Feb. 16, 2002
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The seventh-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team gained a 6-1 win over #64 Wisconsin Saturday afternoon in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Irish won the doubles point and five of six singles matches to down the Badgers for the 11th straight time and improve to 8-3 on the season. Notre Dame will play again Sunday against 53rd-ranked Purdue at 1:00 p.m. in the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
Notre Dame swept the three doubles matches to take a 1-0 advantage. Senior Aaron Talarico (Laguna Beach, Calif.) and freshman Brent D’Amico (Centennial, Colo.) won their fourth straight match, notching an 8-3 victory at No. 3. Senior Ashok Raju (Morgantown, W. Va.) and freshman Paul McNaughton (Hinsdale, Ill.) then clinched the doubles point with an 8-5 win at No. 2. Seniors Casey Smith (Leawood, Kan.) and Javier Taborga (La Paz, Bolivia), ranked sixth nationally, completed the sweep with a 9-7 triumph over the 56th-ranked team of Scott Green and Scott Rutherford at No. 1.
The Irish won five singles matches to secure the victory. Junior Brian Farrell (Lilburn, Ga.) was the first to turn in a singles triumph, gaining a 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 6. The Badgers struck back when Rutherford finished a 6-2, 6-4 victory at No. 2, but the Irish won each of the other four matches. Taborga registered another straight-set upset victory by knocking off 37th-ranked Danny Westerman 6-1, 6-4 at No. 1. Sophomore Luis Haddock-Morales (Caguas, Puerto Rico) clinched the match for Notre Dame when he won 6-1, 6-4 at No. 4. After the outcome was decided, Talarico won 6-3, 6-3 at No. 3 and sophomore Matthew Scott (Paris, France) won 6-3, 6-7 (1-7), 1-0 (10-1) at No. 5.
The win for Taborga improved his record to 7-1 at No. 1 singles and helped his bid to make a big jump from his No. 95 position in the national singles rankings when they are released again next Wednesday. He is 9-2 in dual-match play and 16-7 overall, including victories over defending NCAA singles and doubles champion Matias Boeker of Georgia (No. 1 in preseason singles rankings), #20 Jeremy Wurtzman of Ohio State, #21 Alex Hartman of Mississippi, #24 Michael Yani of Duke, #37 Westerman, #74 Jonathan Endrikat of UC-Irvine, #99 Ben Cox of Michigan and then-#97 Prakash Armitraj of USC — with all eight wins coming in straight sets. He has won 13 of his last 16 singles matches and all three of his losses in that span were to ranked players (#2 Harsh Mankad of Minnesota, #7 Al Garland of Pepperdine and #78 Aleksey Zharinov of Minnesota). Out of his seven losses this season, five came to nationally-ranked players and three were in match tiebreakers.
Scott is now 19-2 in singles this season, including 11-0 in dual matches. He has won 17 of his last 18 matches. Haddock-Morales is 17-4 in 2001-02 singles action.
#7 Notre Dame 6, #64 Wisconsin 1
No. 1: #95 Javier Taborga (ND) d. #37 Danny Westerman (W) 6-1, 6-4
No. 2: Scott Rutherford (W) d. #88 Casey Smith (ND) 6-2, 6-4
No. 3: Aaron Talarico (ND) d. Jason Gonzaga (W) 6-3, 6-3
No. 4: #83 Luis Haddock-Morales (ND) d. David Hippee (W) 6-1, 6-4
No. 5: Matthew Scott (ND) d. Alexander Kasarov (W) 6-3, 6-7 (1-7), 1-0 (10-1)
No. 6: Brian Farrell (ND) d. Scott Green (W) 6-1, 6-1
No. 1: #6 Smith/Taborga (ND) d. #56 Green/Rutherford (W) 9-7
No. 2: Paul McNaughton/Ashok Raju (ND) d. Gonzaga/Westerman (W) 8-5
No. 3: Brent D’Amico/Talarico (ND) d. Hippee/Kasarov (W) 8-3