October 3, 1998
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Notre Dame men’s tennis team dropped a tight 5-2 match to defending NCAA champion Stanford on Friday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Cardinal won two of three double matches to claim the doubles point and then won two three-set matches for a 5-2 win over the Irish.
“Stanford showed a lot of poise tonight,” said Irish head coach Bob Bayliss. “They have some young players who performed well under pressure. It was difficult coming into our place with a big, enthusiastic crowd and winning those third sets at No. 4 and 6 singles.”
In the No. 1 singles match, Irish junior All-America Ryan Sachire, ranked eighth in the preseason rankings, defeated sixth-ranked Stanford senior Ryan Wolters 6-2, 6-1. The Cardinal’s Geoff Abrams and Alex Kim won in straight sets at Nos. 2 and 3 singles to take a 3-1 lead.
“Ryan Sachire played extremely well,” said Bayliss. “I am excited about the year he is capable of having.”
Stanford freshman K.J. Hippensteel then clinched the match for the Cardinal by winning a tight, three-set match 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 over Irish freshman Casey Smith at No. 4 singles. Matt Daly won Notre Dame’s second singles match when Stanford’s Scotty Scott was forced to retire in the second set due to cramps at No. 5 singles. Ali Ansari closed out match with a three-set win over Irish freshman Andrew Laflin at No. 6 singles.
In doubles, Wolters and Hippensteel teamed up to beat Patterson and Pietrowski at No. 1, while Abrams and Kim beat Daly and Smith at No. 2 doubles to clinch the doubles point for the Cardinal. Warford and Notre Dame freshman Aaron Talarico won at No. 3 doubles over Ansari and Scott.
“I felt like we let the doubles point slip away after being up 5-3 at No. 1,” said Bayliss. “You have to give them credit, because they always seem to find a way to win.”
The Irish return to action when they travel to the Arizona State Invitational next weekend.
STANFORD 5, NOTRE DAME 2
No. 1: Ryan Sachire (ND) def. Ryan Wolters (SU) 6-2, 6-1
No. 2: Geoff Abrams (SU) def. Brian Patterson (ND) 6-2, 6-3
No. 3: Alex Kim (SU) def. Andy Warford (ND) 6-4, 6-1
No. 4: K.J. Hippensteel (SU) def. Casey Smith (ND) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
No. 5: Matt Daly (ND) def. Scotty Scott (SU) 5-7, 5-4, ret.
No. 6: Ali Ansari (SU) def. Andrew Laflin (ND) 6-3, 6-7, 6-3
No. 1: Wolters and Hippensteel (SU) def. Patterson and Sachire 8-6
No. 2: Abrams and Kim (SU) def. Daly and Smith (ND) 8-6
No. 3: Aaron Talarico and Warford (ND) def. Ansari and Scott (SU) 9-8.