March 29, 2001
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team, whose number-10 ranking marks the squad’s first entry into the national top 10 since 1993, were upset by #22 Illinois 5-2 Thursday afternoon at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The loss snapped a 10-match winning streak for Notre Dame, its longest since 1990. The Irish won just a pair of singles contests on the afternoon, but lost two tough three-set decisions in dropping to 13-3 on the season. Illinois improves to 11-5. Notre Dame returns to action on Sunday, when it travels to Miami (Fla.) to take on the Hurricanes at 11:00 a.m. The Irish are 9-0 away from home this season.
The Fighting Illini swept all three doubles matches. The team of Amer Delic and Graydon Oliver, ranked seventh in the country, beat Notre Dame’s 20th-ranked doubles team of juniors Javier Taborga and Aaron Talarico 8-3 at No. 1 doubles. Jamal Parker and Philip Stolt clinched the doubles point with a victory over Irish junior Casey Smith and freshman Luis Haddock-Morales 8-3 at No. 2 doubles. The Illini completed the sweep when Michael Calkins and Mike Kosta downed senior Matt Daly and sophomore Brian Farrell 8-4.
Illinois took a 2-0 lead when Delic defeated Haddock-Morales 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3 singles, but the Irish struck back at No. 5 singles, where Farrell defeated Calkins 7-6 (7-5), 6-0. The win was the 10th in a row for Farrell and improved his dual-match record to 13-2 in 2000-01. A pair of three-set matches at the top of the singles lineup proved to be the difference. Stolt, ranked 70th in the country, then earned a hard-fought victory over Taborga, the No. 93 player in college tennis, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. The Illini clinched the match when 20th-ranked Oliver completed a triumph over 91st-ranked Smith 7-5, 0-6, 6-2 at No. 1 singles. Oliver overcame flu-like symptoms he had battled all week to outlast Smith and earn the win for his team. With the outcome decided, Talarico became the second Notre Dame player to walk off the court a winner when he beat Kosta 6-3, 7-5 at No. 4. Talarico has now six straight matches and is 9-1 this season at No. 4 singles. Illinois’ Nathan Zeder beat Daly 7-6 (7-4), 7-5 at No. 6 singles in the final match.
#22 ILLINOIS 5, #10 NOTRE DAME 2
No. 1: #20 Graydon Oliver (UI) def. #91 Casey Smith (ND) 7-5, 0-6, 6-2
No. 2: #70 Philip Stolt (UI) def. #93 Javier Taborga (ND) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
No. 3: Amer Delic (UI) def. Luis Haddock-Morales (ND) 6-3, 6-2
No. 4: Aaron Talarico (ND) def. Mike Kosta (UI) 6-3, 7-5
No. 5: Brian Farrell (ND) def. Michael Calkins (UI) 7-6 (5), 6-0
No. 6: Nathan Zeder (UI) def. Matt Daly (ND) 7-6 (4), 7-5
No. 1: #7 Delic/Oliver (UI) def. #20 Taborga/Talarico (ND) 8-3
No. 2: Parker/Stolt (UI) def. Haddock-Morales/Smith (ND) 8-3
No. 3: Calkins/Kosta (UI) def. Daly/Farrell (ND) 8-4