March 29, 2000
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The 30th-ranked Notre Dame men’s tennis team returns to action against 10th-ranked Texas on Sat., April 1 for a 1:00 p.m. match. The Irish look to return to their winning ways after losing to 28th-ranked North Carolina and fifth-ranked Duke last weekend in a pair of road matches.
THIS WEEK FOR THE IRISH: The Irish head to Austin, Texas, to play the 14-2 and 10th-ranked Longhorns, who enter the match on an eight-match winning streak. Sophomore Brandon Hawk, ranked 68th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings and 416 in the world tennis rankings, leads the Longhorns at No. 1 singles. Senior Michael Blue is ranked 25th and senior Nick Crowell is 59th. Together they are ranked second in the country in doubles.
The Irish and Longhorns have played times previously with Texas winning seven of the nine. The Longhorns have won the last seven meetings, including the last four and five of the last six by 4-3 scores.
LAST WEEK: Notre Dame traveled to North Carolina to play the 28th-ranked Tar Heels and fifth-ranked Duke. Against North Carolina, the Irish won the doubles point but lost four singles matches to lose 4-3 on Saturday. Senior Ryan Sachire and junior Matt Daly won in three sets for the two singles wins for the Irish. The 37th-ranked doubles team of Irish sophomores Javier Taborga and Aaron Talarico beat Ben Elix and Tripp Phillips 8-5 at No. 1 doubles. Senior Trent Miller and Sachire defeated Tyne Brownlow and David Cheatwood 8-2 at No. 2 doubles to give the Irish a 1-0 lead heading into singles. The Tar Heels rallied for the victory with straight sets singles wins at Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 6 singles, including a pair of 7-6, 7-6 matches at Nos. 4 and 5 singles. Sachire and Daly both rallied to win after dropping the first set in their matches. The 10th-ranked Sachire beat 47th-ranked Phillips 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 at No. 1 singles, while Daly won 2-6, 6-0, 6-0 over David Cheatwood at No. 3 singles.
The Irish lost the doubles point and won just one singles match in losing 6-1 to fifth-ranked Duke on Sunda. Sachire beat Doug Root 6-3, 6-4 at No. 1 singles for the only Irish victory. After winning the doubles point, the Blue Devils won five singles matches at Nos. 2-6 in straight sets for their six points.
SACHIRE CONTINUES STREAK: Senior captain and All-American Ryan Sachire stands 13th in the latest ITA singles rankings with a 24-9 record. He leads the team in dual matches with an 11-4 record at No. 1 singles and has won 34 of his last 41 dual singles matches at No. 1 singles. His career record stands at 132-42, while his record in dual singles matches is 71-18. He has a 7-0 record in three-set matches this year.
TABORGA, TALARICO CLIMB THE RANKINGS: Sophomores Javier Taborga and Aaron Talarico have risen to a career-high ranking of 29th, according to the latest ITA rankings. Among their 15 wins are seven victories over ranked opponents against just one loss. The pair has a 9-3 mark at No. 1 doubles in 2000 and an overall record of 15-6. Their highest ranked win of the season came against Illinois’ ninth-ranked Jeff Laski and Jamal Parker. The two sophomores are third-youngest of the top 30 teams in the rankings, with USC’s sixth-ranked sophomores Ryan Moore and Nic Rainey — 9-8 (12-10) winners over Taborga and Talarico in the fall — and Georgia’s 20th-ranked freshman Matias Boeker and sophomores Travis Parrott as the two teams of only freshmen and sophomores ranked ahead of them. Taborga and Talarico played just six matches together as freshmen and went 3-3. They beat Baylor’s David Hodge and Johan Jooste — ranked 11th at the time — in their first match together last season.
LAFLIN CLINCHES WINS: Sophomore Andrew Laflin has won the clinching singles matches in five of Notre Dame’s nine wins during the spring season, including decisive matches against Purdue and Northwestern in one weekend. Most recently he helped the Irish beat UAB 5-2 with his 1-6, 7-6 (7-4), 1-0 (11-9) after trailing 2-5 in the second and 3-8 in the match tiebreaker. He also won decisive matches in the 4-3 win over Ohio State and against Michigan State. His record of 16-11 includes wins in the fall over USC’s Nicholas Rainey and Wisconsin’s Danny Westerman and Scott Rutherford.
MILLER AND SACHIRE AT NO. 2: With a sophomore team anchoring the top position in doubles, head coach Bob Bayliss has counted on the senior team of Trent Miller and Ryan Sachire at No. 2 doubles. The pair — after a 14-6 record at No. 2 doubles as freshmen — enter the Texas match with nine wins in the last 12 matches. They have won their last four matches at No. 2 doubles to improve their record to 11-8 overall and 10-5 in dual matches. Miller and Sachire posted wins over Virginia’s 46th-ranked Corker and Winter and Illinois’ 12th-ranked Laski and Parker in their recent winning streak at No. 2 doubles.
FARRELL FILLS IN: Freshman Brian Farrell, after a 5-1 record in the fall, has subbed in and out of the dual-match singles lineup in 2000 and compiled a 6-3 record at No. 6 singles. In his second appearance with the Irish leading 18th-ranked Kentucky 3-0 but with the three other singles matches to be decided in third sets, Farrell abruptly ended any suspense about the outcome of the match with a 6-2, 7-6 win over Reven Stephens at No. 6 singles. In Notre Dame’s win over 26th-ranked Virginia, Farrell — in his first action in 18 days — won the clinching match in the 4-2 victory when he defeated Robert Abendroth 6-3, 6-4. His record in tiebreaker stands at a team-leading 7-0 in the 15 matches he has played.
ITA RANKINGS: The Irish stand 30th among the 75 teams ranked by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association after finishing 1999 ranked 31st. Senior All-American Ryan Sachire is ranked 13th in singles. Sophomores Javier Taborga and Aaron Talarico are ranked 29th in doubles.
MALHAME JOINS CLASSMATES: James Malhame has joined his fellow classmates in taking his place in Notre Dame’s sophomore-dominated lineup. He has played at No. 3 doubles in 13 of the team’s 16 dual matches in 2000 with both Casey Smith and Ashok Raju. Malhame and Smith have a 7-5 record in 2000 — highlighted by an 8-5 win over Edo Bawono and Johan Grunditz to clinch the doubles point against Kentucky. The pair went 3-0 at the Blue-Gray National Classic, helping the Irish win the doubles point against Virginia, Illinois and UAB. Malhame and Raju have played once in 2000, losing a tiebreaker against Purdue.
2000 IRISH SLATE: After matches against 14 ranked teams thus far in the season, the Irish are scheduled to meet at least three more ranked teams, including Saturday’s match at 10th-ranked Texas. Notre Dame finished tied for fifth its 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 240-110 (.686) record at Notre Dame and a career mark of 522-203 (.720), the fifth-best winning percentage among active men’s coaches. Bayliss became the 11th active men’s tennis coach to record 500 career wins 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.
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.