Jan. 27, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The 22nd-ranked Notre Dame men’s tennis team travels to 40th-ranked Indiana on Sat., Jan. 29 for a 1:00 p.m. match before returning to play 56th-ranked Michigan State on Tues., Feb. 1 in its home opener. The Irish opened the season with a loss to Washington and a win over New Mexico.
THIS WEEK FOR THE IRISH: Notre Dame and Indiana will meet for the 60th time on Saturday in a series the Irish lead 35-24. The Hoosiers will be playing their first dual match of 2000 and will be led by junior Milan Rakvica, who is ranked 84th in singles and 47th in doubles with sophomore Rahman Smiley. The Irish return home to welcome 56th-ranked Michigan State to the Eck Tennis Pavilion on Tues., Feb. 1, at 3:15 p.m. The Spartans also split a pair of dual matches last weekend, losing 4-3 to Western Michigan and blanking Dayton 7-0. Francisco Trinidad is ranked 74th in singles for Michigan State.
WASHINGTON, NEW MEXICO RECAP: Notre Dame opened the 2000 dual-match season by splitting a pair of dual matches at the Ice Volleys Showcase in Minneapolis. The Irish opened with a 5-2 loss to 26th-ranked Washington on Fri., Jan. 21. Notre Dame dropped the doubles point and four of six singles matches in the loss. Ryan Sachire (Canfield, Ohio) and Aaron Talarico (Laguna Beach, Calif.) posted three-set wins for the Irish. The 14th-ranked Sachire beat 65th-ranked Matt Hanlin at No. 1 singles, while Talarico rallied to beat Ari Strasberg at No. 5 singles.
Notre Dame picked up its first win by defeating 31st-ranked New Mexico 5-2 on Sat., Jan. 22. The Irish swept the doubles and then won four of six singles matches. Notre Dame swept through the middle of the singles lineup as Matt Daly (Wellesley, Mass.), Casey Smith (Leawood, Kan.), Javier Taborga (La Paz, Bolivia) and Talarico each won at Nos. 2-5 in singles.
TALARICO OFF TO FAST START: Sophomore Aaron Talarico began the 2000 season with a pair of wins at No. 5 singles. He saved match points in his 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 win over Washington’s Ari Strasberg and then downed New Mexico’s Andrew Irving 6-2, 6-2. His singles record stands at 9-2 after his 7-2 mark during the fall. He also teamed with sophomore Javier Taborga for a 7-4 doubles record and a national ranking of 48. They posted an 8-5 win over New Mexico’s 14th-ranked Amgwerd and Dubey on Saturday. Of their four losses, two have come in tiebreakers including a 12-10 tiebreaker loss to USC’s Moore and Rainey. Taborga and Talarico played just six matches together as freshman and went 3-3, with their first match a win over Baylor’s Hodge and Jooste.
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 and junior Matt Daly enter the season ranked 14th and 65th in singles. Sophomores Javier Taborga and Aaron Talarico are ranked 48th in doubles.
IRISH IN REGIONAL RANKINGS: Notre Dame leads all Region IV schools with the five players among the 30 ranked in the ITA Region IV rankings. In addition to second-ranked Ryan Sachire and 17th-ranked Matt Daly, Javier Taborga stands 13th on the strength of his quarterfinal finish at the ITA Midwest Region Singles Championships. Sophomores Casey Smith (17th) and Andrew Laflin (Tampa, Fla.) (26th) round out the five Irish players with regional singles rankings. Senior Trent Miller (San Diego, Fla.) and Sachire are 12th in the regional doubles rankings, while Taborga and Talarico are 13th.
SACHIRE IN NATIONAL INDOOR FIELD: Senior Ryan Sachire has been selected as one of 32 singles participants for the 2000 Rolex National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships and will make his fourth appearance at the third leg of the ITA Grand Slam at the Brookhaven Country Club in Dallas, Feb. 3-6. Sachire won the consolation singles draw last year and dropped three-set, first-round matches to UCLA’s Kevin Kim in 1997 and Vince Allegre in 1998 in his previous appearances. The Irish captain reached the semifinals of the T. Rowe Price National Clay Court Championships in September and lost in the second round of the ITA All-American Championships in October in his two previous grand slam results this season.
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 232-104 (.690) record at Notre Dame and a career mark of 514-197 (.723), 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.
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.
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.