Oct. 16, 2004
ANN ARBOR, Mich. & MIDLAND, Texas – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team posted a 12-1 record in singles matches on Friday, while taking part in both the Wolverine Invitational at the University of Michigan’s Varsity Tennis Center and the Midland Invitational in Midland, Texas. Senior co-captain Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]) and freshman Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) both won a pair of singles matches in the latter event to make Notre Dame the only school with two players in the singles quarterfinals, while the Irish won eight of nine singles matches in the Wolverine Invitational.
“I am pretty pleased with how well we played across the board today,” said Notre Dame head coach Bob Bayliss. “The Midland Invitational is a pretty prestigious tournament that attracts players from the nation’s top teams, so to have two in the quarterfinals is quite an accomplishment. We played well at Michigan, as well, ending up with a couple of pretty good wins near the top of the singles and doubles lineups.”
Parbhu led off with an impressive 6-4, 6-1 win against Portland’s Matthew Loucks, who last year was a regular in the bottom half of the lineup for Texas A&M, which finished ranked 24th in the country. The Irish rookie then beat Duke’s Ned Samuelson, one of the most highly-regarded freshmen in the country, by scores of 6-4, 6-3. Parbhu will next face Brett Joelson of Texas A&M, who played Nos. 3-5 for the Aggies last spring. The Irish rookie, who came to Notre Dame ranked 22nd in the United States Tennis Association’s 18-and-under national rankings, now stands at 6-1 in his first collegiate fall.
“Sheeva had two great wins today,” said Irish assistant coach Todd Doebler, who accompanied the Irish pair to Midland. “Loucks was a proven player for a top team, in A&M, last year, and Samuelson is considered one of the top American recruits in all of college tennis.”
D’Amico’s victories took considerably more effort, as he played a pair of close three-setters. He first downed Aaron Badart of USC 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) before topping Texas Tech’s Michael Innerebner 5-7, 6-3, 6-3. The Irish co-captain will next take on Baylor freshman Lars Poerschke of Denmark in the round of eight. D’Amico has won five consecutive matches after losing to the nation’s 26th-ranked player to open the fall.
“It was good to see Brent stay in points long enough to give himself a chance to win today,” said Doebler. “He really battled through some times when he was not playing his best tennis, so the fact that he was able to win two tough matches in three sets was great.”
At the Wolverine Invitational, Notre Dame won seven of eight singles matches against Wisconsin and then split four doubles matches with Michigan State before taking part in various other contests.
Two Irish sophomores – Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) and Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) – went unbeaten in three matches on the day. Bass notched a 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3 win against Alex Kasarov, Wisconsin’s top player last spring, before teaming with King to claim an 8-2 victory over Michael Flowers and Mike Brown of Michigan State in doubles. Bass and King then beat Western Michigan’s Jeff French and Bryan Norville by an 8-4 score. King notched a 6-1, 6-1 win against Jeremy Sonkin in singles.
Bass is undefeated in six singles matches this season, and he holds a 28-7 career mark. He improved to 11-0 as a collegian in three-set affairs. Bass and King were victorious together in doubles after being winless in five matches together last season.
Notre Dame’s most impressive victory came from first-time partners junior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdael H.S.) and sophomore Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.), who downed the Ohio State team of Joey Atas and Scott Green by an 8-4 score. Both Buckeyes are ranked in the top 40 in the nation in doubles (though not together) and Green last week paired with another teammate to claim the doubles championship in the ITA All-American Championships, the first leg of the collegiate grand slam.
Langenkamp continued his perfect season in singles, improving to 6-0 this fall with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 win against Felpie Bellido of Wisconsin, while Keckley downed Jordan Raemisch 7-5, 6-0.
Junior Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.) moved to 5-1 on the season by defeating another Badger, Elliott Bisnow, 6-1, 6-1, while rookie Andrew Roth (Houston, Texas/Tenney School) is 5-0 after topping Wisconsin’s Mike Goodman 6-3, 6-3.
Sophomore Irackli Akhvlediani (Vienna, Austria/Vienna International School) posted a 6-1, 6-4 victory against Mark Weinig, while senior Jimmy Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) won for the fourth time in as many matches this season, downing Michigan’s Vinny Gossain 6-3, 6-4.
Buchanan and Roth also posted a doubles victory by beating Spartans Cameron Marshall and Brian Compton 8-4.
D’Amico and Parbhu also played doubles together, losing 8-5 in the opening round to the team of Callum Beale and Roger Gubser from the University of Texas. It was a reunion of sorts as D’Amico and Gubser were high school roommates at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Texas.
Singles – First Round
Brent D’Amico (ND) def. Aaron Badart (USC) 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
Sheeva Parbhu (ND) def. Matthew Loucks (Portland) 6-4, 6-1
Singles – Round of 16
D’Amico (ND) def. Michael Innerebner (Texas Tech) 5-7, 6-3, 6-3
Parbhu (ND) def. Ned Samuelson (Duke) 6-4, 6-3
Doubles – First Round
Callum Beale/Roger Gubser (Texas) def. D’Amico/Parbhu (ND) 8-5
Stephen Bass (ND) d. Alex Kasarov (Wisconsin), 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3
Barry King (ND) d. Jeremy Sonkin (W), 6-1, 6-1
Eric Langenkamp (ND) d. Felipe Bellido (W), 3-6, 7-5, 6-4
Ryan Keckley (ND) d. Jordan Raemisch (W), 7-5, 6-0
Patrick Buchanan (ND) d. Elliott Bisnow (W), 6-1, 6-1
Andrew Roth (ND) d. Mike Goodman (W), 6-3, 6-3
Irackli Akhvlediani (ND) d. Mark Weinig (W), 6-1, 6-4
Brian Ko (W) d. Yuichi Uda (ND), 7-5, 0-6, 6-4
Jimmy Bass (ND) d. Vinny Gossain (Michigan) 6-3, 6-4
Andrew Formanczyk/Nick Rinks (Michigan State) d. Langenkamp/Keckley (ND), 8-5
Roth/Buchanan (ND) d. Cameron Marshall/Brian Compton (MSU), 8-4
S. Bass/King (ND) d. Michael Flowers/Mike Brown (MSU), 8-2
Anthony Stefani/Adam Monich (MSU) d. Akhvlediani/J. Bass (ND), 8-4
Keckley/Langenkamp (ND) d. Joey Atas/Scott Green (Ohio State) 8-4
Drew Eberly/Ross Wilson (OSU) d. Buchanan/Roth (ND) 8-3
S. Bass/King (ND) d. Jeff French/Bryan Norville (Western Michigan) 8-4