March 6, 2003
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 46th-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team registered its first home victory of the season, defeating #57 Michigan 5-2 on Thursday in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Irish (4-6) won the doubles point and the first three singles matches completed to jump out to a 4-0 lead and clinch the win before the Wolverines (5-5) won two of the remaining three contests. Notre Dame has won four of its last six matches after starting the spring with four consecutive losses.
The Irish reversed their fortunes at the bottom two positions to claim the doubles point for the second straight match. After sweeping the doubles matches in the season opener, Notre Dame’s No. 2 and No. 3 teams had each managed just one win in the next eight contests prior to Thursday. Junior Nicolas Lopez-Acevedo (Guaynabo, P.R./Colegio Marista) and sophomore Paul McNaughton (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central H.S.), teaming together for the first time since Jan. 26, delivered an 8-5 win at No. 3 to get the Irish started. A pair of Irish captains, senior Brian Farrell (Lilburn, Ga./St. Pius X H.S.) and junior Luis Haddock (Caguas, P.R./Notre Dame H.S.), clinched the doubles point for the second time in as many matches, with an 8-6 win at No. 2. Michigan avoided the sweep when Chris Rolf and Michael Rubin finished an 8-5 victory at No. 1.
Sophomore Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School) got his first win in nearly a month, defeating Chris Shaya 6-2, 6-1 at No. 3. After starting the spring 6-0, D’Amico had lost two straight and sat out one match due to injury. He is 12-6 overall this season, including 7-2 at No. 3 singles after going 1-3 in dual-match play a year ago, all at No. 6.
Lopez-Acevedo put the Irish within a point of victory with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Vinny Gossain at No. 6. The Bowling Green State transfer has won four of his last six matches, with one loss coming in a match tiebreaker and the other in three sets.
The Irish victory was clinched by freshman Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.), who delivered a 7-5, 6-3 triumph at No. 5 against Josef Fischer. Buchanan has won five of his last six singles matches.
After the outcome was determined, Michigan got on the board with two wins. David Anving delivered a 7-5, 6-3 win over Farrell at No. 4 before Rubin topped Haddock 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 at No. 1. Rubin avenged a 6-1, 6-1 loss to the Irish tri-captain in the fall.
In the final match to be decided, junior tri-captain Matthew Scott (Oakton, Va./International School of Paris) downed Anthony Jackson 6-1, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8) at No. 2. Scott, who has won six of his last seven matches, was 0-4 in previous match tiebreakers this season, including a loss to Jackson in the fall.
The Irish won for the first time in six matches in the Eck Tennis Pavilion this season after going 10-0 in the building in 2002.
Notre Dame will return to action next Thursday-Sunday, taking part in the Blue/Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala. for the 14th straight season. The Irish, who will be playing outdoors for the first time this spring, won the tournament title in 1993 and 2001 and were the runners-up last year.
#46 Notre Dame 5, #57 Michigan 2
No. 1: #101 Michael Rubin (M) d. #88 Luis Haddock (ND) 7-6 (7-4), 6-1
No. 2: Matthew Scott (ND) d. Anthony Jackson (M) 6-1, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8)
No. 3: Brent D’Amico (ND) d. Chris Shaya (M) 6-2, 6-1
No. 4: David Anving (M) d. Brian Farrell (ND) 7-5, 6-3
No. 5: Patrick Buchanan (ND) d. Josef Fischer (M) 7-5, 6-3
No. 6: Nicolas Lopez-Acevedo (ND) d. Vinny Gossain (M) 6-3, 6-3
No. 1: Chris Rolf/Rubin (M) d. D’Amico/Scott (ND) 8-5
No. 2: Farrell/Haddock (ND) d. Gossain/Shaya (M) 8-6
No. 3: Lopez-Acevedo/Paul McNaughton (ND) d. Fischer/Jackson (M) 8-5