May 4, 2000
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The 32nd-ranked Notre Dame men’s tennis team will travel to UCLA to take on 42nd-ranked New Mexico State in the NCAA first round at 9:00 a.m. PDT at Sat., May 13. The winner of that match will play the winner of UCLA and Missouri-Kansas City at noon on Sun., May 14. The Irish earned an at-large selection into the NCAA championships with a 12-10 record and are making their 10th consecutive appearance in the event. Senior All-American captain Ryan Sachire has qualified for the 64-player NCAA singles championship as the top player in the region, while sophomores Javier Taborga and Aaron Talarico will make their first appearance in the 32-team NCAA doubles championship as the second-ranked team in the region.
New Mexico State enters its match against Notre Dame with a 15-5 record after advancing to the final of the Big West Championship on April 30. The Irish and Aggies have never played before this NCAA first-round match. Junior Marc Legris is ranked 77th in singles for New Mexico State and 39th in doubles with junior Cesar Obieta. The Irish and Aggies have had two common opponents this season, both beating New Mexico and losing to Texas.
The second-ranked Bruins enter the NCAA championships with a 21-3 record following a 5-2 win over top-ranked Stanford in their final match of the regular season. UCLA boasts four ranked singles players and two ranked doubles teams, including the second-ranked team in the country in seniors Brandon Kramer and Jong-Ming Lee. The Irish have lost all previous meetings with the Bruins but the teams have not met since 1991. Notre Dame has never played Missouri-Kansas City, which enters the championship with a 12-10 record after winning the automatic bid of the Mid-Continent Conference.
Ninth-ranked Sachire will be making his fourth NCAA singles appearance and joins former Irish All-American David DiLucia as the only Notre Dame players under 13th-year head coach Bob Bayliss to play in four NCAA singles championships. Sachire, who currently has a 30-9 record this season, reached the second round as a freshman, third round as a sophomore and lost in the first round as a junior. The 29th-ranked team of Taborga and Talarico enter the NCAA doubles championship with a 17-7 record, including eight wins over ranked teams.