Feb. 8, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The 40th-ranked Notre Dame men’s tennis won the doubles point and won three straight-sets singles matches to beat 18th-ranked Kentucky 5-2 on Tuesday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Freshman Brian Farrell, playing in just his second dual match, defeated sophomore Reven Stephens 6-2, 7-6 (7-2) at No. 6 singles to clinch the win. The Irish improve to 3-2 with the win, while the Wildcats fall to 2-1. The Irish return to action against 60th-ranked Ohio State on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.
Sophomores James Malhame and Casey Smith clinched the doubles point for Notre Dame with an 8-5 win over Edo Bawono and Johan Grunditz at No. 3 doubles. Seniors Ryan Sachire and Trent Miller beat Carlos Drada and Stephens 8-2 at No. 2 doubles for the first Irish win. The No. 1 doubles match between Kentucky’s 40th-ranked Johan Hesoun and Gustav Pousette and Notre Dame’s 48th-ranked sophomores Javier Taborga and Aaron Talarico was abandoned at 5-4 once the point was decided.
Talarico twice won six consecutive games to give this Irish a 2-0 lead with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Bawono at No. 4 singles. After winning the first set, Talarico, who broke every Bawono service game, lost serve before winning six consecutive matches once again for the win. Sachire then won a battle of top-20 singles players and quarterfinalists at last weeks’ Rolex National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships when the 14th-ranked Irish captain defeated ninth-ranked Drada 6-1, 6-3. Sachire saved two break points at 4-3, 15-40 — the only break points he faced in the match — and then broke Drada again for the win and a 3-0 lead.
Stephens saved a match point while serving at 5-6 to force a tiebreaker. Farrell then cruised through the tiebreaker to clinched Notre Dame’s first win over Southeastern Conference team since a 4-3 win over Kentucky in 1996. Farrell won his second consecutive match in replace of injured 65th-ranked junior and No. 2 singles player Matt Daly.
Once the Irish had clinched the match with a 4-0 lead, the remaining singles matches played third set tiebreakers to decide the outcome. Grunditz defeated Taborga 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) at No. 3 singles for Kentucky’s first point. Pousette rallied for a 6-7 (8-6), 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) over sophomore Andrew Laflin at No. 5 singles. Smith defeated 48th-ranked Hesoun 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (10-8) for the 5-2 final.
#40 NOTRE DAME 5, #18 KENTUCKY 2
No. 1: #14 Ryan Sachire (ND) def. #9 Carlos Drada (UK) 6-1, 6-3
No. 2: Casey Smith (ND) def. #48 Johan Hesoun (UK) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (10-8)
No. 3: Johan Grunditz (UK) def. Javier Taborga (ND) 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)
No. 4: Aaron Talarico (ND) def. Edo Bawono (UK) 6-0, 6-1
No. 5: Gustav Pousette (UK) def. Andrew Laflin (ND) 6-7 (8-6), 6-2, 7-6 (7-4)
No. 6: Brian Farrell (ND) def. Reven Stephens (UK) 6-2, 7-6 (7-2)
No. 1: #48 Taborga/Talarico (ND) vs. #40 Hesoun/Pousette (UK) abandoned
No. 2: Trent Miller/Sachire (ND) def. Drada/Stephens (UK) 8-2
No. 3: James Malhame/Smith (ND) def. Bawono/Grunditz (UK) 8-5