May 10, 2006
NCAA Division I Men's Tennis ChampionshipCollege Station, Texas â€¢ George P. Mitchell Tennis CenterFirst Round - Friday, May 12#18 Notre Dame (17-8) vs. #63 Brown (20-9), 2 p.m. (CT)- Live Scoring: aggieathletics.com (also linked on und.com)[No. 16 seed] #19 Texas A&M (15-10) vs. Texas-Arlington (13-6), 5 p.m. (CT)- Live Scoring: aggieathletics.com- Live Video: aggieathletics.comSecond Round - Saturday, May 13First-Round Winners, 4 p.m. (CT)- Live Scoring: aggieathletics.com (also linked on und.com)
#18 NOTRE DAME TO FACE BROWN IN NCAA OPENING ROUND AT TEXAS A&M: The 18th-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team (17-8) will open action in the 2006 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championship on Friday at 2 p.m. (CT) by taking on Ivy League champion Brown (20-9) at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. The tournament’s No. 16 seed, the 19th-ranked host Aggies (15-10), will take on Southland Conference champion Texas-Arlington (13-6) at 5 p.m., with the winners meeting in Saturday’s second round at 4 p.m. Live scoring for all three matches will be available at www.aggieathletics.com, as will live video of contests involving TAMU.
IRISH IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP: Notre Dame earned one of the Nos. 17-32 seeds in the NCAA tournament for the second straight year and will travel to Texas A&M. For the eighth year in a row, the NCAA Championship consists of a 64-squad team tournament with the field featuring 31 conference champions receiving automatic berths and 33 at-large entrants, selected by the NCAA. The first and second rounds of the team championship will be played at 16 campus sites from Friday-Sunday. The 16 remaining teams will advance to the national site, Stanford University’s Taube Tennis Center in Stanford, Calif., for the final four rounds, to be contested May 20-23. Since the current format was adopted, ND has been a Nos. 17-32 seed four times, previously losing in the second round in 2000 at UCLA, in the second round against Washington in `01 at Harvard, and in the opening round vs. Louisville a year ago at Illinois.
Contested since 1883, the national championship was the National Intercollegiate Championship through 1945, with the winner based on point standings from individual singles and doubles play. The format stayed constant, but the tournament became the NCAA Championship in 1946 and remained unchanged for the next 30 years. In 1977, the NCAA Championship became a 20-team event with all teams picked on an at-large basis. In 1994, the event developed into a regional format with the top eight teams in the country and eight regional winners advancing to a bracket of 16, played at a national site. In 1999, the 64-team championship dropped the regional format and implemented first- and second-round matches at 16 campus sites for every team in the championship.
Notre Dame has qualified for the NCAA tournament in 15 of the last 16 seasons – a distinction matched by only 11 other Division I teams: Duke, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, Pepperdine, Stanford, Texas, TCU, UCLA, and USC. Bob Bayliss is one of only three Division I coaches to have led his current team to at least 15 of the last 16 NCAA tournaments (also Georgia’s Manuel Diaz and Duke’s Jay Lapidus). Most of the best results for Notre Dame since the team format was adopted in 1977 came in the program’s first four berths into the championship, reaching the round of 16 in 1991 and `94, the quarterfinals in `93 and losing to Stanford in the `92 NCAA title match. The Irish returned to the round of 16 in 2002. Notre Dame has won a pair of national titles, sharing the 1944 crown with Texas and Miami (Fla.) and earning another shared title with Tulane in 1959. This will be the second trip for the Irish to College Station for NCAA action, as #14 ND lost 4-1 to #3 Illinois in the round of 16 in 2002. No current Irish player has seen Notre Dame win a match in the NCAAs, as the team missed the tournament in 2003 and lost in the opening round in both 2004 and `05.
Notre Dame is 12-14 all-time in NCAA Championship play. The Irish are 7-10 in NCAA competition when playing away from home, including 2-1 when playing on the opponents’ home courts. Notre Dame beat Georgia 5-4 in the quarterfinals in 1992 in Athens and downed Harvard 4-0 in the first round in 2001 in Cambridge, but lost 4-2 at UCLA in the 2000 second round. The Irish are 4-9 against higher-ranked teams and 7-5 vs. lower-ranked squads in the NCAAs, as well as 1-0 against teams with the same national ranking. ND’s record by round is as follows: 3-3 in the round of 64, 1-2 in the round of 32, 3-4 in regional tournaments, 2-3 in the round of 16, 1-1 in the quarterfinals, 1-0 in the semifinals, 0-1 in the championship.
IRISH HEAD COACH: Bob Bayliss is in his 19th year at Notre Dame with a 344-165 (.676) record, while his 36-year career mark stands at 635-268-1 (.703). 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 15 NCAA tournaments over the last 16 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 18 invitations to the NCAA Singles Championship and 12 to the NCAA doubles tournament.
Notre Dame Team Notes …
ND 18th IN FILA COLLEGIATE TENNIS RANKINGS: Notre Dame moved up one spot to 18th in the latest Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) on May 1. The Irish started the season 26th and have been as low as 31st (Feb. 14) and as high as 15th (March 21) this spring. Notre Dame has been listed in each of the last 258 sets of ITA national rankings, dating back to March 2, 1990. In all, 17 of Notre Dame’s 25 matches have been against teams ranked in the national top 75 in this week’s rankings, with 12 of them vs. squads in the top 30: #3 Texas (L, 1-6), #5 Duke (L, 4-3), #6 Ohio State (W, 5-2), #7 Virginia (L, 4-3), #8 Illinois (L, 7-0), #11 North Carolina (L, 4-3), #12 VCU (L, 4-2), #17 Florida State (W, 4-3), #19 Texas A&M (L, 1-5), #26 Boise State (W, 4-3), and #27 Louisville (W, 5-2; L, 1-4).
BIG EAST THREE-PEAT BID FAILS: Notre Dame’s attempt to become the first school in more than a decade to win three straight BIG EAST Conference men’s tennis titles failed, as the top-seeded and 16th-ranked Irish lost three of four three-set affairs in a 4-1 loss to #31 Louisville in the tournament final on April 23 in Tampa, Fla. The Irish have reached the event’s title match all 11 years since joining the conference in 1995-96, claiming five championships.
IRISH ONLY TEAM TO HAVE BEATEN OHIO STATE: Notre Dame broke through with a big 5-2 victory against then-#11 Ohio State on Feb. 24 in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. That is the only defeat this season for the 25-1 Buckeyes, who rose to an all-time high of #4 in the national rankings and won the Big Ten Conference championship. That 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.
IRISH REACH HIGHEST NATIONAL RANKING SINCE 2002: On March 21, Notre Dame ascended to 15th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national rankings, marking the highest listing for the Irish since concluding the 2001-02 campaign at 14th.
IRISH ONE OF 12 TEAMS TO HAVE BEEN IN 15+ NCAA TOURNAMENTS SINCE 1991: Since making its first appearance under the current format in 1991, Notre Dame has missed the NCAA Championship just once (2003). Only 11 other Division I schools have qualified for 14+ NCAA tournaments in the last 15 seasons: Duke, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, Pepperdine, Stanford, Texas, TCU, UCLA, and USC.
ND SEES 12 OPPONENTS EARN NCAA BIDS: Of the 23 different teams faced by Notre Dame this spring, 12 of them earned berths in the NCAA Championship: Texas (No. 3 overall seed), Duke (No. 4), Ohio State (No. 6), Virginia (No. 8), Illinois (No. 7), North Carolina (No. 11), VCU (No. 12), Boise State, Florida State, Louisville, Michigan, and Texas A&M. The Irish went 5-8 against those teams.
ND GOES UNDEFEATED AT HOME FOR FIRST TIME IN 32 YEARS: Notre Dame won all eight of its home matches this spring and also beat USC in the fall, with none of those contests even being decided by a 4-3 score. The last time the Irish went unbeaten in the spring at home was during the 1991-92 season – which saw Notre Dame advance all the way to the title match of the NCAAs. But USC got an exhibition win at ND in the fall of that campaign, so the last squad to truly go an entire season without tasting a home defeat was the ’73-74 unit that was 11-0 at home and 18-2 overall.
ALL OF ND’S LOSSES TO TEAMS CURRENTLYIN TOP 30: All eight of Notre Dame’s defeats have come against teams ranked among the top 30 in the latest edition of the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings. The first three Irish losses were 4-3 affairs on the road against Virginia (now ranked 7th after being #1 at the time), North Carolina (now 11th), and Duke (5th). Since then Notre Dame, has lost to Illinois (8th), VCU (12th), Texas (3rd), Texas A&M (19th), and Louisville (27th).
TRENDS: See below some Irish trends in this dual-match season:
– Notre Dame has won the doubles point 12 times in 23 chances this season (doubles not contested in two matches) and has gone on to win the match on all but one occasion (Feb. 5 at Duke) when winning the doubles point.
– The Irish have a 5-6 record when losing the doubles point, having come back to defeat Michigan (5-2), Ohio State (5-2), Florida State (4-3), Boise State (4-3), and SMU (5-2).
– Notre Dame has played five 4-3 matches this season, beating Florida State and Boise State and losing to #1 Virginia, North Carolina, and #9 Duke (all in a 10-day span).
– Twelve of the 25 Irish matches this season have been undecided with only three-set affairs left on the court. Notre Dame holds a 6-6 mark in those matches.
– Notre Dame’s winningest position is No. 2 singles, where three Irish players – sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (16-4), junior Stephen Bass (1-1), and freshman Brett Helgeson (1-0) – have combined for an 18-5 record.
– ND is 14-0 this season when winning at No. 1 singles. Dating back to 2003-04, the Irish have won 24 consecutive matches when prevailing at No. 1. The last loss was a 4-3 defeat at Virginia Tech on April 4, 2004, which came despite 80th-ranked Luis Haddock defeating #57 Andreas Laulund 6-3, 6-4 at No. 1.
– ND is 11-1 this season when winning at No. 6 singles, with the lone defeat coming in a 4-3 decision against North Carolina, which came despite Patrick Buchanan beating Will Plyler 6-2, 6-4 at No. 6.
– ND is 11-0 this season when winning at No. 2 doubles.
NCAA Tournament Notes …
ND 0-2 ALL-TIME AT MITCHELL TENNIS CENTER: Notre Dame is winless in two previous matches at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. The 14th-ranked Irish lost 4-1 to #3 Illinois in the round of 16 of the 2002 NCAA Championship there in the facility’s inaugural year. On March 26 of this year, the 22nd-ranked Aggies won 5-1 over #15 Notre Dame in a regular-season match. Irish players also went 0-2 at the Mitchell Tennis Center in the 2002 NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships.
IRISH-BEARS SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame and Brown will play for the first time ever in men’s tennis … Irish head coach Bob Bayliss – formerly the coach at Navy and MIT – is no stranger to the Bears, holding a 13-2 career mark against them … Notre Dame is 7-7 all-time against members of the Ivy League, while Bayliss is 69-60.
IRISH-MAVERICKS SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame and Texas-Arlington have never played in men’s tennis … the Irish have played just two all-time matches against the current members of the Southland Conference, having beaten both Texas-San Antonio and Texas State by 5-4 scores on the road in 1986.
IRISH-AGGIES SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame and Texas A&M could meet for the second time this season, but just the fifth time overall, with the Aggies holding a 3-1 edge in the series … TAMU prevailed 5-1 on March 26 of this year in the first-ever meeting in College Station … Notre Dame won the first matchup, prevailing 5-4 in the 1991 H.E.B. Championship in Corpus Christi, Texas … the Aggies won 5-1 in the quarterfinals of the 1999 Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala. … in 2004, ninth-ranked Texas A&M won 5-2 over #49 ND in the Eck Tennis Pavilion … the higher-ranked team had won every meeting until this spring.
ND-TAMU REGULAR-SEASON RECAP: Notre Dame, ranked 15th, lost 5-1 at #22 Texas A&M on March 26 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas. The Irish were without freshman Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.) – who normally plays No. 3 singles – but the match still came down to a quartet of three-set contests in singles. The Aggies won three of those and the final one was not finished. Texas A&M posted dominating victories at the top two spots to win the doubles point, and the Aggies appeared to be on their way to an easy victory when they took the first sets in five of the six singles matches. But the Irish would fight back, winning five of the second sets, leaving the match up to three-set affairs at Nos. 1, 3, 4, and 5 with A&M holding a 2-1 advantage. The Aggies won 6-3 in the third at Nos. 1, 4, and 5, while the No. 3 match was abandoned – due to Notre Dame travel plans – at 3-3 in the final set.
For the second day in a row, sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.), ranked 34th, provided the lone victory for the Irish. He beat Bryan Wooten 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) at No. 2 singles. Irish junior Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.), ranked 115th in the nation, was in the midst of a battle at No. 3 singles with Mohammed Dakki of France. The Aggie won the opening set 7-5, but Keckley came back for a 6-3 win in the second, and the players were in a 3-3 deadlock in the decisive frame when it was abandoned.
Texas A&M lost just six total games in doubles, but was denied the opportunity to finish off the sweep, due to Notre Dame’s travel plans. The Irish dropped the doubles point for the sixth time in their last eight chances. Done first in doubles was the 74th-ranked team of Matt Bain and Jerry Makowski, which beat senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) and sophomore Andrew Roth (Houston, Texas/Tenney School) by an 8-1 score at No. 2. Wooten and Brett Joelson, ranked 64th, won 8-1 over Keckley and Parbhu at No. 1 to clinch the doubles point. At No. 3, Marcus Lunt and Conor Pollock held a 7-4 advantage against juniors Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) and Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) at No. 3 when that match was abandoned.
Joelson was A&M’s lone straight-set winner in singles, beating Roth 6-2, 6-2 at No. 6 to put the Aggies up 2-0. John Nallon put Texas A&M up 3-1 by beating King 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 at No. 4. The clinching win came from Pollock at No. 5, who defeated Langenkamp 6-0, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3. The top spot saw a battle of two of the top players in college tennis, with eighth-ranked Makowski finally winning 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 against 13th-ranked Bass.
UNCONVENTIONAL SEEDING: Should it advance to the second round and play Texas A&M, Notre Dame would be the only Nos. 17-32 seed in this year’s NCAA tournament ranked higher than its second-round opponent. The Aggies received the No. 16 overall seed despite being ranked 19th, while the Irish are ranked 18th.
NCAA INEXPERIENCE: Notre Dame’s current team is relatively inexperienced in NCAA tournament action, as no one has seen the Irish advance beyond the opening round. Only three current players have even posted an individual win in the NCAA tournament. A year ago, current sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) won in singles, while the squad of current juniors Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) and Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) were victorious in doubles. Overall, current ND players are 1-4 with three matches abandoned in singles and 2-5 in doubles in the NCAA tournament.
Notre Dame Player Notes …
BASS, PARBHU GIVE ND TWO IN NCAA SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIP FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1995: Junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) and sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) earned invitations to the NCAA Singles Championship, giving Notre Dame two entrants in the tournament for the first time since Mike Sprouse and Ryan Simme did so in 1995. Bass, ranked 21st nationally with a 27-10 record, earned the BIG EAST’s automatic bid to the event as the conference’s top-ranked player, while Parbhu – ranked 32nd with a 28-7 record – was one of three BIG EAST players to gain at-large berths. Only three conferences – the Southeastern (10 qualifiers), Atlantic Coast (7), and Big 12 (6) – had more qualifiers, while the Big Ten, Pac-10, and Western Athletic Conferences also had four each.
KECKLEY/LANGENKAMP BECOME FIRST ND DOUBLES TEAM SINCE 2002 TO EARN NCAA BID: Senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) and junior Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph H.S.) are the first Irish duo to be invited to the NCAA Doubles Championship since Javier Taborga and Casey Smith in 2002. The current ND team, ranked 28th with a 5-4 record but three wins over top-30 squads, got an at-large bid to this year’s event.
IRISH IN INDIVIDUAL ITA RANKINGS: Two singles players and two Irish doubles teams were listed in the latest individual national rankings, released May 1. Junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) leads the way at 21st in singles, with sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) at 32nd. In doubles, junior Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) is ranked with two different partners, appearing at 28th with senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) and 53rd with junior Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College).
IRISH BOAST TWO AMONG NATION’S TOP 35 IN SINGLES: In the latest set of Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, released on April 4, Irish junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) is 21st nationally in singles, while sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) is 32nd. Notre Dame is one of only five Division I schools (along with Georgia, Illinois, Pepperdine, and Stanford) to have multiple players among the top 35 in the listing.
ALL SIX IRISH STARTERS IN SINGLES HAVE BEEN NATIONALLY-RANKED: All six of Notre Dame’s regular starters in singles have been listed in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s national singles rankings this season. Junior Stephen Bass and sophomore Sheeva Parbhu are still in the rankings, at 21st and 32nd, respectively. Those two peaked on Jan. 10 at eighth and 14th, respectively. Freshman Brett Helgeson has been ranked in three of the five sets of rankings, but fell out this week after being as high as 60th (on Feb. 22). Junior Ryan Keckley – who is ranked with two different partners in doubles – earned his first career singles ranking (115th) on March 21, but also is unranked this week. Junior Barry King moved into the listing on March 7 at 106th, but has since fallen out, while senior Eric Langenkamp was in the first two sets of national rankings, peaking at 65th on Jan. 10.
THREE LAND ON BIG EAST ALL-TOURNEY TEAMS: Freshman Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.) and the doubles team of senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) and junior Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) were named to the BIG EAST Conference Men’s Tennis All-Tournament Teams. The Irish have now had honorees in both singles and doubles in all four years since the debut of the awards, voted on by the conference’s 10 men’s tennis head coaches. Helgeson is just the second Irish rookie to earn the accolade.
KECKLEY, PARBHU VOTED CO-MVPs: Junior Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph `s H.S.) and sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) were voted by their teammates as co-MVPs of this year’s Irish squad. Keckley leads the team in singles victories in dual-match action, going 18-4 at Nos. 4-5 and 20-5 overall, while also holding down the No. 1 doubles spot most of the season, peaking at 12th in the national rankings. Parbhu – the 2004-05 MVP – holds the team lead in overall singles wins for the second straight year with a 28-7 mark, including 17-5 in dual play at Nos. 1-2. He has been ranked as high as 14th in the nation in singles.
KECKLEY TABBED ROCKNE STUDENT-ATHLETE: Junior Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph `s H.S.) is the team’s recipient of the Knute Rockne Student-Athlete Award, presented by the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley to the squad’s top academic performer. A marketing major, he holds a 3.301 cumulative grade-point average and was the team’s sole representative on the Dean’s List during the fall semester, posting a 3.734.
BUCHANAN WINS ARTHUR ASHE SPORTS SCHOLAR AWARD: Senior captain Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.) was one of five Notre Dame student-athletes honored as 2006 recipients of the annual Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award, as announced in the April issue of Diverse magazine. Beginning in 1992, Black Issues In Higher Education (now Diverse) established the Sports Scholars Award to honor undergraduate students of color who exemplify the standards set by tennis great Arthur Ashe Jr. In addition to their athletic ability, students who are named Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars must exhibit academic excellence as well as community activism.
KECKLEY EARNS TOP-20 RANKING WITH FOURTH DIFFERENT PARTNER: 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 – is the only Notre Dame player ever to be listed in the ITA national doubles rankings with four different partners, having earned a top-20 listing with each. He is currently listed 53rd with classmate Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) – after being 20th on March 7 – as well as 28th with senior senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.), after that squad was 12th to start the spring. Keckley – who earned a national ranking in singles for the first time on March 21 (115th) – was first listed 18th with Luis Haddock following the fall of the 2003-04 season and then switched partners and peaked at 14th with Brent D’Amico later that spring.
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.
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.
Miscellaneous Notes …
IRISH GO 7-1 vs. THE BIG TEN: Notre Dame played eight matches against members of the Big Ten Conference this spring, winning all but a road contest against #3 Illinois. The Irish upset #11 Ohio State by a 5-2 score and also beat Michigan 5-2. Notre Dame won 7-0 against Michigan State and 6-1 vs. Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin, and Indiana.
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.
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.