Oct. 7, 2005
TULSA, Okla. – Notre Dame senior tennis player Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) saw his run in the backdraw of the season’s first grand slam, the Polo Ralph Lauren ITA All-American Championships, come to an end on Friday morning. The Irish men’s tennis team will return to action next Friday in “The Battle Before the War,” as Notre Dame plays host to USC at 4 p.m. (EST/CDT) in the Eck Tennis Pavilion a day before the schools meet in football.
Langenkamp, ranked 89th in the nation, lost 6-4, 6-1 against #36 Mark Barry of Penn State in the round of 16 of the consolation bracket. Barry played No. 1 for the Nittany Lions last year and earned a berth in the NCAA Singles Championship. Langenkamp – the first Irish player to take part in the main draw of the All-Americans since Casey Smith in 2001 – lost in the opening round to #31 Rohan Gajjar of Arkansas, but then upset #15 Tom Eklund from South Carolina in backdraw-play on Thursday. It was the first career win over a ranked player for Langenkamp, who became the first Irish player ever to win a title in the ITA National Summer Championships in August, a triumph that earned him a spot in the main draw of this tournament.
The Irish and Trojans – 16-time national champions who finished last year ranked 21st – will resume a tradition of playing an exhibition match on the day prior to the teams hooking up on the gridiron in Notre Dame Stadium. The women’s tennis teams from both schools also will be in action, causing an unusual schedule of events. The Nos. 4-6 singles matches will begin at 4 p.m. (EST/CDT) in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. At 7 p.m., the teams will play the three doubles matches, with Nos. 1-3 singles to follow. Nos. 7-8 singles will be played earlier in the afternoon, as well. This will be the seventh time that the teams have played in men’s tennis on the eve of the football game at Notre Dame, with the Irish having won in 2001 by a 5-2 score against a Trojan team that would go on to claim the NCAA championship. USC has prevailed in each of the other meetings: in 1989 (5-4), ’91 (6-3), ’93, ’99 (4-3), and ’03 (5-2). Incidentally, ND’s football team is 5-1 when the tennis teams have met the day before.
Polo Ralph Lauren ITA All-American Championships (October 7)Singles Main Draw#36 Mark Barry (Penn State) d. #89 Eric Langenkamp (ND) 6-4, 6-1 - consolation