April 4, 2004
BLACKSBURG, Va. – A three-set victory at No. 6 singles and a pair of extremely close doubles matches keyed #50 Virginia Tech’s 4-3 upset of 26th-ranked Notre Dame (12-8, 1-2) in men’s tennis action Sunday at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center. The Hokies (13-8, 2-0) won their eighth consecutive match in a contest that will have major implications in seeding for the BIG EAST Championship, slated for April 29-May 1 in Coral Gables, Fla.
Virginia Tech held a 3-2 lead with the final two matches in third sets. The Irish got a 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 victory from freshman Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) over Egyptian Adel Abbas at No. 5 to improve to 5-1 in three-set decisions. Angel Diankov then delivered the Hokies first win over Notre Dame since 1977 by topping freshman Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 at No. 6.
The doubles point proved to be decisive, as Virginia Tech pulled out victories at the bottom two positions to claim it. Irish senior tri-captains Luis Haddock (Caguas, P.R./Notre Dame H.S.) and Matthew Scott (Oakton, Va./International School of Paris), in their debut at No. 1, put Notre Dame in position to take the match’s initial point by beating Stephane Rod and Soren Spanner 8-2. The Irish duo improved to 13-2 this season, including 10-2 in dual matches. They have an 18-4 career record as a team.
Abbas and Andreas Laulund of Denmark broke serve late to grab a 9-7 win over Keckley and junior tri-captain Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]) at No. 2. Diankov and Brent Wilkins then topped sophomore Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) and freshman Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (7-5), at No. 3 to clinch the doubles point for Tech.
Notre Dame got wins at the top two spots in singles, highlighted by an upset by 80th-ranked Haddock at No. 1. He posted a 6-3, 6-4 win over #57 Laulund for his third upset of a top-60 player in the last three weeks. He defeated #51 Greg Shearer of Fresno State and #13 Romain Ambert of Mississippi State in the Blue/Gray National Classic last month. Haddock has won six of his last seven matches and is 18-10 this season, including 10-5 in dual matches. Scott beat Spanner 6-2, 6-0 at No. 2 to move to 19-12 on the season.
The Hokies won straight-setters in the other two singles contests, in which the Irish made a lineup switch with D’Amico and Bass flopping spots. Arvid Puranen of Sweden beat Bass 7-5, 7-5 at No. 3, while Rod downed D’Amico 6-3, 6-1 at the lower position.
Notre Dame has just one match left prior to the BIG EAST tournament. The Irish will travel to #29 Florida State on Monday, April 12 for a 2 p.m. (EDT) contest.
#50 Virginia Tech 4, #26 Notre Dame 3
No. 1: #80 Luis Haddock (ND) d. #57 Andreas Laulund (VT) 6-3, 6-4
No. 2: Matthew Scott (ND) d. Soren Spanner (VT) 6-2, 6-0
No. 3: Arvid Puranen (VT) d. Stephen Bass (ND) 7-5, 7-5
No. 4: Stephane Rod (VT) d. Brent D’Amico (ND) 6-3, 6-1
No. 5: Barry King (ND) d. Adel Abbas (VT) 6-4, 6-7, 6-4
No. 6: Angel Diankov (VT) d. Ryan Keckley (ND) 6-3, 4-6, 6-0
No. 1: Haddock/Scott (ND) d. Rod/Spanner (VT) 8-2
No. 2: Abbas/Laulund (VT) d. D’Amico/Keckley (ND) 9-7
No. 3: Diankov/Brent Wilkins (VT) d. S. Bass/Eric Langenkamp (ND) 9-8 (9-7)