Sept. 15, 2002
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team continued to post impressive results by going undefeated on the final day of play in the Homewood Suites Fall Tribe Classic on Sunday afternoon. Irish players managed a 28-8 record in singles and doubles action over the weekend in the season-opening tournament. Notre Dame will return to action Thursday through Sunday when it welcomes a number of top teams to the Courtney Tennis Center for the 16th annual Tom Fallon Invitational, the only home event on the fall portion of the Irish schedule.
“I was pleased with our competitiveness this weekend,” said Irish head coach Bob Bayliss. “We still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do, but I was very happy with the effort. I thought we competed well.”
Six players won singles matches on Sunday for Notre Dame, highlighted by junior tri-captain Luis Haddock’s (Caguas, Puerto Rico) 5-7, 6-4, 1-0 (10-1) upset victory over 51st-ranked Aleksey Zharinov of Minnesota. Last spring, Zharinov helped the Gophers defeat Notre Dame in dual-match action with a straight-set victory over two-time All-American Javier Taborga at No. 2 singles. The win matched the highest-ranked player Haddock has defeated in his career. As a freshman, he downed then-#51 Tvrtko Kujundzic of Louisville in the round of 16 of the 2000 Rolex Region IV Championships.
Fellow junior tri-captain Matthew Scott (Oakton, Va.), ranked 85th in the nation in singles, downed Minnesota’s Chris Wettengel 6-4, 6-2, while junior Nicolas Lopez-Acevedo (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) and sophomore Paul McNaughton (Hinsdale, Ill.) both dropped opening sets by 6-1 scores before rallying to win in match tiebreakers over the Gophers’ Avery Ticer and Clay Estes. Freshman Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y.) downed Virginia’s Dillon Walker 6-3, 6-2, while classmate Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif.) completed Notre Dame’s perfect day with a 6-3, 6-2 win against Nate McLain of Minnesota.
The first event of the 2002-03 season was the scene of a number of breakthrough performances by young Irish players. Buchanan won all five matches in his first collegiate tournament, while Langenkamp had similar success in his first action with Notre Dame, posting a 4-1 mark. Haddock registered a 6-1 record, while sophomore Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo.) won five of his six contests. Senior Jake Cram (Littleton, Colo.) was 3-0 in doubles over the weekend, while McNaughton and Scott were 5-2 playing both singles and doubles. Lopez-Acevedo won four of six matches in his first tournament in an Irish uniform. Over the summer, he transferred from Bowling Green State University to Notre Dame for his final season of eligibility after the former discontinued its men’s tennis program.
Next weekend’s Tom Fallon Invitational will get underway Thursday afternoon at the Courtney Tennis Center. The Tom Fallon Invitational, known as the Irish Invitational until the name was changed in 1988, honors Notre Dame coaching legend Tom Fallon, who coached the Irish for 31 years from 1957-87. Fallon, a member of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame, amassed a career record of 511-200 and helped Notre Dame to a share of the 1959 national title.
Homewood Suites Fall Tribe Classic
Luis Haddock (ND) d. #51 Aleksey Zharinov (Minnesota) 5-7, 6-4, 1-0 (10-1)
#85 Matthew Scott (ND) d. Chris Wettengel (M) 6-4, 6-2
Nicolas Lopez-Acevedo (ND) d. Avery Ticer (M) 1-6, 7-6 (7-5), 1-0 (13-11)
Paul McNaughton (ND) d. Clay Estes (M) 1-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-8)
Patrick Buchanan (ND) d. Dillon Walker (Virginia) 6-3, 6-2
Eric Langenkamp (ND) d. Nate McLain (M) 6-3, 6-2