March 1, 2008
Illinois showed Saturday night why it made it all the way to the national title match last season. The #13 Illini posted a dominating 6-1 win over #12 Notre Dame (9-4), who won just three sets in six singles matches.
David Anderson earned the only Notre Dame point with his victory at No. 4, a 5-7, 6-2, 1-0 (10-8) win over Illinois’s Marc Spicijaric. Anderson, one of four freshmen to start in the singles lineup for Notre Dame, battled from a set down to earn his sixth dual win of the year in his first match at the No. 4 position. He improves to 15-9 overall this season.
The home team started quickly by capturing the doubles point with two one-sided wins at the top two doubles positions. Brett Helgeson and Sheeva Parbhu fell to 20th ranked Ryan Rowe and Billy Heiser by an 8-2 count at No. 1. The Irish duo fell to 8-5 this spring, with all matches coming at the top doubles spot. Shortly thereafter, 27th ranked Branden Davis and Ruben Gonzales clinched the doubles point with an 8-3 triumph over Santiago Montoya and Andrew Roth. The Irish duo lost for just the first time in three matches together this season.
Irish rookies Tyler Davis and Stephen Havens earned the only Irish doubles win at No. 3 after Illinois had already clinched the point. The freshmen earned an 8-5 win over Abe Souza and Connor Roth. The victory was the third in as many matches for Davis and Havens who stand at 7-3 this season.
Illinois kept the momentum on the side of the home team as singles action began. The Illini captured all six first sets and won five of six singles contests, including four in straight sets. 30th ranked Heiser was first off the court, defeating Stephen Havens 6-3, 6-1. It was the first match for Havens at No.3 this season after playing the previous twelve duals at No. 4. The Irish freshman fell to 7-6 on the season.
Gonzales made it 3-0 for the home team with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Parbhu at No. 2. The loss was just the third for Parbhu in his last ten matches. It dropped the Irish captain’s record to 19-8.
Rowe clinched the match for the Illini with a 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Helgeson. It was the second victory for the Illini senior over Helgeson, with the first coming in the fall’s ITA Midwest Region semifinal match. The loss was just the fifth of the season for the Notre Dame junior in 27 matches.
Stahl fell 6-4, 6-2 to Waylon Chin at No. 5 to push the score to 5-0. Stahl fell for just the third time in dual play this spring and only the sixth time in 25 singles matches this season.
The Illini would earn their final point with a match tiebreak win from Souza over Davis at No. 6. Davis battled back after dropping the first set 6-1 to win the second set in a tiebreaker. The comeback attempt fell short, however, as rookie fell 10-3 in the match tiebreaker. The loss was Davis’s first of the spring in three matches and fourth overall. His record stands at 11-4.
Anderson’s come-from-behind win prevented the shutout and Notre Dame’s first 7-0 shutout loss of the year.
Notre Dame will return to action with next weekend’s spring break trip to La Jolla, California for the Pacific Coast Doubles tournament.
#13 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS 6, #12 UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME 13/1/2008 AT URBANA, ILL. (ATKINS TENNIS CENTER)
Singles competition1. #13 Ryan Rowe (ILL) def. #32 Brett Helgeson (ND) - 6-3, 6-42. #77Ruben Gonzales (ILL) def. #73 Sheeva Parbhu (ND) - 6-2, 6-33. #30 Billy Heiser (ILL) def. Steven Havens (ND) - 6-3, 6-14. David Anderson (ND) def. Marc Spicijaric (ILL) - 5-7, 6-2, 1-0 (10-8)5. Waylon Chin (ILL) def. Dan Stahl (ND) - 6-4, 6-26. Abe Souza (ILL) def. Tyler Davis (ND) - 6-1, 6-7(6), 1-0 (10-3)
Doubles competition1. #20 Ryan Rowe / Billy Heiser (ILL) def. Brett Helgeson / Sheeva Parbhu (ND) - 8-22. #27 Brandon Davis / Ruben Gonzales (ILL) def. Andrew Roth / Santiago Montoya (ND) - 8-33. Tyler Davis / Steven Havens (ND) def. Abe Souza / Connor Roth (ILL) - 8-5
Match NotesUniversity of Illinois (7-4, 1-0 Big Ten), National Rankings - 13University of Notre Dame (9-4), National Ranking - 12Order of finish: Doubles (1, 2, 3); Singles (3, 2, 1, 5, 6, 4)