Nov. 9, 2001
FARMERS BRANCH, Texas – The doubles team of seniors Casey Smith (Leawood, Kan.) and Javier Taborga (La Paz, Bolivia) fell 7-5 in a tiebreaker in the semifinals Friday at the Omni Hotels National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in Farmers Branch, Texas, just outside Dallas.
Smith and Taborga, ranked 34th, lost 9-8 to the team of Johan Brunstrom and Eric Cohn of Southern Methodist. Brunstrom was a member of the doubles team that won the title at last year’s National Indoor Championships.
One day earlier, the Irish pair knocked off the top-seeded doubles team of Marcin Matkowski and Jean-Julien Rojer of UCLA, snapping the Bruins’ 14-match winning streak and giving the 2001 Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American champions their first loss of the season.
The National Indoors completes the Irish fall schedule. Smith and Taborga will head into the spring with a 15-4 mark in doubles, including four victories over doubles teams ranked in the top 30 nationally. Notre Dame will open its dual-match season on Saturday, Jan. 19, taking on UC-Irvine at 9 a.m. and Furman at 4 p.m.
Smith and Taborga were the first Notre Dame doubles team to participate in the National Indoor Championships since 1997 when Brian Patterson and Jakub Pietrowski won the Region IV doubles title to gain automatic entry into the National Indoors. After losing in the first round, the Irish pair won the consolation title. The best result by a Notre Dame doubles team in the tournament came in 1992 when Chuck Coleman and David DiLucia reached the final before falling to USC’s Brian MacPhie and Jon Leach 7-6, 6-4.
The All-American Championships, the National Indoors, and the year-end NCAA Championships are college tennis’ three national championship events during the season. From 1986 until last year, there were four national events, but the ITA National Clay Court Championships is no longer played. The National Indoor Championships date back to 1978 and were played in February of each season and sponsored by Rolex until this year.
Omni Hotels National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships
Johan Brunstrom/Eric Cohn (SMU) d. #34 Casey Smith/Javier Taborga (ND) 9-8 (7-5)