September 18, 1998

HOUSTON, Texas – Notre Dame mens tennis team opened its 1998 fall season at the Rice Invitational in Houston, Texas, with singles wins by sophomores Matt Daly and Mark Overdevest and freshmen Casey Smith and Javier Taborga. The five Irish doubles teams dropped their opening round matches. Matches resume on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. and conclude on Sunday.

In A Flight singles, senior captain Andy Warford lost a tough three-set match 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 to Tennessees Paul Podbury, while his sophomore brother Luke fell 6-4, 6-3 to Rices Robert Collins. Andy Warford will face Texas A&Ms Juan Aramburo in the consolation bracket, and Luke Warford will play Texas A&Ms Cody Hubbell.

The Irish went 2-1 B Flight singles as Daly was a 6-4, 7-5 winner over Texas A&Ms Gonzalez Anderson. Smith won 6-2, 6-4 over Rices Olmane Bennai-Smires to set a semifinal match with Daly on Saturday. Freshman Andrew Laflin fell 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 to Baylors Csongor Bibza and will play Texas A&Ms Tony Young in the consolation bracket.

Taborga and Overdevest picked up wins in the C Flight singles. Taborga won 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 over Andrew Crews of Tennessee and will take on Rices Fabien Giraud. Overdevest topped Sasha Silver of Rice 7-6 (7-2), 7-5 to put him into the semifinals against Rices Rafael Reyes.

In D Flight singles, freshman Aaron Talarico won his first match 6-0, 6-3 over Texas A&Ms Justin Work. Junior Rob Warn fell 6-3, 6-3 to Kevin Hargove of Rice while sophomore Ashok Raju lost 6-1, 6-1 to Baylors Fanda Stejskal. Talarico will play Stejskal in the semifinals.

In the doubles competition, Andy Warford and Laflin lost 8-2, Luke Warford and Daly fell 8-5, while Smith and Taborga lost 8-3 in A Flight. Raju and Talarico fell 8-3, and War and Overdevest lost 8-6 in B Flight doubles.