Oct. 27, 2001
Senior Javier Taborga (La Paz, Bolivia) won four matches Saturday to advance to the quarterfinals in singles and in doubles with classmate Casey Smith (Leawood, Kan.) in the Omni Hotels Region IV Championships at the Michigan State Indoor Tennis Facility.
76th-ranked Taborga, the 13th seed, advanced to the quarterfinals with a win over Michigan’s Ben Cox 6-1, 6-4 in the round of 16. Earlier in the day, Taborga downed the 17th seed, Mike Kosta of Illinois, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2) in third-round action. The Irish senior is the lowest-seeded player remaining in the draw and will take on the third seed, Harsh Mankad of Minnesota, Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Mankad is ranked 22nd in the nation and played for India in Davis Cup qualifying action earlier this month, falling to American Andy Roddick in straight sets.
Taborga has had much success in his career at the Region IV Championships. In 1999, he advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to his top-seeded teammate Ryan Sachire. Last season, Taborga lost in the round of 16.
In doubles, Taborga and Smith, ranked 34th nationally, won the first five games en route to defeating Indiana’s team of Tom Bagnato and Jon Magnes in second-round action. The third-seeded team then downed Ryan Maarschalk and Ravishankar Pathanjali of Western Michigan 8-4 in the round of 16. The pair will take on Laith Al-Agba and Carl McCafferty of Purdue at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday. The doubles semifinals will be played at 2:00 p.m. Smith and Taborga are 12-2 in doubles action this fall, including an 8-2 victory over Al-Agba/McCafferty at the Tom Fallon Invitational.
In other doubles action, Luis Haddock-Morales (Caguas, Puerto Rico) and Aaron Talarico (Laguna Beach, Calif.), the sixth-seeded team, lost 8-3 in the round of 16 to the tenth seed, Tom Hanus and Jackie Jenkins of Northwestern. The 30th-ranked Irish pair beat Farron-Mahon and Dipesh Rao of Toledo 8-2 earlier in the day.
Saturday stopped a streak of disappointing doubles results for Notre Dame at the Region IV Championships. In each of the past two seasons, Notre Dame had all three doubles teams lose their first match in the draw despite earning the top seed a season ago, as well as the fifth and seventh seeds in 1999. Smith and Taborga’s second-round victory Saturday snapped a nine-match losing streak for Irish doubles teams in the event, dating back to 1998.
Haddock-Morales, ranked 100th and seeded 19th, also advanced to the round of 16 in singles with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 win over the 14th seed, 84th-ranked Jenkins. The Irish sophomore was down 5-4 in the first set, but rallied to win nine of the final 11 games of the match. The win marked the second consecutive year Haddock-Morales defeated a top-16 seed to reach the round of 16 at the Region IV Championships. In 2000, he beat 12th-seeded Tvrtko Kujundzic of Louisville in the third round. With the win, Haddock-Morales improved to 9-0 in singles this fall. He also went unbeaten in his first nine matches a season ago. Later in the day, Haddock-Morales was eliminated by the top seed, 88th-ranked Amer Delic of Illinois, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) in round-of-16 play.
Two other Notre Dame players lost in the third round in singles Saturday. Senior Aaron Talarico (Laguna Beach, Calif.), the 18th seed, fell to the fourth seed, 27th-ranked Phil Stolt of Illinois, 6-4, 6-1. Sophomore Matthew Scott (Paris, France) lost to 20th-seeded Brandon Currie of Butler 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 one day after knocking off the highest-ranked player in the draw, second seed Phil Metz of Ohio State.
The Omni Hotels Region IV Championships consist of a 96-player singles draw and a 48-team doubles draw, both featuring the best players in the midwest taking part in indoor action. 24 singles players and 12 doubles teams are seeded. This year’s tournament has a very strong field, including 15 ranked singles players and seven ranked doubles teams. Seven of the top 40 singles players in the nation are at the championships. The singles finalists and the doubles champion of the main draw of each regional championship advance to the Nov. 8-11 Omni Hotels National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in Dallas, Texas, the premiere indoor collegiate tennis event of the season.
The tournament will go through Monday with the singles quarterfinals and doubles quarterfinals and semifinals to be played on Sunday. The singles semifinals, as well as both finals are scheduled for Monday.
Omni Hotels Region IV Championships
(19) #100 Luis Haddock-Morales (ND) d. (14) #84 Jackie Jenkins (Northwestern) 7-6 (7-4), 6-1
(13) #76 Javier Taborga (ND) d. (17) Mike Kosta (Illinois) 6-2, 7-6 (7-2)
(4) #27 Phil Stolt (Illinois) d. (18) Aaron Talarico (ND) 6-4, 6-1
(20) Brandon Currie (Butler) d. Matthew Scott (ND) 7-6 (7-5), 6-4
Round of 16
(1) #88 Amer Delic (Illinois) d. (19) #100 Haddock-Morales (ND) 7-5, 7-6 (7-3)
(13) #76 Taborga (ND) d. Ben Cox (Michigan) 6-1, 6-4
(3) #34 Smith/Taborga (ND) d. Tom Bagnato/Jon Magnes (Indiana) 8-1
(6) #30 Haddock-Morales/Talarico (ND) d. Farron-Mahon/Dipesh Rao (Toledo) 8-2
Round of 16
(3) #34 Smith/Taborga (ND) d. Ryan Maarschalk/Ravishankar Pathanjali (Western Michigan) 8-4
(10) Tom Hanus/Jenkins (Northwestern) d. (6) #30 Haddock-Morales/Talarico (ND) 8-3
Note: Numbers in parentheses indicate seeding. Numbers preceding name are ITA national rankings.