Aug. 26, 2002
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team will participate in four fall tournaments before facing a challenging spring dual-match schedule featuring 13 of 17 matches against teams that competed in the 2002 NCAA Tournament.
The Irish open the season Sept. 12-15 at the William & Mary Invitational before playing host to the 16th annual Tom Fallon Invitational at the Courtney Tennis Center Sept. 19-22. After traveling to the Harvard Invitational a week later, Notre Dame will take nearly a month off before the Omni Hotels Region IV Championships in Madison, Wis. Some individuals also may qualify for the Omni Hotels National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in November.
In spring action, Notre Dame will have 10 home matches, highlighted by visits from Minnesota (March 22), Duke (Feb. 9) and Illinois (Jan. 29), which finished last season ranked fourth in the nation after downing the Irish in the NCAA Round of 16. Notre Dame will open the spring with a trip to Las Vegas for the elite National Collegiate Tennis Classic before beginning dual-match play on Jan. 24 at home against Indiana. Two days later, the Irish will hit the road to face Ohio State, ranked No. 21 at the end of 2002.
The final two months of the regular season figure to be a difficult stretch with Notre Dame taking on ’02 NCAA participants in 10 consecutive matches to head into the postseason (highlighted by an April 11 trip to face NCAA quarterfinalist Kentucky), while also heading to the prestigious Blue/Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala. for the 14th straight season. The Irish have reached the final of the Blue/Gray Classic four times in the last six seasons, including winning the title in 2001 and falling to Illinois in last year?s final.
The Irish will attempt to defend their title at the 2003 BIG EAST Championship in Coral Gables, Fla. from April 25-27 and hope to gain a 13th consecutive berth in the NCAA Championships, set to begin May 9-11 at campus sites and finish in Athens, Ga. from May 17-25.
In 2001-02, Notre Dame finished 23-7 and advanced to the round of 16 of the NCAA Championships for the first time since 1994.