March 25, 2008
The Notre Dame men’s tennis team returned to the courts for the first time in over a week Tuesday afternoon at the Boone Tennis Complex in Lexington, but could not overcome a game Kentucky squad and fell 4-2.
The win was the second upset in three days for the Wildcats (8-9) who knocked off #22 Auburn Sunday. The Irish (10-7) lost for the third time in as many matches, and are in the midst of their longest losing streak of the season.
The Kentucky effort was led by Bruno Agostinelli who recorded two wins for the Wildcats Tuesday. The junior teamed with Brad Cox to defeat Sheeva Parbhu and Brett Helgeson 8-4 in the first doubles match off the court. The Irish No. 1 team lost for the second time in as many matches and saw their record fall to 10-10 on the year.
The No. 3 team of Stephen Havens and Tyler Davis won for the fifth time in as many dual matches this season, earning an 8-4 decision over Alex Lambropoulos and Marcus Sundh to knot doubles play at one match apiece. The Irish freshmen are 10-3 as a team, tied with the No.1 team of Helgeson and Parbhu for most doubles wins on the team.
Notre Dame could not complete the doubles comeback, however, as the No. 2 team of Santiago Montoya and Andrew Roth dropped a tight 8-6 match to Will Beck and Shane Collins. The teams held in each of the first two games, but Kentucky broke through in the third game, taking a 2-1 advantage with a break of serve. The match was close throughout as the home team took a 7-6 lead and had a chance to serve for the doubles point. A deuce game went the way of the Wildcats to give them the doubles point. Roth and Montoya fell for just the second time in six matches as a team this season.
Irish struggles continued at the No. 3 singles position where Roth could not gain any momentum against Sundh, falling 6-2, 6-2. The Notre Dame senior saw his record fall to 8-13 on the season.
Havens broke through for the first Irish point at No. 4 when he upended Beck 7-6, 6-3. The Notre Dame freshman, who was the only player to win two matches for the Irish Tuesday, battled from two breaks down in the first set to force a tie-breaker which he easily won 7-1. With momentum on his side, Havens took the second set with little trouble to run his record to 17-14 this year as he trimmed the Kentucky lead to 2-1.
The match swung the way of the home team with a come-from-behind win from Agostinelli at No. 1 position over Helgeson. The Notre Dame junior appeared to be on track to tie the match for the Irish as he easily won the first set and jumped out to a 4-3 advantage in the second. The 48th-ranked Agostinelli won nine of the next ten games, however, to take the match 2-6, 6-4, 6-1. The loss was just the seventh of the year for Helgeson who leads the Irish with 24 singles wins.
The Irish captain Parbhu kept his team in the match with a straight-set win over Cox at No. 2. The Notre Dame senior battled from 5-4 down in the first set to break Cox to tie the match at five. Two holds sent the match to a tie-breaker where Parbhu emerged with the 7-2 win. He won the second set by a single break 6-4. The win improved Parbhu’s record to 21-9 on the season and drew the Irish to within one.
The Irish comeback attempt was thwarted when Alberto Gonzalez defeated David Anderson 6-2, 6-4 at No. 5. Gonzalez earned a key break at 3-2 in the second set to propel him to the straight-set win. Anderson, who was in the singles lineup for the first time since he earned the only Irish point in a 6-1 loss at Illinois on March 1st, fell to 15-10 on the year.
Daniel Stahl won the first set of his match at No. 6 in a tie-breaker over Lambropoulos and captured the first game of the second set, but was unable to complete the contest as the team match had already been decided.
Notre Dame’s road does not get any easier as it looks to snap its losing streak. The Irish host #2 Ohio State at the Eck Tennis Pavilion Friday. The Irish have lost four of the last five matches against the Buckeyes including a 7-0 decision in Columbus last season. Notre Dame was victorious in its last home match against Ohio State, a 5-2 upset win over the then-11th ranked Buckeyes in 2006. First serve against Ohio State is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.
#50 Kentucky 4, #27 Notre Dame 2
Singles 1. #48 Bruno Agostinelli (UK) def. #43 Brett Helgeson (ND) 2-6, 6-4, 6-12. #83 Sheeva Parbhu (ND) def. Brad Cox (UK) 7-6(2), 6-43. Marcus Sundh (UK) def. Andrew Roth (ND) 6-2, 6-24. Stephen Havens (ND) def. Will Beck (UK) 7-6(1), 6-35. Alberto Gonzalez (UK) def. David Anderson (ND) 6-2, 6-46. Daniel Stahl (ND) led Alex Lambropoulos (UK) 7-6, 1-0 unfinished
Doubles1. Bruno Agostinelli/Brad Cox (UK) def. Brett Helgeson/Sheeva Parbhu (ND) 8-42. Will Beck/Shane Collins (UK) def. Andrew Roth/Santiago Montoya (ND) 8-63. Tyler Davis/Stephen Havens (ND) def. Alex Lambropoulos/Marcus Sundh (UK) 8-4