March 18, 2001
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The 22nd-ranked Notre Dame men’s tennis team beat 26th-ranked Fresno State 4-2 on Sunday to win the Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic for the first time since 1993 with its 10th consecutive victory — the longest Irish streak since winning 14 straight in 1990. The Irish lost the doubles point but won four singles matches in straight sets to beat the Bulldogs for their second Blue-Gray title. Sophomore Brian Farrell clinched the win at No. 5 singles with his ninth straight singles victory. Notre Dame improves to 13-2 and returns to the court on March 29 with a 4:00 p.m. home match vs. 12th-ranked Illinois.
Fresno State used wins at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles to take a 1-0 lead heading into the singles competition. Junior Aaron Talarico then beat David Mullins 6-2, 6-1 at No. 4 singles for his fourth singles victory of the week to knot the match at 1-1. Freshman Luis Haddock-Morales picked up his first singles win of the event when he defeated Nick Fustar 6-4, 7-5 at No. 3 singles. The 93rd-ranked Javier Taborga gave the Irish a 3-1 lead when he downed Sean Cooper 6-4, 7-6 at No. 2 singles.
The Bulldogs then pulled within 3-2 as 35th-ranked Peter Luczak beat Irish junior Casey Smith 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 at No. 1 singles. Farrell then won the decisive match as he defeated Alex Menichini 7-5, 6-2 at No. 5 singles. Senior Matt Daly was leading 6-3, 3-6, 2-0 at No. 6 singles when his match was abandoned following Farrell’s victory.
The Irish also reached the Blue-Gray final in 1993 and 1998. Notre Dame defeated eighth-ranked Alabama 5-2 in 1993 and lost to 22nd-ranked Boise State 4-3 in 1998.
#22 NOTRE DAME 4, #26 FRESNO STATE 2
No. 1: #35 Peter Luczak (FS) def. Casey Smith (ND) 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
No. 2: #93 Javier Taborga (ND) def. Sean Cooper (FS) 6-4, 7-6
No. 3: Luis Haddock-Morales (ND) def. Nick Fustar (FS) 6-4, 7-5
No. 4: Aaron Talarico (ND) def. David Mullins (FS) 6-2, 6-1
No. 5: Brian Farrell (ND) def. Alex Menichini (FS) 7-5, 6-2
No. 6: Matt Daly (ND) vs. Alex Krohn (FS) 6-3, 3-6, 2-0, abandoned
No. 1: #26 Taborga/Talarico (ND) vs. Luczak/Mullins (FS) 3-6, abandoned
No. 2: #29 Cooper/Fustar (FS) def. Haddock-Morales/Smith (ND) 9-8
No. 3: Krohn/Menichini (FS) def. Daly/Farrell (ND) 8-3