Oct. 23, 2005
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Notre Dame junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) and sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) both won matches on Sunday in the University of Michigan’s Varsity Tennis Center to advance to the quarterfinals in the singles main draw of the Wilson/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Midwest Championships. The Irish are the only team with multiple players among the final eight in the indoor tournament featuring the top competitors in the ITA’s Midwest Region.
Parbhu, ranked 77th and the No. 5 seed in the event, continued to advance easily through the singles draw by defeating 14th-seeded and 117th-ranked Slavko Radman of Louisville 6-1, 6-4 in Sunday’s round of 16. The Cardinal, now a fellow BIG EAST competitor, played No. 2 for Louisville last season and was 6-1 this fall heading into the match. The Irish sophomore has not lost a set – and has dropped just 10 total games in six sets – en route to three consecutive victories. Parbhu, who played No. 4 for Notre Dame last season, now stands 8-0 this season, including two wins over ranked players. He has won 15 consecutive singles matches since a defeat on March 17 against Monte Tucker of Illinois. Parbhu has been victorious in 22 consecutive sets, dating back to April 13.
Next up will be Michigan’s top player, Matko Maravic, who is seeded third in the tournament and ranked 42nd. They will play at 9 a.m. (EST/CDT) on Monday. The winner of that match will take on either top-seeded #19 Devin Mullings of Ohio State or seventh-seeded and 80th-ranked Jeremy Sonkin of Wisconsin later on Monday in the top-half semifinals. Parbhu won 6-4, 6-4 over Sonkin in last month’s Tom Fallon Invitational in outdoor action at Notre Dame. Mullings – who handed Irish freshman Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.) his first collegiate loss 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) in Sunday’s round of 16 – ended Parbhu’s run in last year’s Midwest Championships with a 6-2, 6-2 decision in the round of 16.
Bass’ road to the quarters has been much more difficult than Parbhu’s. The elder player won a third consecutive close match on Sunday, rallying from a one-set deficit for the second contest in a row to defeat 16th-seeded and 125th-ranked Christian Tempke of Northwestern 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. Bass is 8-0 this season, with four victories against nationally-ranked opponents.
On Monday morning, Bass – who played No. 1 singles for the Irish last spring – will take on sixth-seeded and 79th-ranked Matt Baccarani from Ball State. It will be the third meeting between the players in the last seven months. Bass prevailed in both of the previous contests: 7-6, 6-3 on April 9 in dual action at No. 1 and 6-4, 6-4 on Sept. 25 in the Tom Fallon Invitational. Both of those matches were outside at Notre Dame’s Courtney Tennis Center. A win would put the Irish junior in the semis of the tournament for the second year in a row. He would take on either Michigan State’s 21st-seeded Nick Rinks or Minnesota’s Nic Edlefsen.
Notre Dame had its final two remaining doubles teams eliminated from that main draw on Sunday. Helgeson and Parbhu lost 8-3 to the fifth-seeded duo of Bryan Koniecko and Ross Wilson from Ohio State, while senior captain Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.) and freshman Santiago Montoya (Scottsdale, Ariz./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]) fell 8-6 against the No. 13 seeds, Marc Spicijaric and Monte Tucker from Illinois.
The two singles finalists and the doubles champions in the ITA Midwest Championships will earn berths into the main draw of the season’s second grand slam, the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, slated for Nov. 3-6 at The Ohio State University in Columbus.
ITA Midwest Championships (October 23)Singles - Main Draw #19 Devin Mullings (Ohio State) def.  #108 Brett Helgeson (ND) 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) - round of 16 #77 Sheeva Parbhu (ND) def.  #117 Slavko Radman (Louisville) 6-1, 6-4 - round of 16 #74 Stephen Bass (ND) def.  #125 Christian Tempke (Northwestern) 7-5, 6-1 - round of 16Doubles - Main Draw Marc Spicijaric/Monte Tucker (Illinois) def. Patrick Buchanan/Santiago Montoya (ND) 8-6 - second round Bryan Koniecko/Ross Wilson (Ohio State) def. Brett Helgeson/Sheeva Parbhu (ND) 8-3 - second round
Note: Numbers in brackets are seedings. Numbers preceding names are ITA national rankings.