Oct. 5, 2003
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team finished strong in the Tom Fallon Invitational, winning seven of 10 singles matches on Sunday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion and Courtney Tennis Center. The Irish, which posted a combined 26-14 record in the 17th annual event, will return to action on Friday, October 17 in an exhibition match against rival USC, beginning at 4 p.m. (EST) in the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
Four Notre Dame players were unbeaten in the TFI, with a pair of them posting singles victories on Sunday. Local product freshman Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph H.S.) was the only Notre Dame player to go 5-0 over the weekend. He beat Army’s John Houghton 6-2, 6-0 on Sunday morning to improve to 6-0 in singles in his first collegiate fall.
Junior Jimmy Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School), who competed only in singles in the Tom Fallon, beat Army’s David Collins 6-0, 6-1 on Sunday for his third win of the weekend. Bass is 5-1 this fall.
Also perfect on the weekend were a pair 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). Scott won a pair of matches in both singles and doubles to improve to 8-2 and 4-1, respectively, this season. D’Amico returned to the court in the TFI for the first time since undergoing elbow surgery in June. He won in his only two matches, both in doubles.
Senior tri-captain Luis Haddock (Caguas, P.R./Notre Dame H.S.), ranked 64th in the nation in singles, pulled out a 1-6, 6-0, 1-0 (15-13) decision against John Sabia of Army. Haddock finished his Tom Fallon Invitational career with a combined singles and doubles record of 26-3. He was 16-1 in singles and 10-2 in doubles.
Freshman Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) won four of his five matches in the TFI, culminating with a 6-0, 7-6 (7-3) triumph over Army’s Rafael Albornoz. Bass is 5-1 in singles and 4-0 in doubles in his young collegiate career.
Sophomore Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.) got his second singles victory of the weekend, defeating Black Knight Sebastian Salas 6-3, 6-2.
Other Sunday winners for the Irish were freshmen Irackli Akhvlediani (Vienna, Austria/Vienna International School) and Bobby McNally (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Preparatory School). Akhvlediani topped Michael Good of Army 6-4, 6-7, 1-0 (10-8), while McNally beat Purdue’s Scott Warner 6-4, 6-3.
Further highlights of the weekend included sophomore Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) winning four of five matches, senior Ben Hatten (Potomac, Md./Winston Churchill H.S.) taking two of three, and senior Paul Hidaka (Tokyo, Japan/St. Mary’s International School) gaining his first career victory.
The Tom Fallon Invitational is named after legendary former Irish tennis coach Tom Fallon, who compiled a 514-194 (.726) record in 31 years leading the program, winning the 1959 national championship. He was inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) Hall of Fame in 1988. Fallon began the tradition of a fall tennis season, starting the Irish Invitational in 1970. The tournament was renamed in his honor when he retired in 1987.
The TFI features a “hidden dual” format, in which teams play simulated dual matches against each other, but no team scores are recorded. All individual results are counted for ranking purposes.
Tom Fallon Invitational
#64 Luis Haddock (ND) d. John Sabia (Army) 1-6, 6-0, 1-0 (15-13)
Stephen Bass (ND) d. Rafael Albornoz (A) 6-0, 7-6 (7-3)
Ryan Keckley (ND) d. John Houghton (A) 6-2, 6-0
Patrick Buchanan (ND) d. Sebastian Salas (A) 6-3, 6-2
Irackli Akhvlediani (ND) d. Michael Good (A) 6-4, 6-7, 1-0 (10-8)
Jimmy Bass (ND) d. David Collins (A) 6-0, 6-1
Bobby McNally (ND) d. Scott Warner (Purdue) 6-4, 6-3
Joseph Jung (Alabama) d. Eric Langenkamp (ND) 6-4, 6-4
Anthony Stefani (MS) d. Nick Chimerakis (ND) 6-4, 6-2
Steve Srivastava (MS) d. Ben Hatten (ND) 6-1, 6-4