 3: S. Bass/Langenkamp (ND) d. Flowers/McWilliams (MSU) 8-3
Order of Finish: 3, 1*, 2
* denotes clinching match