March 23, 2004
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The 37th-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team (11-7) was victorious in four of five three-set matches in registering a 5-2 road victory against #41 Michigan (8-2) Tuesday afternoon in the Preston Robert Tisch Building. The Wolverines, who had their 10-match home winning streak snapped, took the doubles point in a tiebreaker, but then managed only one singles triumph despite winning six sets.
“This was a long, knockdown, drag-out match,” said Irish head coach Bob Bayliss. “I am very proud of the way we fought back. Several of our players didn’t have their ‘A’ games tonight, but they found ways to win. I was impressed with the character and determination I saw on the court.”
Neither team was at 100 percent. The Wolverines were without No. 1 singles player Michael Rubin, ranked 49th in the nation and resting a rib injury, while the Irish had three players — senior tri-captains Luis Haddock (Caguas, P.R./Notre Dame H.S.) and Matthew Scott (Oakton, Va./International School of Paris) and freshman Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) — battling illness, which included bouts of vomiting during changeovers.
The score was tied 1-1 with all five remaining matches destined for third sets. Scott then put the Irish ahead when he completed a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Brian Hung at No. 2. It was the second time this season the Notre Dame senior captured a close decision over the freshman from Hong Kong. Scott won a match tiebreaker when the two met in last fall’s Tom Fallon Invitational. Prior to Tuesday, the Irish tri-captain had won just one of his last seven matches (though one was abandoned), a stretch that included a pair of three-set defeats.
Michigan tied the score 2-2 when David Anving of Sweden rallied from losing the first set to top Irish freshman Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 at No. 5. It was the second three-set defeat in as many matches for King, who had been 4-0 in three-setters up to that point.
Freshman Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) put the Irish within a point of victory by rallying for a 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-3 triumph over Steve Peretz at No. 4. The Notre Dame rookie is 8-0 in three-set affairs this season and has come back to win more often than he has lost this season after dropping the opening set (6-5 record). Bass has won six of his last seven and is 19-6 overall and 13-4 in dual matches.
Haddock, who entered the national singles rankings at 80th for the first time this season on Tuesday, delivered the win for the Irish with a 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 triumph over Anthony Jackson at No. 1. It was the fourth meeting between the two in collegiate competition, with Haddock winning three and one having been abandoned in the third set. The victory was the fifth in a row for the Notre Dame tri-captain. He is 17-9 on the season and 9-4 in dual matches at No. 1. Haddock leads the Irish with four clinching victories, while he has 12 in his career.
The doubles point came down to a tiebreaker at No. 1. In that match, Hung and Jackson beat Keckley and junior tri-captain Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]) 9-8 (7-5). It was the seventh time in the last nine matches that the Notre Dame pair had been involved in the clinching decision, with them having won three of those.
Haddock and Scott were first off the court in doubles, taking an 8-3 victory over Heller and Josef Fischer at No. 2. They moved to 11-2 this season, including 8-2 in dual-match play at No. 2. The Irish captains are 7-1 against regional teams.
Peretz and Vinny Gossain gave Michigan an 8-4 win over Bass and sophomore Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) at No. 3.
After the team outcome had been determined, Keckley finished a 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-2 victory over Carey Rubin at No. 6. It was his fourth consecutive victory. Keckley was 1-4 in three-setters — including two consecutive defeats — prior to the match.
D’Amico was the first off the court in singles, defeating Ryan Heller 7-5, 6-4 at No. 3.
The Irish improved to 7-0 this season when playing a lower-ranked team.
Notre Dame will return to action on Sunday, traveling to Ball State for a 1 p.m. (EST) contest.
#37 Notre Dame 5, #41 Michigan 2
No. 1: *#80 Luis Haddock (ND) d. Anthony Jackson (M) 6-4, 1-6, 7-5
No. 2: Matthew Scott (ND) d. Brian Hung (M) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
No. 3: Brent D’Amico (ND) d. Ryan Heller (M) 7-5, 6-4
No. 4: Stephen Bass (ND) d. Steve Peretz (M) 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-3
No. 5: David Anving (M) d. Barry King (ND) 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
No. 6: Ryan Keckley (ND) d. Carey Rubin (M) 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-2
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 5, 4, 1*, 6
No. 1: !Hung/Jackson (M) d. D’Amico/Keckley (ND) 9-8 (7-5)
No. 2: Haddock/Scott (ND) d. Josef Fischer/Heller (M) 8-3
No. 3: Vinny Gossain/Peretz (M) d. S. Bass/Eric Langenkamp (ND) 8-4
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1!
* denotes clinching win; ! denotes clinching win in final match on-court