Jan. 19, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 22nd-ranked Notre Dame men’s tennis team opens its 2000 dual-match season in Minneapolis this weekend against 26th-ranked Washington at 6:00 p.m. on Fri., Jan. 21, at the Ice Volleys at the University of Minnesota. The Irish then will face either 31st-ranked New Mexico or the 33rd-ranked host Golden Gophers on Sat., Jan. 22, at 6:00 p.m.
THIS WEEK FOR THE IRISH: Notre Dame plays two matches in its season-opening weekend at the Icy Volleys at the University of Minnesota. The Irish will meet Washington for the first time in their first dual match of the season on Friday. The Huskies opened the season with a 4-3 win over Indiana State and then blanked Idaho 7-0. Washington boasts three ranked singles players in Andy Posavac (57), Jeremy Berman (88) and Marius Lunde (100).
Notre Dame will play either New Mexico or host Minnesota on Saturday in the second day of the Ice Volleys. The Lobos and Gophers will play on Friday in the season-opening match for both teams. New Mexico is led by 10th-ranked Matt Amgwerd, who also is ranked 14th in doubles with Nic Dubey. The Irish have beaten New Mexico in two of three meetings and have a 13-11 record against Minnesota.
ITA RANKINGS: The Irish enter the 2000 dual-match season ranked 22nd among the 75 teams ranked by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association after finishing 1999 ranked 31st. Senior All-American Ryan Sachire (Canfield, Ohio) and junior Matt Daly (Wellesley, Mass.) enter the season ranked 14th and 65th in singles. Sophomores Javier Taborga (La Paz, Bolivia) and Aaron Talarico (Laguna Beach, Calif.) are ranked 48th in doubles.
IRISH FACE TOUGH SLATE: In addition to opening the season with two matches against highly ranked teams, the Irish are scheduled to meet at least 12 ranked teams, including matches at fourth-ranked Duke, 10th-ranked Illinois and 17th-ranked Texas. Notre Dame welcomes 19th-ranked Kentucky and BIG EAST rival Miami (Fla.) to the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Irish also will make their annual trip to Montgomery, Ala., for the prestigious Blue-Gray Classic. Notre Dame will defend its 1999 BIG EAST championship April 20-23, at Miami.
HEAD COACH BOB BAYLISS: Irish head coach Bob Bayliss is in his 13th year as head coach of the Irish, compiling a 231-103 (.693) record at Notre Dame and a career mark of 513-196 (.724), the fifth-best winning percentage among active men’s coaches. Bayliss became the 11th active men’s tennis coach to record 500 career wins with a 7-0 win over Northwestern on Feb. 20, 1999. He has guided the Irish to NCAA championship appearances in each of the last nine years, including an NCAA second-place finish in 1992. The Richmond, Va., native, and 1966 graduate of Richmond has been named ITA national coach of the year in 1992 and ITA regional coach of the year three times. The six-time conference coach of year has coached his players to 13 All-America honors in his 12 years at Notre Dame, with senior Ryan Sachire his latest All-American.
2000 PREVIEW: Head coach Bob Bayliss welcomes back four of the top six players, including two-time All-American Ryan Sachire, to a determined group of returning players. The Irish will be hungry to improve upon their NCAA first-round loss to Harvard to finish the 1998-99 season with a 16-8 record. Leading the Irish to these wins will be Sachire, the captain of the 1999-2000 Irish. Sachire returns to Notre Dame after spending his second straight summer playing on the professional satellite tour as a member of the United States Tennis Association USA Tennis Collegiate Team with five other promising American college tennis players.
While the Irish will depend on Sachire to turn in another 30-plus singles win season, the play of senior Trent Miller (San Diego, Calif.) will be a strong indicator of the team’s success. Miller will be reunited as Sachire’s doubles partner after the pair went 14-6 at No. 2 doubles in 1997 as freshmen.
Matt Daly stands out among the junior class after compiling a 16-8 record predominantly at No. 3 singles in his first year in the lineup. He looks to begin his junior year as he ended his sophomore year with wins in 11 of his final 15 matches, including a straight set win over Harvard’s 48th-ranked Kunj Majmudar in the NCAA first round. Daly’s strong groundstrokes and mental toughness helped him win 25 singles matches last year, second only to Sachire. Like Daly, sophomore Casey Smith (Leawood, Kan.) hopes to continue his six-match winning streak in dual singles matches. Smith used his improved shotmaking in the summer to win an ITA Summer Circuit event at Georgia Tech. He also worked on his game on the USTA professional satellite tour, reaching the second round of the Godfrey, Ill., event before losing to the eventual champion.
Javier Taborga gave the Irish a boost mostly at No. 2 doubles but made the most of his limited singles appearances with a 4-0 record. He won perhaps the team’s most exciting match of the year breaking a 3-3 tie with his 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 win over Miami’s Joel Berman to clinch the BIG EAST championship for the Irish in his only three-set singles dual match of the year. Aaron Talarico looks for an expanded role as a sophomore after providing the Irish with solid play in a reserve role. He twice played as a substitute in singles in dual matches and used his quickness and shotmaking ability for a 7-4 record in dual-match doubles. Andrew Laflin (Tampa, Fla.) finished third on the team in singles wins and opened 1999 1-0 at No. 5 singles and 6-1 at No. 6 singles before moving up to No. 4 singles. The lefty combined his unique talent for taking the ball on the rise and playing consistently to finish 14-6 in dual singles matches.
Sophomore James Malhame (Douglaston, N.Y.) should help solidify the Irish doubles lineup. He went 2-0 in singles and 2-2 in doubles during the ’99 fall season. Freshman Brian Farrell (Lilburn, Ga.), who had a 5-1 singles record during the fall, has proven his ability to play on the collegiate tennis level after winning an ITA Summer Circuit event this past summer at East Tennessee State.
IRISH INK HADDOCK: Luis Haddock, ranked 20th by the United States Tennis Association among 18-and-under boys, has signed a national letter of intent to attend Notre Dame in the fall of 2000. The Caguas, Puerto Rico, native also was ranked third in the country last year in doubles. Haddock looks to become the second men’s tennis monogram winner to come to Notre Dame from Puerto Rico. Pedro Rossell?, the current governor of Puerto Rico, played for the Irish from 1963-66, captaining the ’66 team that finished 15-0. Haddock is a senior at Colegio Cat?lico Notre Dame, where he is ranked first in his class with a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average.
1999 FALL REVIEW: As the top combined women’s and men’s tennis programs in the Midwest, Notre Dame was selected to play in the inaugural WingspanBank.com/WORLD TEAM TENNIS National Collegiate Championships held Oct. 1-3, at Stanford. The event, sponsored by Billie Jean King’s WORLD TEAM TENNIS organization, featured sets of men’s and women’s singles and doubles and mixed doubles. The Irish team of Trent Miller, Ryan Sachire, Michelle Dasso and Kelly Zalinski finished sixth out of the 16 invited teams. Notre Dame opened with a 30-12 win over Illinois before falling 26-24 to South Carolina. The Irish beat Tennessee 29-19 in the consolation round before losing 28-20 to third-seeded Mississippi.
The Irish wrapped up the fall season with strong showings in a number of fall events. Notre Dame’s top seven players finished with a 23-13 singles record against regional opponents, while five different players beat opponents ranked in the preseason Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings. Notre Dame combined for a 7-6 singles record against ranked players. The Irish fall season culminated in one of their best all-around showings at the ITA Region IV Singles Championships.
Notre Dame was one of only four schools — with Michigan, Michigan State and Minnesota joining the Irish — to have more than one player advance to the round of 16 and the only school to have three players reach the fourth round. Ryan Sachire and Javier Taborga, who beat three seeded players in his four wins, each won in the fourth round to set up an all-Irish quarterfinal, as Notre Dame was the only school with more than one quarterfinalist.
While Notre Dame’s depth was evident at the ITA Region IV Singles Championships, the Irish also demonstrated the strength of their singles lineup during a pair of fall dual matches, both played without the services of Sachire, who was competing in national tournaments. Led by Casey Smith at No. 1 singles, the Irish rolled to a 6-1 win over Oklahoma. In its second dual match, Notre Dame led 3-2 before USC won a pair of three setters for a 4-3 win. Matt Daly put the Irish ahead 3-2 with win over 34th-ranked Patrick Gottesleben 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 at No. 1 singles. The Trojans won the doubles point on the strength of a pair of 9-8 wins. Despite playing without Sachire, Notre Dame’s depth enabled the Irish to win at Nos. 5 and 6 singles with Andrew Laflin and Aaron Talarico.
Individually for the Irish, Sachire reach the semifinals of the T. Rowe Price National Clay Court Championship and the ITA Region IV Singles Championships as the top seed. Smith posted wins over Illinois’ 84th-ranked Jeff Laski and beat eventual ITA Region IV Singles Championships finalist Brad Erickson of Northwestern at the Tom Fallon Invitational. Taborga, who played just four dual matches at No. 6 singles last year, beat Indiana’s Ian Aarons and Minnesota’s Tyson Parry at the ITA Region IV Singles Championships after narrowly losing 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to USC’s Ryan Moore at No. 3 singles. Laflin posted wins over Wisconsin’s Danny Westerman and USC’s Nick Rainey. Talarico went 8-2 with a straight set win against USC.
Release: Dec. 7, 1999
* indicates Notre Dame opponents
Other Notre Dame opponents
|Matt Daly (Jr.)||Andrew Laflin (So.)|
|Trent Miller (Sr.)||Ryan Sachire (Sr.)|
|Casey Smith (So.)||Javier Taborga (So.)|
Monogram Winners Ret./Lost
1999 BIG EAST Championship
Notre Dame 4, Rutgers 0
Notre Dame 4, Boston College 0
Notre Dame 4, Miami 3
1999 NCAA Championship
0-1, first round
Harvard 4, Notre Dame 2