April 13, 2008
The Notre Dame men’s tennis team posted one of its best wins of the year Sunday afternoon inside the Eck Tennis Pavilion as they defeated conference rival Louisville by a 4-3 count. The Irish clinched the match between the two highest ranked Big East teams early, but dropped two three set matches to provide the final margin. The win likely secures the No.1 seed for Notre Dame in next week’s Big East tournament and was the best win for the Irish since a 4-3 win over #30 Wisconsin in early February.
For the first time in three matches, the Irish won the doubles point. A blowout and two tight matches went the way of Notre Dame in the sweep. Brett Helgeson and Sheeva Parbhu teamed up for an 8-2 win over David Simon and Viktor Makimcuk at No.1 to push the momentum toward the home team. It was the most dominant win for the Irish pair since an 8-2 triumph over Srugo and Meister of UCLA in the National Team Indoor Championships in February. The Irish duo ran their record to 13-12 on the year and 11-10 in dual play. The pair has the most wins of any Irish team this season.
The freshman team of Stephen Havens and Tyler Davis clinched the doubles point with an 8-6 decision over Simon Childs and Kenneth Nordheim. The set was decided by a single break and gave Notre Dame their first doubles point since a 7-0 shutout of Ball State on April 4. Havens and Davis are now 11-6 this season and own the best winning percentage on the team.
Veterans Andrew Roth and Santiago Montoya completed the sweep of doubles with a dramatic 9-7 win over Austen Childs and James McArthur. The Irish duo won the final two games of the set including a break of the Cardinals to earn the win. Roth and Montoya are now 6-4 on the year as a team and have won three of their last four contests.
The Irish asserted control early in singles by capturing two of the first three matches off the courts. Helgeson earned his fourth win of the year over a higher ranked player when he upset 39th ranked Austen Childs 6-2, 6-2. The Irish junior showed the form that had him ranked as high as 11th in the country earlier this spring and earned his team-leading 27th singles win of the year against just 10 losses.
Parbhu made it 3-0 Irish when defeated Simon 7-5, 6-1 at No. 2. The Irish captain, playing in his final home match, won the first set by capturing the final two games when the set was tied at five and used that momentum to sprint out to a lead and run away with the second set. The senior is now 24-11 for the year and owns a team-best 14-6 mark in dual play.
The visitors got on the board with a win from Maksimuk over Havens at No. 3. The Irish freshman, playing just his fourth match of the season at the No. 3 position, fell in three sets 6-1, 2-6, 6-3. Havens is winless on the year at the No. 3 spot, and is an even 18-18 in singles play this season.
Daniel Stahl became the only Notre Dame player to win both of his singles matches this weekend when he completed a come-from-behind victory over Robert Rotaru at No. 6 to clinch the Notre Dame victory. The Irish freshman dropped the first set 6-2, before winning the next two sets by scores of 6-4 and 6-2. Stahl is now 13-1 on the year at the No. 6 position and is tied with Parbhu for second most singles wins on the team with 24. Stahl also owns a team-best five match winning streak in singles and is 13-5 this year in dual play.
Andrew Roth and David Anderson both battled in three-set matches with the team match decided, but neither player could secure another Irish point. Anderson jumped ahead of Alejandro Callegari with a 6-2 first set win but could not sustain the momentum and dropped the final sets by scores of 6-3 and 6-0. He is now 17-13 on the year. Roth fell behind a by a set to Simon Childs, but rallied to force a second set tiebreaker. After winning that set with an 8-6 tiebreak win, the senior found himself in another tiebreaker in the deciding set. He could not complete the comeback, however as he fell 7-5 in the decisive tiebreaker. Roth saw his record drop to 9-17 on the year.
The Irish will take to the court next Friday morning to open Big East tournament play. Notre Dame will be looking to defend the title they won last season over Louisville. The tournament draw has not yet been released, but check back with und.com for a full set of tournament notes and recaps later this week.