April 6, 2003
DALLAS, Texas – Both Luis Haddock (Caguas, P.R./Notre Dame H.S.) and Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School) upset players ranked among the top 60 in the nation, but #49 Southern Methodist got a pair of three-set wins to edge the 55th-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team 4-3 Sunday afternoon in the Haggar Tennis Stadium. The teams split the six singles matches — including four decided in three sets and two in third-set tiebreakers — but the Mustangs (10-7) won the doubles point to deal the Irish (6-11) their fifth 4-3 defeat of the season. Notre Dame will return to action on Wednesday, playing host to #61 Ball State at 3:30 p.m. (EST) in the penultimate home match of the spring for the Irish.
The outcome of the match was decided by four high-pressure third sets, culminating in final-set tiebreakers at each of the top two positions with SMU leading 3-2. Haddock, ranked 122nd, came through at No. 1 by topping #55 Johan Brunstrom, but #87 Lukasz Senczyszyn defeated Irish junior tri-captain Matthew Scott (Oakton, Va./International School of Paris) at No. 2 to clinch the Mustang victory.
Haddock’s 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 win was his sixth this season over a ranked player — including five over foes in the top 75 — and his third in the last four matches. It was the third time this season he was in a tight third set with the match on the line and the second time he won a final-set tiebreaker in that situation. Against Michigan State’s Andy Formanczyk, Haddock prevailed 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-2) with the match tied 3-3, but the Irish tri-captain fell 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (3-7), 7-5 three days later to Tommy Hanus in a 4-3 loss to Northwestern.
Scott, who had won seven of nine heading into Sunday, fell 6-3, 4-6, 7-6. His only two three-setters this spring have both been losses in 4-3 Irish defeats. Tulsa’s Alejandro Tejerina beat Scott 6-1, 6-7 (6-8), 6-0 in the opening round of the Blue/Gray National Tennis Classic.
D’Amico turned in the only straight-set victory for the Irish, knocking off No. 52 Gwinyai Chingoka 6-4, 6-2 at No. 3. Chingoka is the highest-ranked player the Irish sophomore has ever beaten. After playing in just four dual matches a year ago, going 1-3 at No. 6, D’Amico is 10-6 this spring, playing at Nos. 2 and 3.
Notre Dame junior Nicolas Lopez-Acevedo (Guaynabo, P.R./Colegio Marista) evened the score at 2-2 with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Henrik Soderberg at No. 5, snapping a three-match losing streak. Sunday was the fourth time this spring Lopez-Acevedo was in a third set in a match that would eventually turn out to be a 4-3 decision. The transfer from Bowling Green State previously beat Purdue’s David Robinson and Michigan State’s Jimmy McGuire to help the Irish to one-point wins, but fell to Ahmed Wahla in the loss to Northwestern.
SMU’s Alexis Rudzinski put the Mustangs within a point of victory with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory against Notre Dame senior Brian Farrell (Lilburn, Ga./St. Pius X H.S.) at No. 4. The Irish tri-captain also has had much experience playing decisive sets in close matches. With the match tied 3-3, he fell to Indiana’s Zach Held in the season opener before losing 7-5 in the third set to Jonathan Stokke, clinching Duke’s 4-2 victory.
Peter Oredsson gave SMU a straight-set win at No. 6, defeating Irish freshman Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.) 6-2, 6-4. Buchanan missed last Sunday’s match vs. Miami due to an injured wrist.
The Mustangs won the doubles point, despite an Irish upset at the top position. Scott and D’Amico registered a 9-8 victory over the No. 51 team in college tennis, Brunstrom and Soderberg. It was the second career victory for D’Amico and Scott over a ranked team after defeating No. 55 Ryan Livesay/Dustin Taylor of Tulsa in the Blue/Gray Classic. The win snapped a three-match skid for the Irish pair.
SMU took the first two doubles matches off the court to take a 1-0 lead. At No. 2, Eric Cohn and Ryan Mauck won 8-6 after Chingoka and Senczyszyn were victorious 8-4 at No. 3.
The match was the seventh for the Irish this season decided by a 4-3 score, with Notre Dame winning just two of them. The Irish have now dropped one-point decisions to #28 Indiana, #37 Florida State, #47 Northwestern, #49 SMU, and #56 Tulsa. Notre Dame has won just one of six matches coming down to the final remaining match with the score tied 3-3.
#49 SMU 4, #55 Notre Dame 3
No. 1: #122 Luis Haddock (ND) d. #55 Johan Brunstrom (SMU) 3-6, 6-4, 7-6
No. 2: #87 Lukasz Senczyszyn (SMU) d. Matthew Scott (ND) 6-3, 4-6, 7-6
No. 3: Brent D’Amico (ND) d. #52 Gwinyai Chingoka (SMU) 6-4, 6-2
No. 4: Alexis Rudzinski (SMU) d. Brian Farrell (ND) 1-6, 6-3, 6-3
No. 5: Nicolas Lopez-Acevedo (ND) d. Henrik Soderberg (SMU) 2-6, 6-3, 6-1
No. 6: Peter Oredsson (SMU) d. Patrick Buchanan (ND) 6-2, 6-4
No. 1: D’Amico/Scott (ND) d. #51 Brunstrom/Soderberg (SMU) 9-8
No. 2: Eric Cohn/Ryan Mauck (SMU) d. Farrell/Haddock (ND) 8-6
No. 3: Chingoka/Senczyszyn (SMU) d. Ben Hatten/Paul McNaughton (ND) 8-4