March 16, 2001

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The 22nd-ranked Notre Dame men’s tennis team won the doubles point and won three straight-set singles matches to beat 49th-ranked Rice 4-0 in the quarterfinals of the Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala. Junior Aaron Talarico clinched the win for the Irish with a victory at No. 4 singles. Fourth-seeded Notre Dame improves to 11-2 with the win and will take on 18th-ranked Auburn for the first time ever on Saturday in the semifinals. The Tigers defeated top-seeded and 13th-ranked VCU on Friday to reach the semifinals.

Notre Dame opened the match with 8-6 wins at Nos. 1 and 2 doubles to take a 1-0 lead heading into singles. The 26th-ranked team of juniors Javier Taborga and Aaron Talarico won the first match by beating Richard Barker and Vuk Rajevac at No. 1 doubles. Sophomore Luis Haddock-Morales and junior Casey Smith then clinched the point by beating Alexis Pourchet and William Barker at No. 2. The No. 3 doubles match was abandoned with senior Matt Daly and sophomore Brian Farrell leading 7-5.

Smith put the Irish ahead 2-0 with a 6-4, 6-4 win over 72nd-ranked Richard Barker, the second consecutive ranked opponent Smith has beaten after defeating 44th-ranked Michael Cogan on Thursday. Taborga, ranked 93rd in the country in singles, made it 3-0 with his 6-4, 7-5 victory over 88th-ranked William Barker. Talarico then wrapped up the victory as he defeated Pourchet 6-3, 6-4 at No. 4 singles for the 4-0 win.

Irish freshmen Haddock-Morales and Matthew Scott both saw their singles matches abandoned once the match was clinched. Haddock-Morales also did not finish on Thursday in the win over Tulane.

#22 NOTRE DAME 4, #49 RICE 0


No. 1: Casey Smith (ND) def. #72 Richard Barker (R) 6-4, 6-4

No. 2: #93 Javier Taborga (ND) def. #88 William Barker (R) 6-4, 7-5

No. 3: Luis Haddock-Morales (ND) vs. Matthias Mathaes (R) 6-3, 4-5, abandoned

No. 4: Aaron Talarico (ND) def. Alexis Pourchet (R) 6-3, 6-4

No. 5: Brian Farrell (ND) vs. Cody Jackson (R) 6-0, 1-6, 3-2, abandoned

No. 6: Matthew Scott (ND) vs. Fabien Giraud (R) 6-7, 2-0, abandoned


No. 1: #26 Taborga/Talarico (ND) def. R. Barker/Vuk Rajevac (R) 8-6

No. 2: Haddock-Morales/Smith (ND) def. Pourchet/W. Barker (R) 8-6

No. 3: Matt Daly/Farrell (ND) vs. Mathaes/Jackson (R) 7-5, abandoned