March 6, 2006
#18 Notre Dame (8-4) vs. Indiana (5-5)Tuesday, March 7, 2 p.m. (EST) â€¢ IU Tennis Center â€¢ Bloomington, Indiana
#18 IRISH RETURN TO DUAL ACTION ON TUESDAY AT INDIANA: The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team (8-4) – which rose eight spots to a season-high 18th in the latest ITA national rankings – wound up play in the Pacific Coast Doubles Championships on Sunday and next will head to intrastate rival Indiana (5-5) on Tuesday for a 2 p.m. contest in the IU Tennis Center. The Irish – who carry a six-match winning streak – gained their first outdoor action of the season over the weekend and will now look to continue their success against Big Ten Conference opponents, against which they are 6-1 this spring.
INDIANA AT A GLANCE: The Hoosiers – coming off an eight-day layoff – enter the match with a 5-5 record (0-2 in the Big Ten Conference) … they are on a three-match losing streak and have dropped five of their last six following a 4-0 start … IU was ranked 60th in the preseason, but has since fallen out of the ITA top 75 … all five Hoosiers’ victories came against unranked teams and all of their losses have been vs. ranked squads … Notre Dame and Indiana have faced two common opponents, posting identical results … both squads won 7-0 against Bradley and lost 7-0 vs. Illinois … IU returned seven letterwinners and three of six starters from last year’s squad that was 12-12 and ranked 58th in the nation (after peaking at 54th) … the Hoosiers finished in a fourth-place tie in the Big Ten with a 6-4 regular-season record and then lost 4-3 to Northwestern in the quarterfinals of the league tournament to end up just out of the NCAA tournament field … gone from that squad is Jakub Praibis, who was ranked as high as 23rd in the nation during his career and ended last year at 63rd, earning an invitation to the NCAA Singles Championship … there was one ND-IU matchup in the fall of 2005, as Irish freshman Brett Helgeson – who normally plays No. 3 – won 6-4, 6-2 against IU senior Neil Kenner, who plays Nos. 3 and 4, in the opening round of the ITA Midwest Championships … head coach Ken Hydinger is in his 21st season as head coach of the Hoosiers, having compiled a 298-220-1 (.575) record … in 26 years overall as a head coach, he is 364-265-1 (.579), including 7-12 against Notre Dame … next up for IU is a spring-break trip to Florida, where it will play five matches in six days, taking on North Florida, Colgate, South Florida, Army, and Central Florida.
IRISH-HOOSIERS SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame and Indiana will meet for the 18th consecutive season and 67th time overall, with the Irish holding a 39-27 edge in the series (see page 43 of the ND media guide for scores of every match) … the teams have split the last six meetings, though Notre Dame has won two straight and three of the last four … only two schools (Michigan State-75, Northwestern-75) have played more all-time matches against Notre Dame in men’s tennis … just three teams (Michigan-41, Northwestern-36, Michigan State-32) have more all-time victories against the Irish … there are only five schools (Purdue-50, Marquette-45, Wisconsin-44, Michigan State-43, Western Michigan-41) that Notre Dame has beaten more times … this is tied for the third-longest uninterrupted current series for the Irish, behind only those with Ohio State (32 consecutive years with at least one match) and Wisconsin (21) … Notre Dame has won in seven of its last eight visits to Bloomington and is 17-10 all-time there … the last IU win at home in the series came in a 4-3 decision in 2000, when the Hoosiers upset #22 ND … Indiana was the opponent in the first-ever varsity men’s tennis match for Note Dame, which saw the Hoosiers prevail 6-0 on May 7, 1923 … the Irish got their first victory by a 4-0 score on the road in 1925, which started a 12-match winning streak … ND had won eight straight before the Hoosiers prevailed in both 2000 and `01 … a year ago, 34th-ranked Notre Dame won 5-2 over #62 IU in the Eck Tennis Pavilion on Jan. 22 … the doubles point came down to the top spot, where Ryan Keckley and Brent D’Amico won 8-5 over Ryan Recht and John Stone to put Notre Dame up 1-0 … all of the singles matches were decided in straight sets, with the Irish taking victories at the bottom four spots …this will be the fifth straight meeting – and 15th in the last 17 – that Notre Dame carries a higher national ranking (ND leads 11-3) … the Irish hold a 9-8 advantage in matches decided by one point (5-4 or 4-3), though the Hoosiers have won three straight (4-3 in 2000, `01, and `03) and six of the last seven … Irish head coach Bob Bayliss holds a 12-4 career record against the Buckeyes (all during his tenure at Notre Dame) … Bayliss holds a 145-48 (.752) career mark against current members of the Big Ten Conference, making it by far the league that has been victimized most during his 36-year career (next is the Ivy League, which has 69 career losses to Bayliss-coached teams).
IRISH KNOCK OFF #11 OHIO STATE: After three close calls earlier this spring, Notre Dame finally broke through with a big victory, beating #11 Ohio State 5-2 on Feb. 24 in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The match snapped a 17-match losing streak for ND against top-15 squads, and OSU was the highest-ranked team to fall victim to the Irish since Notre Dame won 4-3 at #5 Illinois on March 7, 2002. It marked the third time that a team ranked among the nation’s top 11 lost at Notre Dame – the first since #8 Duke lost 4-3 to the 29th-ranked Irish in the Eck Tennis Pavilion on Feb. 16, 1997. This victory also was just the third time that ND beat a top-11 team without being listed in the top 20 itself.
ND SUFFERS A TRIO OF 4-3 LOSSES TO TEAMS CURRENTLY IN TOP 15: Three of Notre Dame’s four defeats this season have come by 4-3 scores on the road against teams currently ranked among the national top 15. The Irish were up 3-2 against #1 Virginia (now ranked 13th) on Jan. 27 in Richmond, but lost three-set affairs at No. 1 (6-4 in the third set after serving with a service break at 4-3) and No. 2 (6-4 in the third set). On Feb. 4, Notre Dame lost three-set matches at No. 1 (6-4 in the third) and No. 3 (6-3 in the third) to lose 4-3 at #30 North Carolina (now ranked 14th). A day later, the Irish won three-setters at Nos. 2 and 5 to tie the score 3-3 against #9 Duke (now fourth), but the Blue Devils won in three sets at No. 1 (6-3 in the third) to avoid the upset.
LET’S PLAY THREE … PLEASE!!: Notre Dame players have combined to win 72% of their three-set matches this season, compiling a 28-11 record. Leading the way is freshman Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.), who is 4-0 in three-setters, with three of those victories coming in dual action with the team outcome not yet determined. Junior Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) is 6-1 – including 5-0 this spring, all with the dual outcome undetermined – and sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) stands 7-2, including 4-1 when the dual winner is not yet decided.
ROCKING THE REGION: Irish competitors have combined to win 77% of their singles matches against other players from the ITA’s Midwest Region, which includes most of the Big Ten Conference and other area squads. Notre Dame players have a 78-23 singles record vs. regional foes and are 7-1 in dual matches this spring against that group, having lost only to #3 Illinois. No ND student-athlete has lost more than three times against the region this season, and Irish junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) – who became the first ND player since 1993 to win the singles title in the ITA Midwest Championships in October – leads the way with a 16-1 mark (the lone defeat coming against Illinois’ Kevin Anderson, currently ranked #6). Sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) is 14-2 against regional opponents, while freshman Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.) is 12-2. Notre Dame also excelled in singles against the region a year ago, combining for a 104-37 (.738) mark in 2004-05.
KILLER KECKLEY: Junior Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.), the 2002 Indiana state singles champion and a graduate of St. Joseph’s High School in South Bend, has been Notre Dame’s most-consistent winner in singles this spring, compiling a 11-1 mark in dual action (3-0 at No. 4, 8-1 at No. 5). That came after he had just an 11-8 record in dual singles play during the first two years of his collegiate career. This spring, Keckley has wins against #1 Virginia, #30 North Carolina, #9 Duke, and #11 Ohio State. He is 13-2 overall in singles in 2005-06.
ND STRONG AT No. 3 DOUBLES: After struggling there in recent seasons, Notre Dame’s best spot in doubles this spring has been No. 3, where five different teams have combined to go 9-3, with the lone defeats coming against North Carolina (8-4), Michigan (8-6), and #11 Ohio State (8-6). Over the previous three campaigns, the Irish had won just 42% of their matches at No. 3 doubles, combining for a 27-37 mark (12-10 in `05, 9-14 in `04, 6-13 in `03). This season, the team of senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) and sophomore Andrew Roth (Houston, Texas/Tenney School) is 3-0 at that spot. Roth and freshman Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.) – who played there in ND’s last two dual match – are 2-2, while Langenkamp and junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) are 2-1. The pairs of Bass and Helgeson and Roth and senior captain Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.) both also have wins to their credit. Roth holds a 6-2 mark at the spot, while Langenkamp is 5-1.
QUICK KECKLEY: Junior Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) has established himself as the quickest singles player on the Irish, as he has been first off the court in half of the 12 dual matches this spring: vs. Northwestern, #1 Virginia, William & Mary, #3 Illinois, Purdue, and Wisconsin.
ND MOVES TO 18th IN FILA COLLEGIATE TENNIS RANKINGS: After knocking off #11 Ohio State last week, the Irish moved up eight spots to 18th in the latest set of Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings administered by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), which were released on Tuesday. It was the largest in-season jump from one week to another for the Irish since rising nine spots to 25th on Feb. 1, 2005. In all, 16 of Notre Dame’s 19 regular-season opponents are listed in the rankings, with seven in the top 20: #3 Illinois, #4 Duke, #11 Texas, #12 Ohio State, #13 Virginia, #14 North Carolina, and #19 Louisville. Additionally, the Irish beat USC – currently ranked 26th – 6-1 during the fall in exhibition action.
KECKLEY/KING KNOCK OFF NATION’S #1-RANKED DOUBLES TEAM: Notre Dame juniors Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) and Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) posted an 8-4 victory over the #1-ranked team in college tennis, North Carolina’s Raian Luchi of Romania and Brad Pomeroy, on Feb. 4 at the No. 1 position. It was the first time an Irish doubles team had knocked off the nation’s top-ranked squad since Feb. 18, 1993, when Chuck Coleman and Will Forsyth prevailed 8-3 against Anders Eriksson and Trey Phillips of Texas at No. 1 in the opening round of the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Louisville, Ky. Notre Dame, ranked sixth at the time, went on to win the match 4-3 against the 10th-ranked Longhorns. This season’s win marked the first time King had upset a nationally-ranked team in doubles during his collegiate career, while Keckley – who is currently ranked 12th nationally with senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) – has five to his credit.
IRISH BOAST THREE AMONG NATION’S TOP 60 IN SINGLES: In the latest set of Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, released on Feb. 22, Irish junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) is 17th nationally in singles, while sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) is 28th, and freshman Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.) is 60th. Notre Dame is one of only eight Division I schools (along with Duke, Georgia, Illinois, Miami, Pepperdine, Stanford, and Texas) to have multiple players among the top 30 in the listing, as well as one of only seven squads (also Arkansas, Baylor, Duke, Georgia, Texas, and Virginia) with three or more in the top 60.
HELGESON AMONG NATION’S FIVE HIGHEST-RANKED FRESHMEN: Rookie Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.) jumped back into the latest edition of the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, appearing at 60th in the nation in singles, including fifth among freshmen. The only first-year collegians ranked higher than Helgeson are Stanford’s Matt Bruch (10th), Radford’s Martin Sayer (27th), Blake Strode of Arkansas (41st), and Ohio State’s Bryan Koniecko (46th). Helgeson – who was listed 108th in the preseason after being the only college-bound player (and just the second ND recruit) to reach the quarterfinals of the USTA Super National Hardcourt Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich. – is the highest-ranked Notre Dame rookie since Ryan Simme concluded 1993-94 at 52nd. Helgeson is in an elite group of just four Irish rookies to have been nationally-ranked in singles, joining Simme and All-Americans David DiLucia (class of `92) and Ryan Sachire (`00).
KECKLEY BECOMES FIRST ND PLAYER EVER TO BE RANKED WITH FOUR DIFFERENT PARTNERS: Notre Dame junior Ryan Keckley (South Bend,Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) – the 2002 Indiana state singles champion and a graduate of St. Joseph’s High School in South Bend – became the first Notre Dame player ever to be listed in the national rankings with four different partners when he and classmate Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) were 51st in the latest edition of the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, released on Feb. 22. Keckley was first listed 18th with Luis Haddock following the fall of the 2003-04 season and then switchedd partners and peaked at 14th with Brent D’Amico later that spring. He paired with current senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) to be 12th following the fall part of this season, but then switched partners to team with the Irishman.
IRISH HEAD COACH: Bob Bayliss is in his 19th year at Notre Dame with a 335-161 (.675) record, while his 36-year career mark stands at 626-264-1 (.702). He is one of just six active NCAA Division I coaches to boast 600+ career victories. Bayliss has had just one losing season in his career and has seen his teams finish in the top 20 nine times, advancing to the NCAA round of 16 on five occasions, highlighted by a quarterfinal appearance in 1993 and a national runner-up finish in ’92. He also is one of just three coaches in Division I to have led his current team to 14 NCAA tournaments over the last 15 seasons. Bayliss, named national coach of the year in 1980 and ’92, is a four-time ITA Midwest Region coach of the year and 12-time conference coach of the year (five times in the last eight years in the BIG EAST, including 2004 and `05). In his time at Notre Dame, Bayliss’ teams have won 12 conference titles, while his players have earned All-America honors 17 times, won eight national ITA awards, and earned 16 invitations to the NCAA Singles Championship and 11 to the NCAA doubles tournament.
STREAKS: The following streaks are active heading into this weekend:
– Notre Dame has won six consecutive matches. [last loss: 2/7/06 at #3 Illinois, 7-0]
– Notre Dame has won 23 consecutive matches against unranked teams [last loss: 1/24/03 vs. Indiana, 4-3]
– Notre Dame has won 63 consecutive matches on the road against unranked teams [last loss: 4/23/91 at Wisconsin, 6-3]
– Notre Dame has won eight consecutive home matches. [last loss: 3/17/05 vs. #3 Illinois, 6-1]
– Notre Dame has won 19 consecutive matches when winning at No. 1 singles. [last loss: 4/4/04 at Virginia Tech, lost 4-3; Luis Haddock def. Andreas Laulund 6-3, 6-4 at No. 1]
– Notre Dame has lost four consecutive 4-3 matches [last win: 3/12/05 vs. #27 Rice in Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic]
– Stephen Bass has won six consecutive singles matches [last loss: 2/7/06 vs. Illinois’ Kevin Anderson 6-4, 7-5]
– Stephen Bass has won 13 consecutive singles matches at home [last loss: 3/17/05 vs. Illinois’ Kevin Anderson 6-1, 6-4]
– Stephen Bass is 10-0 in singles in his career at the Courtney Tennis Center.
– Sheeva Parbhu has won 21 in a row when winning the opening set (39-2 career record) [last loss: 3/11/05 vs. Boise State’s Ikaika Jobe]
– Sheeva Parbhu has won 12 consecutive singles matches at home [last loss: 3/17/05 vs. Illinois’ Monte Tucker 6-2, 7-5]
– Sheeva Parbhu has won 11 consecutive singles matches outdoors [last loss: 3/11/05 vs. Boise State’s Ikaika Jobe]
– Brett Helgeson has won six consecutive singles matches [last loss: 2/7/06 vs. Illinois’ Ruben Gonzales 6-2, 6-3]
– Brett Helgeson is 4-0 as a collegian in three-set singles matches.
– Barry King has lost eight consecutive tiebreakers in singles. [last win: 3/11/05 vs. Boise State’s Matias Silva, first set]
– Ryan Keckley has won six consecutive singles matches [last loss: 2/7/06 vs. Illinois’ Ryan Rowe 6-3, 6-4]
– Ryan Keckley has won five consecutive three-set matches with the dual-match outcome still undetermined [last loss: 4/3/05 vs. SMU’s David Kuczer 4-6, 6-4, 6-2]
– Ryan Keckley has won seven consecutive close singles matches (three sets, match tiebreaker, or two sets with game differential of four or fewer) [last loss: 10/21/05 vs. Minnesota’s Adrien Debreyne 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5)]
– Ryan Keckley has won 11 consecutive home singles matches [last loss: 1/15/05 vs. Illinois State’s Alfredo Lagarda 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 1-0 (11-9)]
– Patrick Buchanan has won six consecutive singles matches outdoors [last loss: 4/3/05 vs. SMU’s Henrik Soderberg 6-3, 6-3]
– Yuichi Uda has won six consecutive close sets (6-4, 7-5, or 7-6) [last loss: 10/15/04 vs. Wisconsin’s Brian Ko, 6-4 in third set]
– Yuichi Uda has won six consecutive singles matches at home [only career loss: 9/17/04 vs. Purdue’s Scott Warner 6-4, 7-5]
TOP WINS UNDER BAYLISS: See pdf for a list of Notre Dame’s 22 victories against top-11 teams during the tenure of head coach Bob Bayliss, ordered by opponent ranking.
MOST-COMMON OPPONENTS IN IRISH HISTORY: See pdf for the list of most-common opponents faced by Notre Dame in its 84 years of varsity men’s tennis.
MOST WINS AGAINST ONE SCHOOL: See pdf for the list of teams Notre Dame has defeated most in its 84 years of varsity men’s tennis.
MOST LOSSES AGAINST ONE SCHOOL: See pdf for the list of teams that have defeated Notre Dame most in its 84 years of varsity men’s tennis.
LONGEST CURRENT UNINTERRUPTED SERIES: See pdf for the list of the current opponents Notre Dame has played in the most consecutive years without a break.
IRISH TO FACE RARE UNRANKED TEAM ON TUESDAY: Only three of the 19 teams Notre Dame is scheduled to take on this regular season are not currently listed among the nation’s top 75 teams in the latest edition of the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings. Indiana is one of those squads, as the Hoosiers began the season 60th, but have since fallen out of the ITA top 75. Notre Dame currently has a 21-match winning streak against unranked teams, dating back to a 4-3 loss to Indiana (which would finish that season ranked 44th after being as high as 21st) on Jan. 24, 2003. The Irish have 63 in a row away from home against unranked teams, dating all the way back to a 6-3 defeat at Wisconsin on April 23, 1991.
BIG ELEVEN (OR TWELVE)?: Though Notre Dame participates in the BIG EAST Conference in men’s tennis, a glance at the Irish schedule may not bear out that fact. Notre Dame will face only one BIG EAST foe (Louisville) during the regular season, but will take on a total of eight teams from the Big Ten Conference. Only Penn State, Iowa, and Minnesota from the Big Ten will not play the Irish this season. Notre Dame has had a long history of playing the teams that now make up the Big Ten, posting an all-time 321-228-2 (.582) mark in averaging nearly seven matches per season against Big Ten teams in the 84-year history of the program. Head coach Bob Bayliss holds a 145-48 (.752) career mark against current league members. The Irish have played each of the original 10 members of the conference at least 25 times, holding a winning mark against every team but Michigan (26-41). Notre Dame is 6-1 against the Big Ten this season, having beaten Northwestern (6-1), Purdue (6-1), Wisconsin (6-1), Michigan State (7-0), Michigan (5-2), and #11 Ohio State (5-2), and lost at #3 Illinois (7-0).
HELGESON POSTS HIGHEST-RANKED ND SINGLES WIN SINCE 2000: Freshman Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.) knocked off Virginia sophomore Treat Huey 6-7, 6-1, 6-1 at No. 4 singles in dual-match action on Jan. 27. Huey was ranked #6 in the national singles rankings, making him the highest-ranked player to fall victim to a Notre Dame student-athlete since Javier Taborga beat then-#3 K.J. Hippensteel of Stanford on Oct. 12, 2000, in the second round of the ITA All-American Championships.
BASS, PARBHU EXCEL IN NATIONAL INDOORS: Junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) and sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) combined to make Notre Dame one of only two schools (along with Stanford) to have multiple players among the final 16 in the season’s second grand slam, the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships. Bass knocked off the tournament’s No. 6 seed to become just the second Notre Dame player (along with Ryan Sachire in 2000) ever to reach the quarterfinals of the event. Just six schools – Duke, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Stanford, and Virginia – qualified two players for the 32-player singles draw (none had more than two). This season marked the fourth time – all since 1992 – that Notre Dame has had multiple players in the men’s singles draw of the National Indoor Championships, but the first since 1995. This was the first time that both reached the round of 16.
BASS, PARBHU COMBINE FOR FIRST ALL-IRISH SINGLES FINAL IN ITA MIDWEST CHAMPIONSHIPS: Junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) prevailed against his teammate, sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) in the first-ever all-Irish singles final of the Wilson/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Midwest Championships. No ND player had reached the singles final of that event – which features the top talent in the ITA’s Midwest Region – since 1996 (Ryan Sachire), and Bass became the first Irish victor since Andy Zurcher did so in 1993. Bass came away with a 7-5, 6-2 victory in the championship match to snap Parbhu’s 17-match winning streak and join an elite club of just four Notre Dame players who have won that singles title. Notre Dame was the only school to have two players in the quarterfinals, and that duo kept winning. Bass – a semifinalist in 2004 – is the fifth Irish player to reach the semifinals of the ITA Midwest Championships multiple times.
BRING ON THE BEST … ACTUALLY, WE’LL COME TO YOU: Notre Dame will face seven teams ranked among the national top 25 in the preseason edition of the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, with all but one of those matches coming on the road. The Irish lost 4-3 against preseason #1 Virginia in Richmond on Jan. 27 and play true road matches against #4 Illinois (lost 7-0 on Feb. 7), #8 Duke (lost 4-3 on Feb. 5), #11 Florida State (March 14), #13 Texas A&M (March 26), and #22 Texas (March 25). Ohio State, ranked 18th in the preseason, visited the Eck Tennis Pavilion on Feb. 24 (ND won 5-2). All 11 of Notre Dame’s scheduled road matches during the regular season will be against teams that were in the preseason rankings, as the Irish also have road dates with #31 North Carolina (lost 4-3 on Feb. 4), #48 Michigan (won 5-2 on Feb. 18), #51 Northwestern (won 6-1 on Jan. 21), #60 Indiana (March 7), and #68 Ball State (April 9).
TERRIFIC TRIO: The 2005-06 campaign marks the first time ever that Notre Dame had three different players compete in singles action in grand slams in the fall semester. Senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) participated in the singles main draw of the season’s first grand slam, the Polo Ralph Lauren ITA All-American Championships, while junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) and sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) played in the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships.
IRISH BOAST FOUR AMONG TOP 25 SINGLES PLAYERS IN MIDWEST REGION: Notre Dame joined Ohio State as the only schools with four or more singles players listed among the top 25 in the ITA’s Midwest Region rankings, released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) in December. Junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) led the way at #2, while sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) was fifth, freshman Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.) was 13th, and senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) was 22nd. Junior Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) would have been ranked, but was listed as having insufficient data since he did not play collegiately during the fall. Bass is the highest-ranked Irish player in the regional singles rankings since Ryan Sachire finished his career in 1999-2000 at #1, which concluded a decade-long span in which ND boasted the region’s top singles player in every season but one. In an almost-unbelievable turn, Langenkamp and junior Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) were listed just 13th in the regional doubles rankings determined by a committee of head coaches, despite having wins over the teams ranked #2 and #5 in the region and coming in 12th in the national rankings (determined by the ITA’s computer formula).
LANGENKAMP WINS ITA SUMMER NATIONALS: Senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) claimed the singles title in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Summer Championships, presented by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) last month at Indiana University. Among the highlights of his run were wins against Steven Peretz (who played Nos. 4-6 for Michigan last spring), Ryan Preston (Nos. 4-5 for Vanderbilt in ’05), top-seeded Paul Rose (Purdue’s No. 1 player who is ranked 54th in the preseason ITA listing), Will Gray (Nos. 3-6 for Tulsa in ’05), and Eric Hechtman (Nos. 2-3 for Miami in `05). The championship earned Langenkamp – who combined with sophomore Yuichi Uda (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Laurel Springs School [CA]) to make Notre Dame the only school with two players among the final 16 in the singles draw – wild-card entry into the main draw of the first grand slam of the 2005-06 collegiate season, the Polo Ralph Lauren ITA All-American Championships. It was the first time an Irish player ever won a title in the tournament.
BUCHANAN SERVES AS SOLE TEAM CAPTAIN: Senior Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.) was voted team captain for the 2005-06 season. Following three straight years in which Notre Dame had multiple team captains – the only such span in the history of the program – the Irish have now returned to their tradition of having a single team captain. In 84 years of varsity tennis, Notre Dame has had just one team captain in all but 10 seasons, with the most-recent solo captain being Casey Smith in 2001-02. He concluded a 32-year stretch in which all but two seasons saw Notre Dame have exactly one captain.
DOEBLER PROMOTED TO ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH: Todd Doebler was promoted to associate head coach of the Irish men’s tennis team, it was announced in January. Now in his fourth year on the coaching staff at Notre Dame, he is the first associate head coach in the history of the program, as well as one of just five currently in the Irish athletic department.
IRISH INK SEAN CORRIGAN FOR NEXT SEASON: Long Island’s Sean Corrigan (Lido Beach, N.Y./Long Beach H.S.), who was ranked among the top 25 in the nation in both singles and doubles at the end of 2004, signed a national letter of intent during the early period to enroll at the University of Notre Dame next fall and join its men’s tennis team. Corrigan, a senior at Long Beach High School, finished 2004 ranked 24th in the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) boys’ 16-and-under national rankings in singles, as well as 22nd in doubles (first in the Eastern Section). In prep action, he went undefeated at No. 1 singles last spring for Long Beach.
DAVID DiLUCIA NOW PERSONAL COACH FOR LINDSAY DAVENPORT: A five-time All-American during his four-year career at Notre Dame (1988-92), David DiLucia, left his job with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) in December 2005 to become the personal coach of the world’s #1 women’s player, Lindsay Davenport. DiLucia was ranked #1 in both singles and doubles during his collegiate career and then went on to play in the singles main draw in all four professional grand slams before retiring in 2002. During his pro career, DiLucia earned wins over players such as Gustavo Kuerten, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Mark Philippoussis, and David Wheaton.
BAYLISS HONORED BY NAVAL ACADEMY: Notre Dame head coach Bob Bayliss was recognized recently by the United States Naval Academy, where he was the head tennis coach for 15 years, as well as the school’s head squash coach for four seasons. Navy named one of its varsity tennis courts in his honor and also dedicated a plaque in its squash facility on the occasion of the return to campus by Bayliss, who posted a 19-0 record against Army during his tenure in Annapolis. The long-time Irish mentor visited the Naval Academy during the weekend of Nov. 5, which also featured the football team’s homecoming game, a 49-21 win over Tulane. Though the tennis court had been dedicated previously – when Bayliss was unable to attend – there was a small ceremony held to show it to him. The weekend also featured the squash team’s annual alumni match, the Bowen Cup, and the dedication of a new plaque honoring Bayliss’ service to that team.
BAYLISS AT WIMBLEDON: Notre Dame head coach Bob Bayliss headed to London, England, last June to participate in a High Performance Continuing Education Program, which was organized by the USA Tennis Coaching Education Department and held in conjunction with The Championships Wimbledon. A total of 15 American coaches who work primarily with junior players took part, with the intent of continuing to work toward the program’s ultimate goal of developing world-class American champions. Bayliss was selected to participate in the continuing education program out of a pool of applicants of coaches who work with talented and highly-ranked junior players.
ND #1 IN NACDA DIRECTORS’ CUP: Notre Dame is in first place in the most-recent set of standings in the 2005-06 United States Sports Academy Directors’ Cup all-sports competition sponsored by the National Association of Collegiate Dirctors of Athletics (NACDA), which were released on Jan. 12 and included results from all fall sports. Fall NCAA competition earned the Irish 412 points based on their third-place finish in men’s cross country (85 points), their seventh-place finish in women’s cross country (69 points), their quarterfinal appearance in women’s soccer (73), their third-round appearance in men’s soccer (64), their regional semifinal appearance in women’s volleyball (64) and their 11th-place finish in football based on the final USA Today poll (57). This marks the second straight year Notre Dame has ranked atop the final fall standings – and its 412 points are its highest-ever fall total. Penn State (308.5 points) ranks second, Stanford (282) is third, and Duke (280) and Wisconsin (277) round out the top five. Notre Dame finished 16th in 2004-05, its fifth consecutive top-20 placing, and has three times finished an all-time high of 11th (1993-94, `95-96, 2000-01). Duke posted its all-time best finish of fifth in 2004-05.
CHANGES TO THE ITA RANKINGS: The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) recently announced some changes to its national rankings for the 2005-06 season: (1) It will use one set of points for wins and also a tighter set of points, with less gaps. This set of points will be the same set that has been used for the season’s first computer rankings in the past; (2) There will be bonus points awarded for road wins; (3) The rankings that are run at the time of NCAA Championship selections will be run twice and the second run of the rankings will be the published ranking; (4) There will be expanded, unpublished rankings (and values for opponents): 76-125 for team, 126-175 for singles, and 61-90 for doubles; (5) The first computer rankings (for team) will take place 2 weeks earlier on March 8; (6) The singles and doubles rankings from Fall results will go back to being a computer ranking; it had been done by committee vote the past three years.
KEEPING UP WITH NOTRE DAME TENNIS: For the fastest results of Notre Dame tennis matches, call the Notre Dame sports hotline at (574) 631-3000 and choose #8. The hotline provides schedule and results information for varsity sports and serves as a supplement to the game recaps and weekly releases provided on the official athletic website at www.und.com. The hotline is the first medium updated with the results of each Notre Dame tennis match. In addition, media members and fans may be added to the sports information e-mail release list by contacting Bo Rottenborn at Rottenborn.firstname.lastname@example.org, who also can provide any information about the Irish tennis program.