July 21, 2003
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team was honored with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic Team award, while rising senior Luis Haddock (Caguas, P.R./Notre Dame H.S.) and junior-to-be Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School) were named ITA Scholar-Athletes, it was announced last week. The Irish were one of just four teams to earn the academic distinction and finish in the top 55 in the final national rankings.
The ITA All-Academic Team award is open to any ITA program that has a cumulative team grade point average of 3.20 or above (on a 4.00 scale) for the academic year. All eligible student-athletes who compete in one or more varsity matches average into the GPA.
Notre Dame, which had a 3.273 team GPA this year, was one of 24 Division I men’s tennis programs to earn the distinction. Of the winners, only Oklahoma State (19th), South Florida (38th), and Mississippi State (42nd) finished with a final national ranking higher than that of the Irish (54th).
Only one team on the 2003 Irish schedule earned the award (Michigan State), while Notre Dame and Georgetown were the lone BIG EAST Conference schools to be so honored. With the Irish women’s tennis team also gaining the distinction, Notre Dame was one of 16 schools to have both men’s and women’s squads be named All-Academic Teams.
The Irish teams had nine student-athletes earn the Scholar-Athlete Award (two men, seven women), placing Notre Dame in a tie for fourth among Division I schools in that category. Yale had 15 recipients, while South Florida and Georgetown each had 10 and Ball State, New Mexico, and Princeton tied the Irish with nine.
In order to earn ITA Scholar-Athlete status, a player must meet the following criteria: 1) be a varsity letter winner; 2) have a grade point average of at least 3.50 (on a 4.00 scale) for the current academic year; 3) have been enrolled at his present school for at least two semesters (including freshman through senior year). Prior to this year, only juniors and seniors could receive the award, but freshmen and sophomores are now also eligible.
Each earning Scholar-Athlete distinction in his first year of eligibility, Haddock and D’Amico are the first Irish players to be so honored since Brian Patterson and Andy Warford in 1999.
The Puerto Rican, a pre-professional studies/economics major in the College of Arts & Letters, has been named to the dean’s list five times in his three years at Notre Dame, including each of the last two semesters. He has a cumulative grade-point average of 3.465. On the court, Haddock played No. 1 singles and No. 2 doubles for Notre Dame. Ranked 102nd nationally in singles at the end of the year, he led the Irish in singles wins (21) while tying for the team lead in doubles victories (18).
D’Amico, a finance major in the Mendoza College of Business, has been named to the dean’s list in all four of his collegiate semesters, earning a cumulative GPA of 3.725. In his first semester at Notre Dame, he earned a 3.917. D’Amico was a key player for the Irish in 2002-03, playing No. 3 singles and No. 1 doubles. He led the team with 12 singles dual-match victories and combined with Matthew Scott (Oakton, Va./International School of Paris) to lead the Irish with a dozen doubles wins in dual-match action. D’Amico also earned his first-ever national ranking in 2003, listed 118th in singles late in the spring.
Haddock, D’Amico, and Scott will lead the 2003-04 Irish, which return six monogram winners from last year’s team that finished the season ranked 54th and reached the final of the BIG EAST Championship before it was cancelled due to rain.