May 15, 2007
2007 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championships
Athens, Ga. â€¢ Dan Magill Tennis Complex
Round of 16 – Thursday, May 17
[No. 5 seed] #5 Notre Dame (26-3) vs. [No. 12 seed] #12 USC (22-2), 3:00 p.m. (ET)
Live Scoring: und.com
Quarterfinals – Saturday, May 19
3:00 p.m. (ET)
Live Scoring: und.com
Semifinals – Monday, May 21
Live Scoring: und.com
Finals – Tuesday, May 22
7:00 p.m. (ET)
Live Scoring: und.com
NCAA Singles & Doubles Championships – May 23-28
#8 Stephen Bass – Singles
#59 Sheeva Parbhu – Singles
#5 NOTRE DAME HEADS TO GEORGIA FOR NCAA ROUND OF 16 MATCHUP WITH #12 USC: The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team (26-3) – boasting a program best No. 5 national seed – will head to Athens, Ga., this week to face #12 USC (22-2) on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. (ET) in the round of 16 of the NCAA Division I Championship at University of Georgia’s Dan Magill Tennis Complex. The Irish – making their seventh appearance in the round of 16 – will then have senior Stephen Bass and junior Sheeva Parbhu take part in the NCAA Singles Championship (May 23-28) for the second straight year. Parbhu reached the quarterfinals last year. Georgia’s athletics website, georgiadogs.com, will feature live scoring of all matches in the championships, in addition to other special features.
IRISH IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP: Notre Dame earned the No. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament and hosted first and second round action for the first time since 2002. For the ninth 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 were played at 16 campus sites from Friday-Sunday. The 16 remaining teams advanced to the national site, University of Georgia’s Dan McGill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., for the final four rounds, to be contested May 17-22. 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, in the opening round vs. Louisville in `05 at Illinois and in the round of 16 against top-ranked Georgia last year.
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 16 of the last 17 seasons – a distinction matched by only 11 other Division I teams: Duke, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, Pepperdine, Stanford, Texas, TCU, UCLA, and USC. Bayliss is one of only three Division I coaches – along with Georgia’s Manuel Diaz and Duke’s Jay Lapidus – to have led his current team to at least 16 NCAA bids in the last 17 years.
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 also reached the round of 16 in 2002, `06 and `07. 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.
Notre Dame is 16-15 all-time in NCAA Championship play. The Irish are 9-11 in NCAA competition when playing away from home, including 3-1 when playing on the opponents’ home courts. Notre Dame beat Georgia 5-4 in the quarterfinals in 1992 in Athens, downed Harvard 4-0 in the first round in 2001 in Cambridge and upset No. 16 seed Texas A&M 4-2 a year ago in College Station, but lost 4-2 at UCLA in the 2000 second round. The Irish are 7-4 in tournament action in South Bend. Notre Dame advanced through the first two rounds of the tournament in 2002 and 2006 — the last two times the Irish hosted. Notre Dame is 4-10 against higher-ranked teams and 11-5 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: 5-3 in the round of 64, 3-2 in the round of 32, 3-4 in regional tournaments, 2-4 in the round of 16, 1-1 in the quarterfinals, 1-0 in the semifinals, 0-1 in the championship.
IRISH, TROJANS RIVALRY TAKES TO THE COURT: While the rivalry between Notre Dame and USC is unquestioned one of the greatest in college football, the two have played just eight times in the 85-year history of Irish tennis. Ironically enough, four of those meetings have taken place in the NCAA Tournament — and each one in Athens, Ga. The lone Notre Dame victory took place in 1992 and remains the greatest win in Irish men’s tennis history. 10th-seeded Notre Dame knocked off top-ranked USC, 5-1, in the NCAA Championship semifinals. The Trojans returned the favor twice the following season, defeating the Irish at the 1993 National Team Indoor Championships and eliminating Notre Dame from the 1993 NCAA Championships. ON THE BRINK: Notre Dame is just one victory shy of setting a new school record for wins in a single-season. The Irish (26-3) are tied for second with the 1970-71 squad, trailing on the 1980-81 team that finished the season 27-9.
BAYLISS, BASS COLLECT ITA MIDWEST HONORS: Notre Dame head coach Bobby Bayliss was named the Midwest Region Coach of the Year and senior Stephen Bass was chosen as the Farnsworth/ITA Senior Player of the Year.
NOTRE DAME HEAD COACH: Bob Bayliss is in his 20th year at Notre Dame with a 372-169 (.686) record, while his 37-year career mark stands at 663-272-1 (.708). 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 ten times, advancing to the NCAA round of 16 on seven 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 16 NCAA tournaments over the last 17 seasons. Bayliss, named national coach of the year in 1980 and ’92, is a four-time ITA Midwest Region coach of the year and 13-time conference coach of the year (six times in the last nine years in the BIG EAST, including 2004, `05 and `07). In his time at Notre Dame, Bayliss’ teams have won 13 conference titles, while his players have earned All-America honors 18 times, won eight national ITA awards and earned 19 invitations to the NCAA Singles Championship and 12 to the NCAA doubles tournament.
BASS REACHES CENTURY MARK: Notre Dame senior Stephen Bass reached quite a milestone earlier this season. The Bronxville, N.Y. native became the eighth player in Irish men’s tennis history to eclipse the 100 victory mark. Bass did so following his win over No. 45 Nick Rinks of Michigan State on March 28. Bass has since pushed his career record to 108-44 and ranks sixth all-time in Notre Dame history. With a deep run into the team and singles portion of the NCAA Tournament, he could catch Mark Schmidt (1990-93) for fifth place on the list (113). Bass has also racked up 68 career dual match wins, which ranks 10th on the Irish chart.
KING NOT TO BE OVERSHADOWED: Senior Barry King has quietly put together a record-setting senior year. King, who ranks 12th on the Notre Dame career singles victory list, is the first Irish men’s tennis player to ever register 30 or more wins in both singles and doubles. His total of 65 combined victories (33 in singles, 32 in doubles) ranks second in single-season history, trailing David Dilucia’s school record of 67. King’s 33 wins in singles ranks tied for 10th most in single-season history, while his 32 victories in doubles is tied for the school record with both Casey Smith and Javier Taborga (both in 2002). King also set single-season records in doubles-point clinching win (11) and combined clinching victories (17). Upon completion of his career, he will rank among the top 10 in the following career categories: singles wins, singles dual match victories, match clinching wins, doubles-point clinching victories and combined clinching wins.
NOTRE DAME SENDS MEN’S AND WOMEN’S TENNIS TEAMS TO ROUND OF 16 FOR SECOND STRAIGHT SEASON: Notre Dame has both of its tennis teams in the round of 16 of the NCAA Championship for the fourth time overall and second consecutive year. Prior to last season, the Irish had not had each team reach the final 16 since 1994. Notre Dame is not only one of six schools to have each team qualify this season, but one of four to have each reach the round of 16 each of the past two years.
IRISH SENIORS CARRYING THE TORCH: Notre Dame’s senior quartet of Irackli Akhvlediani, Stephen Bass, Ryan Keckley and Barry King have been instrumental in the teams success this season. The group has recorded a combined record of 100-26 (.794) in 2006-07 and an even more impressive mark in dual matches going 62-10 (.861). Over their entire careers, Akhvlediani, Bass, Keckley and King have posted a 305-130 (.701) record.
TRENDS: See below some Irish trends in this dual-match season:
- Notre Dame has won the doubles point 20 times in 28 chances this season (doubles not contested in one match) and has gone on to win the match on each occasion when winning the doubles point.
- The Irish have a 5-3 record when losing the doubles point, having come back to defeat Wisconsin (5-2), Michigan (5-2), Tulsa (4-1), Alabama (4-1) and Illinois (5-2).
- Notre Dame has yet to play a 4-3 match in 2007. Of the 26 Irish victories this season, 15 have been either 7-0 or 4-0 and seven more have been 6-1 or 4-1.
- Notre Dame’s winningest position is No. 1 singles, where two Irish players – junior Sheeva Parbhu (2-0) and senior Stephen Bass (22-3) – have combined for a 24-3 record.
- Notre Dame is 23-0 this season when winning at No. 1 singles. Dating back to 2003-04, the Irish have won 47 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.
- Notre Dame is 17-0 this season when winning at No. 6 singles.
- Notre Dame is 14-0 this season when winning at No. 2 doubles.
BASS SELECTED TO NCAA INDIVIDUAL TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS; PARBHU QUALIFIES AS AN ALTERNATE: Stephen Bass was to be the lone representative from the Notre Dame men’s tennis team to earn an invitation to the NCAA Division I Men’s Singles Championship, but junior Sheeva Parbhu, who reached the quarterfinals of the event last year, was listed as an alternate before getting an invitation last week. Parbhu and senior Ryan Keckley remain alternates for the doubles competition. The tournaments run from May 23-28 at the University of Georgia’s Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Bass, who entered the postseason ranked eighth nationally, was awarded the No. 8 seed after earning the automatic qualification from the BIG EAST Conference. This year marks the second season that the NCAA used a qualification process to mirror that of the team event, meaning that the top singles player and top doubles team (providing they are nationally-ranked) in each of the 31 conferences earned automatic bids, with the remainder being filled by at-large selections. Bass was the only BIG EAST qualifier in singles.
Bass has registered a career-high in singles victories this season with a 35-9 overall record and a 16-8 mark against nationally-ranked players, including a straight-set victory over the nation’s current No. 1 player John Isner of Georgia. He is 24-3 in dual matches, with all but two of those contests coming at No. 1. Bass has won eight consecutive matches and finished the season with a 11-0 mark at home. He has won 26 straight matches at home. Bass is 13-3 outdoors in 2006-07 and 40-13 in his career. He also reached the semifinals of the ITA National Indoors for the second consecutive season, to match Notre Dame’s best-ever singles result.
Spending the better part of the entire season ranked among the top 10, Bass is just the third Irish player to enter the top 10 since the current rankings were adopted. Among his biggest wins of the season, beyond his triumph over current No. 1-ranked Isner, were victories over then-#5 Arnau Brugues of Tulsa, then-#6 Kevin Anderson of Illinois, then-#15 Luke Schields of Boise State, then-#16 Greg Ouellette of Florida and then-#17 Michal Kota of Baylor.
Bass is simply one of the top players in Notre Dame tennis history. He ranks sixth all-time in school history with 108 career singles victories. Bass also recently moved into the top 10 in career dual match wins (68). His 35 victories this season rank in a tie for seventh best in single-season Irish history. Bass has also posted a remarkable 35 career wins over ranked opponents.
Fifteen of his regular season matches this season (36%) came against players that earned NCAA berths, and Bass held a 7-8 record against that group, with victories against Isner, Anderson, Brugues, Shields, Kokta, Ouellette and Jason Pinskey of Penn.
Parbhu has exploded onto the college tennis scene his first three seasons. After earning team MVP and leading the Irish in combined victories (52) as a freshman in 2005, Parbhu stepped up his game a year ago. He moved up from the No. 4 singles position to No. 2 and did not miss a beat. Parbhu went 33-8 overall and 19-5 in dual matches a year ago. She has continued that type of play this season, posting an overall record of 28-11 and 18-5 in dual action.
He already ranks among the top winning players in Notre Dame men’s tennis history. Parbhu sits 10th on the career victory list (93-26).
The Irish have earned 21 invites to the singles event since they adopted their current formats in 1977. All of those but two singles berths have come since 1990.
Bass will try to build on Parbhu’s run in last season’s tournament. Parbhu was named an All-American after reaching the NCAA quarterfinals. Prior to Parbhu, Notre Dame players in the NCAA Individual Championships had gone 0-7 in the tournament since 1998. The previous four Irish qualifiers in singles had bowed out in the opening round.
The 64-player singles championship will begin May 23 with opening-round play and will continue with one round per day. A full list of all qualifiers can be found on www.ncaasports.com. The Tennis Channel will provide coverage of the singles finals.
IRISH ONE OF 12 TEAMS TO HAVE BEEN IN 16+ 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 16 or more NCAA tournaments in the last 17 seasons: Duke, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, Pepperdine, Stanford, Texas, TCU, UCLA and USC.
14 NOTRE DAME OPPONENTS EARN NCAA BIDS: Of Notre Dame’s 27 matches this spring, over half of them (14) earned berths in the NCAA Championship: Auburn, Florida State (No. 16 seed), Virginia (No. 4 seed), Washington, Wisconsin, Pepperdine, Texas A&M-CC, Texas (No. 11 seed), Alabama, Duke (No. 14 seed), Michigan, Illinois (No. 10 seed) Tulsa and Ohio State (No. 2 seed). The Irish went 11-3 against those teams. Even more impressive, five of those 15 foes reached the NCAA Tournament Round of 16. ND FIFTH IN FILA COLLEGIATE TENNIS RANKINGS: Despite cruising through the BIG EAST Tournament (three 4-0 victories), Notre Dame remained fifth in the latest ITA Rankings, released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) on April 30. The Irish started the season 13th and had risen in 10 consecutive polls before slipping from fifth on March 27 to sixth on April 3. Notre Dame has been listed in each of the last 271 sets of ITA national rankings, dating back to March 2, 1990. In all, 19 of Notre Dame’s 27 opponents are listed among the 75 teams in this week’s rankings, with 10 of them in the top 25: #2 Ohio State (L, 7-0), #3 Virginia (L, 6-1), #10 Illinois (W, 5-2), #11 Texas (W, 4-1), #14 Duke (W, 6-1), #16 Florida State (W, 5-2), #17 Alabama (W, 4-1), #18 Tulsa (W, 4-1), #20 Pepperdine (L, 4-2) and #21 Michigan (W, 5-2).
ALL OF ND’S LOSSES TO TEAMS CURRENTLY IN TOP 20: All three of Notre Dame’s defeats have come against teams ranked among the top 20 in the latest edition of the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings. In fact, all three were ranked in the top 10 at the match of those respective matches. Virginia (2nd) and Ohio State (3rd) are each currently ranked among the top three in the nation.
IRISH IN INDIVIDUAL ITA RANKINGS: Two singles players and two Irish doubles teams were listed in the latest individual national rankings, released April 30. Senior Stephen Bass leads the way at eighth in singles, with junior Sheeva Parbhu at 59th. In doubles, senior Ryan Keckley is ranked with two different partners, appearing at 28th with Bass and 31st with Parbhu.
KECKLEY EARNS TOP-20 RANKING WITH FIFTH DIFFERENT PARTNER: Notre Dame senior Ryan Keckley – 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 six different partners, having earned a top-20 listing with five. He is currently listed 28th with senior Stephen Bass, despite the tandem only teaming up for the past month. Keckley is also ranked 31st with junior Sheeva Parbhu – after being as high as 7th on March 20. Keckley – who earned a national ranking in singles for the first time on March 21 of last season (115th) – was first listed 18th with graduated Luis Haddock following the fall of the 2003-04 season and then switched partners and peaked at 14th with departed Brent D’Amico later that spring. He has also been ranked as a tandem with senior teammate Barry King and graduated Eric Langenkamp.
ND GOES UNDEFEATED AT HOME FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE SEASON: After failing to finish an entire season (including both fall and spring) undefeated at home for 32 straight years, Notre Dame completed its second consecutive year perfect at home. The Irish won all won all nine of its home matches this spring, with none of those contests even being decided by a 4-3 score. Prior to last season (when Notre Dame went 8-0 in South Bend), 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 previous 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.
ND 7-3 AGAINST TOP-25 TEAMS: Notre Dame’s success has seen the Irish take on 10 squads ranked in the national top 25 at the time of the match. The Irish have wins against #8 Illinois (5-2), #8 Duke (6-1), #13 Florida State (5-2), #14 Alabama (4-1), #15 Washington (6-1), #18 Texas (4-1) and #22 Michigan (5-2). Their only defeats came against #3 Ohio State (7-0), #8 Virginia (6-1) and #10 Pepperdine (4-2).
ND BOASTING 23-MATCH WINNING STREAK AT HOME: Notre Dame has won 23 consecutive matches at home since falling 6-1 to #3 Illinois in the Eck Tennis Pavilion on March 17, 2005. The school record home winning streak is 30 matches, running from 1957-61.
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 Michael Bertsch at Bertsch.firstname.lastname@example.org, who also can provide any information about the Irish tennis program.