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Irish travel to Michigan to face near-perfect Wolverines

Kate Gales | Tuesday, March 23, 2004

The Wolverines are hungry for a victory to close out their home non-conference schedule, but the Irish aren’t planning on being dinner.Despite dropping their last two matches at the Blue/Gray National Classic, the Irish may be playing their best tennis of the season. Ranked at No. 35 with a 10-7 record, Notre Dame boasts three solid doubles teams. Senior tri-captain Luis Haddock is ranked No. 14 when playing with freshman Ryan Keckley and No. 29 when playing with senior tri-captain Matthew Scott. Keckley is also ranked No. 44 when paired with junior tri-captain Brent D’Amico. Freshman Steven Bass and sophomore Eric Langenkamp have also played consistently, reaching the consolation finals of the Pacific Coast Doubles Classic earlier this month The rest between today’s match and the two tournaments the Irish played in early March plays to Notre Dame’s favor. The Irish were forced into a difficult situation earlier in the season, as top players succumbed to injury and were exhausted by a tight schedule.Michigan (8-1) is coming off a 6-1 win over Ball State on March 13. Nationally, Michael Rubin is ranked No. 46 in singles play for the Wolverines, and freshman Ryan Heller has posted an undefeated record playing at No. 3 and 4 in the dual-match season.The Wolverines lead the all-time series with the Irish 40-23, although the Irish posted a 5-2 victory in last year’s meeting.The match will be at 4 p.m. at the Varsity Tennis Center in Ann Arbor, Mich.