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Spartans crushed in final home match

Kate Gales | Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Irish coach Bobby Bayliss described his team’s play with one word-“great.” After a pair of close losses this weekend, the men’s tennis team bounced back to crush rival Michigan State 7-0 in the season’s last home match.”For several guys, it was the best match of the year,” he said. “I’m pretty ecstatic.”Senior tri-captain Luis Haddock and the freshman doubles tandem of Ryan Keckley and D’Amico had all suffered injuries recently and were questionable for Tuesday’s match. “Brent’s had shin splints, his forearm was sore, and during the match, his hip was bothering him,” Bayliss said. “But somehow he was able to summon the ability to play his best.”The Irish came out strong in doubles, sweeping all three to clinch the point, and never looked back. At No. 3, the Stephen Bass-Eric Langenkamp duo remained undefeated with four wins. D’Amico and Keckley clinched the point for the Irish at No. 1, and Haddock and fellow senior tri-captain Matthew Scott put up a 9-7 win for the Irish. “We really set the tone in doubles, and it carried over to singles,” Scott said. “It was nice to see us win out and use our momentum.”Keckley was the first off the courts at No. 5, despite his questionable status due to a quadriceps injury, recording a 6-1, 6-3 win.Senior tri-captain Matthew Scott, who has seen significant playing time at No. 1 this season, was next, with a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 2. Haddock clinched the match for the Irish at No. 1, winning 7-5, 7-5 after missing the last three matches due to injury.Bass remained consistent with a 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 4 and Eric Langenkamp won 6-0, 7-6 (7-0) at No. 6. D’Amico was the only three-set match, coming back from losing the first set to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 at No. 3.”I’m glad we’re going to end up winning,” Haddock said of the shutout, his last match at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Bayliss said it is unlikely that the match with Kentucky canceled earlier in the season will be rescheduled. The Irish travel to the Pacific Coast Doubles Tournament today and will play in the Blue-Gray Tournament in Alabama over spring break.