Oct. 13, 2000

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — Notre Dame men’s tennis junior Javier Taborga saw his singles run at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Men’s All-American Championships end with a three-set loss to Georgia’s Bo Hodge but quickly started a doubles run on Friday with junior Aaron Talarico. Taborga won singles qualifying matches on Tuesday and Wednesday and then beat the 31st-ranked player in the first round and Stanford’s defending champion and third-seeded K.J. Hippensteel in the second round to reach Friday’s final 16 of the season’s first ITA grand slam event. Hodge eliminated Taborga by a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 score.

The ninth-ranked and fifth-seeded doubles team of Taborga and Talarico — playing in just their second doubles grand slam event — won three matches on Friday to reach the semifinals. The pair opened play with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Mississippi State’s 43rd-ranked Chris McDonald and Matt Soto and eliminated another Bulldog team as they edged Romain Ambert and Rene Combette 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5).

Taborga and Talarico then rallied for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 quarterfinal victory over Duke’s 19th-ranked Ramsey Smith and Michael Yani as the Irish juniors reach the semifinals as the highest remaining seeded team. Notre Dame recorded the only break of serve in the second set at 4-4 and then held serve at 5-4 for the 6-4 win in the decisive set.

They will play the winner of the late quarterfinal match between Illinois’ Mike Kosta and Nathan Zeder and Florida’s Oliver Levant and Nathan Overholser. Taborga and Talarico lost in the NCAA first round last year in their first ITA grand slam appearance. Their grand slam semifinal appearance marks the best for an Irish doubles team since Todd Wilson and Andy Zurcher reached the semifinals of the 1994 NCAA doubles championships.