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Notre Dame hits wall against No. 8 Duke squad

Kate Gales | Monday, February 2, 2004

The Irish had no luck at Duke this weekend, as the Blue Devils swept them, 7-0, in dual match play.”We had our chances,” coach Bobby Bayliss said after the match. “They’re a Final Four team, in my opinion, and I expect them to do very well [this season].” No. 8 Duke lost just two sets in singles and swept doubles against No. 49 Notre Dame. The box scores, though, do not indicate that many of the matches were close.”The doubles were pretty close; there was a break at No. 1 early, and we lost No. 1 and No. 3 doubles by one service break – both were 8-5,” said Bayliss. “No. 2 lost 9-8 in a tiebreaker, and we were actually in position to win the others – they were very, very close.”Duke (3-0) won against Texas A&M on Saturday. The Aggies beat Notre Dame 5-2 last weekend at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.”We had our chances,” Bayliss said of singles play. “Matt Scott lost in a match tiebreaker… [and Brent] D’Amico lost in three sets.”Scott, ranked No. 68 coming off a recurrent leg injury, took the first set against Ludovic Walter, 6-3. Playing at number two, however, Walter – ranked No. 7 in the nation – battled back to win the second set and the last set in a tiebreaker.D’Amico came out strong, taking the first set against Jason Zimmerman 6-1, but he then lost 6-2 and 6-1 and Duke received the point. Luis Haddock, Stephen Bass and Barry King all lost in straight sets at No. 1, 4 and 5, respectively. Ryan Keckley, at No. 6, was forced to retire after suffering a sprained ankle in the second set.”Keckley went down in the third, fourth game of his match with a sprained ankle,” Bayliss said. “We took an injury timeout – he got taped and tried to continue but had to end up defaulting, and that’s a blow. Hopefully next week we’ll get him back on track.””We were down 2-0 right off the bat, which is a pretty big psychological thing to deal with, but you move on,” Bayliss said. Despite Scott’s defeat, Bayless considered his play promising.”Matt’s foot started to bother him a little bit toward the end of his match,” Bayless said. “I was really satisfied with the way he played; he hit the ball better than he has since the fall. I hope he’s okay for the coming weekend – with Ryan’s status in question, Matt shaky and Luis gone, we could be without three starters.”Haddock will be playing in a tournament in Cuba during next weekend’s match.