Jan. 27, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s tennis team suffered their first loss of the dual season on Sunday when they fell to top-ranked Virginia, 5-2 at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Despite the loss, Notre Dame’s Sheeva Parbhu and Stephen Havens each recorded impressive singles victories.
Senior Parbhu played arguably one of the best matches of his singles career, soundly defeating Virginia’s Dominic Inglot 6-1, 6-1 to tie the match at one point apiece after the Irish dropped the doubles point. Inglot was ranked third nationally entering the match, he is the highest ranked player Parbhu has defeated in his career. Parbhu jumped out early, using an early break to gain a 3-0 lead in the first set and never looked back. The Notre Dame senior improved to 13-5 on the year and stands at 3-0 in dual matches.
Havens fell behind Virginia’s Michael Shabaz, dropping the first set after being broken at 3-4. The freshman would rally, however, capturing the next two sets to earn the 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory. Havens broke early in the second set to earn the momentum. After closing out the second set, the freshman dug in for the third. The players held each of the first eight games of the final set before Havens earned the decisive break at 4-4 and served the match out to earn a hard fought victory.
Unfortunately for Notre Dame, Havens’ win came too late as the Cavaliers had already clinched the match win. After Parbhu’s victory, Virginia went into the lead for good when Teddy Angelinos defeated Notre Dame freshman Dan Stahl at No. 6, 6-1, 6-3. Angelinos easily won the first set 6-1 before Stahl responded by taking a 3-2 second set advantage. The Cavalier senior would win the match’s final four games to capture the match and send Virginia to a 2-1 lead. The loss was Stahl’s first of the dual season, dropping his record to 2-1 this spring and 13-4 overall.
The Cavalier lead grew to 3-1 when Sanam Singh earned a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Notre Dame’s David Anderson. Anderson earned an early break in the first set and had a chance to serve for the first set at 5-3, but would drop the next four games. Singh had earned the momentum and easily won the second set. Anderson is now 10-6 on the year, 1-2 in duals.
The match was clinched for Virginia when the top ranked singles player in the country, Somdev Devvarman, defeated Irish junior Brett Helgeson in a 6-4, 6-3 decision. A single break at 2-3 in the first set was all the Cavalier senior needed to win the initial set. An early break in the second set was too much to overcome for Helgeson who fell for just the second time this season. His record stands at 17-2 and 2-1 in duals.
Irish senior Andrew Roth fell to 11th-ranked Trent Huey in the day’s longest match 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-3. Roth battled back from a 5-2 deficit in the first set to take it in a tie breaker, but could not hold off the Virginia senior. Huey regained his composure after the early slip up and cruised in the final two sets. Roth’s loss evened his record at 4-4 on the season and 1-1 in duals.
The Cavaliers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead by easily winning the doubles point. While the Irish held early leads in two of the three matches, the momentum quickly swung the visitors’ way. Notre Dame’s No.2 team of Andrew Roth and Stephen Havens suffered two early breaks and dropped five of the first six games to the Cavalier duo of Houston Barrick and Dominic Inglot and eventually fell 8-2. Roth and Havens fell to 1-2 on the spring dual season.
Irish veterans Parbhu and Helgeson jumped out to 3-2 lead early in their match against college tennis’s top ranked doubles team, Virginia’s Somdev Devvarman and Trent Huey. But a break of Parbhu at 3-3 propelled the Cavaliers to win five straight games to take control and earn the 8-4 victory and secure the doubles point. Huey and Devvarman remain perfect at 15-0 this season in doubles play. Parbhu and Helgeson suffered their first loss and fell to 2-1 this spring.
Tyler Davis and Santiago Montoya vaulted to an early 2-1 advantage at the No.3 position, only to see Teddy Angelinos and Lee Singer, the 17th ranked team in college tennis, run off five straight games and cruise to a an 8-4 victory.
Sunday was the 11th time Notre Dame has faced the number one team in the nation since the ITA began issuing official rankings in 1990. The Irish fell to 1-10 in these contests including 0-2 against Virginia. The lone Notre Dame victory over a top-ranked team came in the 1992 NCAA tournament semifinals when the Irish upended USC, 5-1.
The Irish will return to the court Wednesday when the face the Spartans of Michigan State in a home contest. First serve is slated for 4 p.m.