Jan. 25, 2002
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team rallied from a 3-1 deficit to tie the match before losing 4-3 on the road to Minnesota Friday. Minnesota’s Harsh Mankad, the No. 2 player in the country and a member of India’s Davis Cup team, clinched the win for the Golden Gophers by defeating Irish senior captain Casey Smith (Leawood, Kan.), ranked 88th, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 in the last match on the court. The Irish, ranked seventh in the nation, fall to 2-1 and will be back in action Saturday in Minneapolis against William & Mary at 6:30 p.m.
Notre Dame appeared to be on its way to clinching the doubles point when seniors James Malhame (Douglaston, N.Y.) and Ashok Raju (Morgantown, W. Va.) gained an 8-2 victory at No. 3 doubles. But the Gophers would rally, notching an 8-6 win at No. 2 and then capturing the doubles point when Mankad and Thomas Haug registered a 9-8 (7-4) win over Smith and Javier Taborga (La Paz, Bolivia), the sixth-ranked doubles team in the nation.
Minnesota, ranked 32nd, took a 2-0 lead when 62nd-ranked Haug notched a victory at No. 3 singles. But the Irish got on the board when senior Aaron Talarico (Laguna Beach, Calif.) defeated Chris Wettengel 6-3, 6-2 at No. 4 singles. The Gophers stretched their lead to 3-1 when #78 Aleksey Zharinov got a win at No. 2. But Notre Dame would rally, as sophomore Matthew Scott (Paris, France) gained a 6-4, 6-1 win over Avery Ticer at No. 5 singles. Junior Brian Farrell (Lilburn, Ga.) then knotted the match at 3-3 by defeating Reven Stephens 7-5, 6-3 at No. 6 before Mankad gave Minnesota the win in its season opener.
The bottom half of Notre Dame’s singles lineup continued its dominance. Those three spots are a combined 9-0 this season and have compiled a 62-11 mark over the past two seasons. Irish players in the No. 4 singles position are 24-2 over the past two years.
#32 Minnesota 4, #7 Notre Dame 3
No. 1: #2 Harsh Mankad (M) d. #88 Casey Smith (ND) 7-6 (7-4), 6-4
No. 2: #78 Aleksey Zharinov (M) d. #95 Javier Taborga (ND) 6-4, 6-4
No. 3: #63 Thomas Haug (M) d. #83 Luis Haddock-Morales (ND) 6-4, 6-0
No. 4: Aaron Talarico (ND) d. Chris Wettengel (M) 6-3, 6-2
No. 5: Matthew Scott (ND) d. Avery Ticer (M) 6-4, 6-1
No. 6: Brian Farrell (ND) d. Reven Stephens (M) 7-5, 6-3
No. 1: Haug/Mankad (M) d. #6 Smith/Taborga (ND) 9-8 (7-4)
No. 2: Manuel Lievano/Stephens (M) d. Haddock-Morales/Talarico (ND) 8-6
No. 3: James Malhame/Ashok Raju (ND) d. Ticer/Wettengel (M) 8-2