February 8, 1999

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 24th-ranked Notre Dame men’s tennis team lost its first dual match of the season on Jan. 30, when seventh-ranked Texas edged the Irish 4-3. Notre Dame returns to the court when it travels to 26th-ranked Kentucky on Tues., Feb. 9, before returning home to face 10th-ranked Duke on Sat., Feb. 13, at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.

THIS WEEK FOR THE IRISH: The Irish hit the road for their second road dual match of the season as they travel to Lexington, Ky., to face 26th-ranked Kentucky this week on Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. The Wildcats are 2-0 with wins over Bowling Green and Miami (Ohio) and led by 27th-ranked junior Carlos Drada. Notre Dame leads the all-time series with Kentucky by a 10-8-1 margin but has lost three straight matches to the Wildcats. The Irish have never won in Lexington under current head coach Bob Bayliss, losing 6-1 in 1997 and 4-3 in both 1995 and 1993.

The Irish return home to face 10th-ranked Duke on Sat., Feb. 13, at 9:00 a.m. The Blue Devils will play their first dual match of the season on Wed., Feb. 10 against Furman before traveling to Notre Dame. The Irish trail Duke 4-8 in the all-time series but beat the 13th-ranked Blue Devils 4-3 a year ago and won 4-3 over the eighth-ranked Blue Devils at Notre Dame in 1997. Sophomore Ramsey Smith is ranked 26th, while junior Doug Root is 49th. Root and senior Jordan Wile are ranked 17th in doubles, while Smith and sophomore Andres Pedroso are ranked 31st.

BAYLISS APPROACHES 500TH WIN: Irish head coach Bob Bayliss enters the week with 499 wins in his 30th year as a head coach, just one away from his landmark 500th career win. Bayliss is in his 12th year as head coach of the Irish, compiling a 217-96 (.693) record at Notre Dame and a career mark of 499-190 (.724), the sixth best winning percentage among active coaches. He has guided the Irish to NCAA championship appearances in each of the last eight 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 five-time conference coach of year has coached his players to 12 All-America honors in his 11 years at Notre Dame, with junior Ryan Sachire his latest All-American.

WISCONSIN, TEXAS REVIEW: The Irish swept the doubles and used straight set wins from the top half of its singles lineup to beat Wisconsin for the eighth straight time with a 5-2 win over the 63rd-ranked Badgers. Third-ranked Irish junior Ryan Sachire (Canfield, Ohio) won the battle of top-five nationally-ranked singles players with a 6-1, 6-4 win over fourth-ranked Badger senior Mark Loughrin at No. 1 singles. Brian Patterson (Falmouth, Maine) downed Stefan Reist 6-2, 6-4 at No. 2 singles and Matt Daly (Wellesley, Mass.) beat David Chang 6-4, 6-4 at No. 3 singles for Notre Dame. Irish freshman Andrew Laflin (Tampa, Fla.) remained perfect at No 6 singles in 1999, rolling past Bobby Croll 6-1, 6-1. Notre Dame opened the match by winning the doubles point with a sweep of the three matches. Patterson and Sachire downed Loughrin and Schumacher 8-5 at No. 1 singles, and Daly and Smith won 8-6 over Baker and Westerman at No. 3 singles. Irish juniors Matt Horsley (Lisle, Ill.) and Trent Miller (San Diego, Calif.) beat Chang and Reist 8-5 at No. 2 doubles.

Notre Dame rallied from a 3-1 deficit before Texas freshman and 31st-ranked Brandon Hawk held on for a 7-6 (9-7) 1-6, 6-3 win over Patterson at No. 2 singles as the seventh-ranked Longhorns edged the Irish 4-3 for the fourth straight year. Texas won the doubles point and two of the first three singles before Irish freshmen Casey Smith (Leawood, Kan.) and Laflin each won tight, straight-set matches to knot the match at 3-3. The Longhorns rolled through the doubles lineup, beginning with an 8-3 win at No. 2 doubles. Hawk and Nick Crowell clinched the point with an 8-4 win over Patterson and Sachire at No. 1 doubles. Sachire, ranked third in singles, won his second consecutive match against another top-10 opponent, downing Longhorn senior and seventh-ranked Jack Brasington 6-2, 6-4. Texas then used straight set wins from Gwaneal Gueit and Paul Martin at Nos. 4 and 3 singles. Gueit beat Andy Warford (Bismarck, N.D.) 6-4, 6-2, while Martin saved a set point at 5-6 in the set before winning 6-3, 7-6 (7-3). Smith beat Michael Blue 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 at No. 5 singles and Laflin won 7-5, 7-6 (7-1) over Jorge Haro at No. 6 singles to tie the match. Hawk shrugged off a 6-1 loss in the second set, jumping out a 5-0 lead in the third set. Patterson saved two match points, winning three straight games before Hawk held serve at 5-3 for the win.

SACHIRE WINS ROLEX CONSOLATION SINGLES: Ryan Sachire rallied from a first-round loss to win the singles consolation draw at the Rolex National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, the third leg of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association collegiate grand slam. After Virginia Tech’s 23rd-ranked Adam Marchetti bounced the third-seeded Sachire 7-5, 6-3 in the first round, Sachire won four straight matches to win the consolation singles. He beat small college champion Mario Toledo of Georgia Perimeter 6-0, 6-1, Tulsa’s 53rd-ranked Nenad Toroman 6-2, 6-4, sixth-ranked Esteban Carril of TCU 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 and 25th-ranked Daniel Andersson of VCU 6-2, 6-3 in his four consolation matches.

Sachire latest grand slam success comes after he advanced to the final of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Championships Oct. 15-18, 1998, in Austin, Texas, the second of the four ITA collegiate grand slam events, before losing 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) to Harvard’s James Blake, currently the No. 1 player in the country. Sachire became just the second Notre Dame men’s tennis player to reach the final of a collegiate grand slam, joining David DiLucia in 1992. Sachire reached the final by rallying for a 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 6-4 semifinal win over Washington’s unseeded and 21st-ranked Robert Kendrick. The Canfield, Ohio, native and former Canfield High School standout was one of eight seeds in the 64-player draw at the ITA All-American Championships. He reached the quarterfinals of the tournament last year as a sophomore. Sachire finished with a 5-1 record in the tournament and posted straight-set wins over Texas A&M’s Shuon Madden, Northwestern’s 64th-ranked Doug Bohaboy, Miami’s 46th-ranked Ivan Rodrigo and Stanford’s 30th-ranked Alex Kim to reach the semifinals.

FRESHMEN SPARK IRISH: Notre Dame’s class of 2002 has made an impact in the lineup already. Andrew Laflin has won all four dual matches this winter at Nos. 5 and 6 singles with dropping a set. Casey Smith clinched Notre Dame’s win over Miami by beating Amin Nabli 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 at No. 4 singles and beat Texas’ Michael Blue at No. 5 singles. Aaron Talarico played at No. 6 singles against Miami, while Javier Taborga (La Paz, Bolivia) is ready to help the Irish in doubles.

IRISH FACE TOUGH SLATE: The Irish, who finished 18-8 a year ago, will play 12 matches against ranked teams and will face seven ranked teams at home. Of these seven teams, three top 10 teams, Duke, Illinois and Texas, will travel to Notre Dame.

ITA RANKINGS: Notre Dame currently is ranked 24th as a team after a final ranking of 26 with an 18-8 record in 1998. Ryan Sachire is ranked third in the latest rankings, released by the ITA on Dec. 8., the highest ranking for an Irish singles player since David DiLucia finished the 1992 regular season as the No. 1 player in the country. Sachire entered the 1998 fall season ranked No. 8 in the preseason but vaulted five spots based on his fall performance. He teamed with Brian Patterson to form the 28th ranked doubles team in the preseason rankings but the pair played in one fall tournament and slipped out of the rankings.

FALL REVIEW: In addition to reaching the final of the ITA All-American Championships, Ryan Sachire led the team in wins with his 12-3 record, including seven wins over ranked players. Matt Daly was right behind Sachire with 11 wins against just two losses. He went 5-0 at the Thunderbird Invitational at Arizona State in the round robin. His first loss came to teammate Casey Smith 7-5, 6-4 at the Rice Invitational and his second loss came in the third round of the ITA Region IV championship to eventual champion Mark Loughrin of Wisconsin by a 6-1, 7-6 (6) score.

Andrew Laflin finished with a 7-5 record in his first fall season at Notre Dame and qualified for the ITA Region IV championship where he had a first round bye, won his second round match and lost in the third round to Jon Svenson of Minnesota. Smith opened his collegiate tennis career by winning his flight at the Rice Invitational and earned a seed at the ITA Region IV championship. Aaron Talarico lost just once, finishing with a 7-1 record and a five match winning streak at the Thunderbird Invitational. Javier Taborga went 5-3 with two of his three losses coming in three sets.

IRISH SPLIT FALL EXHIBITION MATCHES: The Irish played a pair of exhibition dual matches against Stanford and Baylor at the Eck Tennis Pavilion on the Friday nights prior to football games against the Cardinal and the Bears. Results for these matches did not count on the teams’ records but the individual singles and doubles results are reflected in each players’ record. Notre Dame dropped a tight 5-2 match to defending NCAA champion Stanford on Oct. 2, as the Cardinal won two of three doubles matches to claim the doubles point and then won two three-set matches for a 5-2 win over the Irish.

In the No. 1 singles match, Ryan Sachire, then ranked eighth in the preseason rankings, defeated sixth-ranked Stanford senior Ryan Wolters 6-2, 6-1. The Cardinal’s Geoff Abrams and Alex Kim then won in straight sets at Nos. 2 and 3 singles to take a 3-1 lead. Stanford freshman K.J. Hippensteel clinched the match for the Cardinal by winning a tight, three-set match 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 over Casey Smith at No. 4 singles. Matt Daly won Notre Dame’s second singles match when Stanford’s Scotty Scott was forced to retire in the second set due to cramps at No. 5 singles. Ali Ansari closed out the match with a three-set win over Irish freshman Andrew Laflin at No. 6 singles.

In doubles, Wolters and Hippensteel teamed up to beat Brian Patterson and Sachire at No. 1, while Abrams and Kim beat Daly and Smith at No. 2 doubles to clinch the doubles point for the Cardinal. Andy Warford and Aaron Talarico won at No. 3 doubles over Ansari and Scott.

Against Baylor on Oct. 30, Daly won a tight 6-3, 7-5 match at No. 5 singles over Baylor’s Johannes Michalsky to clinch a 4-3 victory for the Irish. Notre Dame won the doubles point and the first two singles matches to lead 3-0 before Baylor won three straight to tie the match. Daly trailed 4-5 in the second set as Michalsky served to send the match into a third set. Daly then broke serve to tie the set at 5-5, saved two break points to hold serve for 6-5 and then won the match with another service break.

Sachire beat Johann Jooste 6-2, 6-4 at No. 1 singles, and Laflin won 6-0, 6-4 over Mark Williams at No. 6 singles for the other Irish singles wins, which had put Notre Dame ahead 3-0. Baylor’s comeback began with a 7-5, 6-2 win at No. 3 singles by Jorge Aldrete over Warford. Csongor Bibza then beat Casey Smith 6-3, 6-7, 6-1 at No. 4, and Pawel Gaidzik downed Patterson at No. 2 singles to complete the comeback for the Bears. In the doubles competition, Sachire and Patterson beat Gajdzik and Michalsky 8-3 at No. 1, and Daly and Smith edged Bibza and Jooste 8-5 at No. 2 to clinch the doubles point for Notre Dame. David Hodge and Williams beat Talarico and Warford 8-4 at No. 3 doubles for Baylor.

Ryan Sachire spent the summer of 1998 with the USTA Summer All-American team, traveling the pro circuit. He won a futures tournament in College Station, Texas, and reached the finals of the doubles event at a satellite tournament in Springfield, Mo. Here is where Sachire stands during the dual-match season of his junior year:

3   ITA national ranking39  career dual-match singles wins91  career singles wins717 ATP Tour world ranking

Intercollegiate Tennis Association Rankings

Team        Release: Dec. 8, 1998 (Fall)This     Last   School                  TotalRank     Year1.        1.    Stanford (9)            6002.        3.    Georgia                 5883.        4.    Mississippi State (1)   5764.        6.    Mississippi             566T5.      10.    Illinois *              563T5.       7.    UCLA                    5637.        5.    Texas *                 5628.        9.    Pepperdine              5359.       15.    South Carolina          534T10.     21.    SMU                     523T10.     14.    Duke *                  52312.      19.    Tennessee               50913.      16.    Florida                 50714.      13.    Texas A&M               49115.       8.    USC                     49016.      18.    Harvard                 47717.      27.    Arizona State           46318.      17.    Washington              460T19.     28.    Baylor                  452T19.      2.    LSU                     45221.      22.    Alabama                 43922.      30.    Fresno State            43223.      33.    Minnesota *             42824.      26.    Notre Dame              41625.      11.    California              415
* indicates Notre Dame opponents

Other Notre Dame opponents

26.      25.    Kentucky                40033.      51.    Purdue                  34137.      32.    Northwestern            31143.      20.    Boise State             26053.      31.    Miami (Fla.)            17554.      68.    Michigan State          16159.      55.    Michigan                13263.      59.    Wisconsin               110
Singles Release: Dec. 8, 1998 (Fall)This Last Name SchoolRank Rank1. 4. James Blake Harvard2. 15. Brian Vahaly Virginia3. 8. Ryan Sachire Notre Dame4. 65. Mark Loughrin Wisconsin5. 6. Ryan Wolters Stanford6. 17. Esteban Carril TCU7. 62. Jack Brasington Texas8. 21. Robert Kendrick Washington9. NR Luis Uribe Kansas10. 97. Peter Handoyo Tennessee11. 7. Hisham Hemeda Georgia12. 20. Guillaume Legat South Carolina13. 37. Oliver Freelove Illinois14. 22. Tom Chicoine Minnesota15. 68 Efe Ustundag Rice16. 5. Francisco Rodriguez AlabamaT17. 29. Ignacio Hirigoyen SMUT17. 95. KJ Hippensteel Stanford19. 30. Alex Kim Stanford20. 72. Marco Baron Mississippi St.T21. NR Kelly Gullet PepperdineT21. 51. Alex Waske San Diego State23. 80. Adam Marchetti Virginia Tech24. 49. Myles Clouston Wake Forest25. 3. Daniel Andersson VCU