May 7, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 33rd-ranked Notre Dame men’s tennis team swept the doubles and won the first five singles matches to beat 43rd-ranked Michigan for the 10th time in 11 meetings in the ’90s, snapping the Wolverines’ 11-match winning streak. Irish senior captain Brian Patterson, playing in last home match, rallied to beat Michigan senior William Farah 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 at No. 2 singles to clinch the match and improve to 12-0 against Region IV opponents in ’99 dual matches. Notre Dame improves to 14-7 with the win while Michigan falls to 14-2 with its first loss since Jan. 30. The Irish return to action at the BIG EAST championships, April 22-25, at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla.
The Irish opened the match with wins at Nos. 1 and 3 doubles to clinch the doubles point. Notre Dame’s 47th-ranked pair of Patterson and Ryan Sachire beat Danny McCain and Matt Wright 8-3 at No. 1 doubles for the first win. Freshmen Casey Smith and Aaron Talarico won seven of the last eight games to clinch the point with an 8-4 win over John Long and Jake Raiton at No. 3 doubles after the Wolverine pair had an early 3-1 lead. The Irish No. 2 pair of Trent Miller and Javier Taborga lost six set points serving at 7-5 and three more at 7-6 before finally beating Farah and Brad McFarlane 8-6 on their 10th set point.
Second-ranked Sachire gave the Irish a 2-0 lead and improved to 34-7 and 20-3 in dual matches with a quick 6-2, 6-2 win over Wright at No. 1 singles. Freshman Ben Cox used service breaks at 5-4 of each set to win Michigan’s only match of the day by beating Irish senior Andy Warford 6-4, 6-4 at No. 6 singles. Notre Dame’s Andrew Laflin then beat McCain 6-3, 6-3 at No. 4 singles in a battle of freshmen for a 3-1 Irish lead.
Patterson rallied to clinch the match for Notre Dame with his 12th consecutive singles win at No. 2 singles. After falling behind 2-5 in the first set, Patterson rallied for 4-5 but Farah held serve to take the first set 6-4. Patterson used an early service to break to edge Farah 6-3 in set second and then broke Farah’s serve in the first game of the third set. Patterson held serve the rest of the set and used another break at 4-2 to serve for the match at 5-2. Patterson saved a break point in the final game before closing out Farah 6-2 in the final set. The win improved Patterson’s overall record to 18-6 and 16-2 in ’99, with his only losses coming in three sets against top-five teams Duke and Texas. His regional record remains a perfect 12-0, and his first-set loss today marks just the third set he has lost in those 12 matches.
With the win clinched, the Irish won the final two matches for the 6-1 final. Smith won another freshman battle at No. 5 singles with his 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 win over Henry Beam at No. 5 singles. Notre Dame sophomore Matt Daly won the final four games of the match to rally from a break of serve down in the third set for a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 win over Long at No. 3 singles.
#33 NOTRE DAME 6, #43 MICHIGAN 1
No. 1: #2 Ryan Sachire (ND) def. Matt Wright (M) 6-2, 6-2
No. 2: Brian Patterson (ND) def. William Farah (M) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
No. 3: Matt Daly (ND) def. John Long (M) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3
No. 4: Andrew Laflin (ND) def. Danny McCain (M) 6-3, 6-3
No. 5: Casey Smith (ND) def. Henry Beam (M) 6-3, 2-6, 7-5
No. 6: Ben Cox (M) def. Andy Warford (ND) 6-4, 6-4
No. 1: #47 Patterson/Sachire (ND) def. McCain/Wright (M) 8-3
No. 2: Trent Miller/Javier Taborga (ND) def. Farah/Brad McFarlane (M) 8-6
No. 3: Smith/Aaron Talarico (ND) def. Long/Jake Raiton (M) 8-4