March 16, 2000
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The 36th-ranked Notre Dame men’s tennis team won a close doubles point and then took three singles matches to beat 26th-ranked Virginia 4-2 in the first round of the Blue-Gray National Classic at Lagoon Park in Montgomery, Ala. The Irish will play the winner of a late Wednesday match between UNLV/Illinois match on Thursday.
Notre Dame posted wins at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles to take a 1-0 lead heading into singles. Seniors Trent Miller and Ryan Sachire beat 46th-ranked Tommy Croker and John Winter 9-8 (7-4) at No. 2 doubles. Sophomores James Malhame and Casey Smith won 9-7 over Robert Abendroth and Brian Hunter at No. 3 doubles. The No. 1 doubles match between 31st-ranked Irish sophomores Javier Taborga and Aaron Talarico and Virginia’s 14th-ranked Huntley Montgomery and Brian Vahaly was suspended with Notre Dame leading 8-7 with Virginia serving.
Vahaly won the battle of top 10 singles players when the fifth-ranked Virginia junior beat 10th-ranked Sachire 6-3, 6-3 at No. 1 singles, handing Sachire his first loss in seven matches and just his second in a dual match this season. Taborga put the Irish ahead 2-1 with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Croker at No. 4 singles. Sophomore Andrew Laflin beat Hunter 6-3, 6-2 at No. 5 singles for a 3-1 lead.
Montgomery pulled Virginia within 3-2 when he won a match tiebreaker over Smith at No. 2 singles in a 7-5, 2-6, 1-0 (10-7). Freshman Brian Farrell — playing in his first match since Feb. 27 — then provided the clinching match with his 6-3, 6-4 win over Abendroth at No. 6 singles. Farrell also won the deciding match in Notre Dame’s win over 19th-ranked Kentucky earlier in the season.
#36 NOTRE DAME 4, #26 VIRGINIA 2
No. 1: #5 Brian Vahaly (V) def. #10 Ryan Sachire (ND) 6-3, 6-3
No. 2: #39 Huntley Montgomery (V) def. Casey Smith (ND) 7-5, 2-6, 1-0 (10-7)
No. 3: Matt Daly (ND) vs. John Winter (V) 7-6, 6-7, abandoned
No. 4: Javier Taborga (ND) def. Tommy Croker (V) 6-4, 6-3
No. 5: Andrew Laflin (ND) def. Brian Hunter (I) 6-3, 6-2
No. 6: Brian Farrell (ND) def. Robert Abendroth (V) 6-3, 6-4
No. 1: #31 Taborga/Talarico (ND) vs. #14 Montgomery/Vahaly (V) 8-7, abandoned
No. 2: Trent Miller/Sachire (ND) def. #46 Croker/Winter (V) 9-8 (7-4)
No. 3: James Malhame/Smith (ND) def. Abendroth/Hunter (V) 9-7