Sept. 30, 1999
The Notre Dame men’s and women’s tennis teams travel to Stanford for the WingspanBank.com/WORLD TEAM TENNIS National Collegiate Championships this weekend at the Taube Family Tennis Center. The Irish, selected as the Midwest region representative as the best combined men?s and women?s tennis program in the Midwest, will face at-large selection Illinois in the first round on Friday. The championship features 16 of the top teams in the country and features the WORLD TEAM TENNIS format of one set each of men’s and women’s singles and doubles and mixed doubles with the team winning more total games advancing.
“This is great opportunity for Notre Dame to participate in an unique event for college tennis,” said men’s head coach Bob Bayliss.
“We are really excited to have been selected as the top combined team in the Midwest,? said women?s head coach Jay Louderback.
Notre Dame boasts the highest ranked pair of No. 1 men’s and women’s singles players in second-ranked senior Ryan Sachire and seventh-ranked junior Michelle Dasso. That pair is expected to play singles for the Irish. Seniors Trent Miller and Kelly Zalinski round out the other Irish representatives and will join Sachire and Dasso in playing doubles.
Duke, a potential semifinal opponent for Notre Dame, is seeded first, followed by Mississippi and Stanford. Fourth seed UCLA withdrew from the event and was replaced by Illinois. The winner of Notre Dame?s match faces the winner of Fresno State and South Carolina. The teams will play one match Friday, two on Saturday and one Sunday.
Seven regional and nine at-large selections make up the events field. The regional teams are Stanford (West), Duke (Southeast), Kansas (Central), Mississippi (South), Notre Dame (Midwest), Princeton (Northeast), and Texas A&M (Southwest). The at-large selections are Arizona State, Illinois, Fresno State, Louisiana State, Pepperdine, South Carolina, USC, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Teams were selected based on their combined season ending Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings.
While Sachire and Miller will be representing Notre Dame at the WingspanBank.com/WORLD TEAM TENNIS National Collegiate Championships, the rest of the Irish men?s tennis team will take on Oklahoma Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Juniors Matt Daly and Mark Overdevest and sophomores Casey Smith, Javier Taborga, Andrew Laflin and Aaron Talarico look to lead the Irish in a fall dual match against the Sooners, while freshmen Bryan Acken and Brian Farrell also could contribute. Oklahoma?s doubles team of seniors Rick Warren and Charlie Roberson won the doubles consolation draw at the T. Rowe Price National Intercollegiate Clay Court Championships last week, the first leg of the collegiate grand slam.
?Playing a talented team like Oklahoma will be good for us to get some experience early in the season,? said Bayliss. ?It will be quite a challenge for our younger players as we prepare for the spring dual-match season.?