Sept. 23, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team opened the 2005-06 campaign with a strong showing on the first day of the Tom Fallon Invitational, posting a 16-3 record in singles matches on Friday at the Courtney Tennis Center and Eck Tennis Pavilion. Among the highlights were seven Irish players going unbeaten, plus upsets of highly-ranked opponents by junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) in singles and Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) and Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) in doubles.
The opening day of the season saw the Irish go 19-4 overall, also winning three of four doubles matches. Langenkamp and Bass joined senior captain Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.), sophomore Andrew Roth (Houston, Texas/Tenney School), and freshman Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.) in going 3-0 on the day, while Keckley and sophomore Yuichi Uda (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Laurel Springs School [CA]) ended 2-0.
The high points both came in matchups against the University of Michigan. Bass, who is ranked a career-high 74th in the nation in singles, began the tournament on a high note by knocking off Matko Maravic of Croatia 6-4, 6-1. Maravic, a Wolverine sophomore, is the highest-ranked singles player in the Tom Fallon Invitational, listed at 42nd in the preseason rankings. The Croatian is the highest-ranked player ever to fall victim to Bass, whose previous top win came in last year’s Tom Fallon Invitational, when he knocked off #56 Paul Rose of Purdue in a match tiebreaker. The Irish junior also upset then-#81 Maravic last spring in dual-match action, winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 at No. 1 in a 5-2 home triumph for ND. Bass now has five career wins over ranked players to his credit. Later in the day, he beat Jarred Leibner of Purdue 6-1, 6-3 and then teamed with Helgeson to top a team of Wolverines, Peter Aarts and Steve Peretz 8-3 in doubles. He now holds a 48-21 (.696) career record in singles, including 25-8 (.758) at home and 21-5 (.808) outdoors. Bass is now 8-0 in his career in singles matches at the Courtney Tennis Center, and he has won five straight when carrying a national ranking. He is 9-1 (.900) in his career in singles play in the TFI, with the lone defeat coming in 2003. Bass also holds an 18-5 (.783) mark in fall action as a member of the Irish.
Langenkamp and Keckley, who had played just three career matches together prior to Friday, pulled off a 9-7 upset of Maravic and junior Brian Hung of China, who are ranked 22nd nationally. It was the highest-ranked victory of both of their careers and the biggest doubles win since Luis Haddock and Matthew Scott knocked off #19 Scott Green and Ross Wilson of Ohio State by a 9-7 score in dual-match play on Feb. 28, 2004. Langenkamp and Keckley now both have three career wins over ranked teams to their credit. The senior had a close call last year against the same Michigan team, but he and Brent D’Amico lost a tiebreaker against Hung and Maravic in dual action at No. 1.
Langenkamp, ranked 89th nationally in singles after winning the title in last month’s ITA National Summer Championships, earned a pair of straight-set victories in his first two contests as a ranked player. He beat Steve Peretz – whom he also downed en route to the ITA summer circuit crown – 6-3, 6-1 first and then downed Kurt Zaske of Purdue 6-2, 6-2. Langenkamp has now won eight consecutive singles matches, dating back to Oct. 30, 2004. The wins brought his career singles record to 45-21 (.682), including 24-7 (.774) at home and 10-1 (.909) at the Courtney Tennis Center. Langenkamp has won 12 straight at home and eight in a row at the Courtney Center, with both streaks dating back to the 2003-04 campaign. He also is 24-9 (.727) in outdoor play.
In his only singles action of day one, Keckley notched a 6-4, 6-3 triumph against Peter Aarts of Michigan.
Buchanan, who was 16-2 in fall action last year and is now 33-12 (.733) in his career, began his season by beating Danny Vidal of Ball State 6-0, 6-4 and then downing Purdue’s Matt Zollman 6-1, 6-1. He is now 34-13 (.723) in his career against the Midwest Region. He then teamed with Roth to win 8-5 in doubles against Dave Iancu and Chris Lueth of Drake. Buchanan is 15-5 (.750) in his career in the Tom Fallon Invitational.
Roth beat Jose Perdomo of Ball State 6-3, 6-2 before taking down Purdue’s Griffin Nienberg 6-4, 6-2. He improved his career collegiate singles record to 11-3 (.786), and he is now 10-1 (.909) in combined singles and doubles play in the TFI.
Uda, who combined with Langenkamp to make Notre Dame the only school to have a pair among the final 16 in the ITA summer circuit championship, won a pair of singles matches in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. He first defeated Mike DePietro of Michigan 6-3, 7-5 and then beat Purdue’s Kelubia Mabatah 6-4, 6-1.
Notre Dame’s other two ranked singles players – Helgeson and sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) – began with a pair of singles triumphs. The elder player, ranked 79th, beat Michigan’s Brian Hung 6-2, 7-6 (7-2) and Eric Hodgman 6-4, 7-6 (7-2). He is now 34-7 (.829) in career singles action, including 15-3 (.833) at home and 7-1 (.875) at the Courtney Tennis Center. Parbhu has now won seven in a row against regional foes to move to 15-2 (.882) in his career. He also is 22-6 (.786) in close sets.
Helgeson, ranked 108th after being the only college-bound player to reach the quarterfinals in the USTA Super National Hardcourt Championships over the summer, beat Michigan’s Ryan Heller 6-1, 6-1 in his collegiate debut before downing Patrick Rose of Purdue in a match tiebreaker, 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (10-4).
Junior Irackli Akhvlediani (Vienna, Austria/Vienna International School) also earned a singles victory on Friday, beating Andrew Mazlin of Michigan 6-3, 6-4.
Notre Dame will continue action in the Tom Fallon Invitational on Saturday, first taking on players from Drake and Michigan in singles at 8:30 a.m. (EST/CDT). The Irish will then play doubles against Purdue at 1 p.m. and vs. Ball State at 2 p.m.
Tom Fallon Invitational, Day One (Sept. 23)Singles#74 Stephen Bass (ND) d. #42 Matko Maravic (M) 6-4, 6-1#77 Sheeva Parbhu (ND) d. Brian Hung (M) 6-2, 7-6 (7-2)#108 Brett Helgeson (ND) d. Ryan Heller (M) 6-1, 6-1#89 Eric Langenkamp (ND) d. Steve Peretz (M) 6-3, 6-1Irackli Akhvlediani (ND) d. Andrew Mazlin (M) 6-3, 6-4Ryan Keckley (ND) d. Peter Aarts (M) 6-4, 6-3Scott Bruckmann (M) d. Santiago Montoya (ND) 6-2, 6-4Yuichi Uda (ND) d. Mike DePietro (M) 6-3, 7-5Patrick Buchanan (ND) d. Danny Vidal (BS) 6-0, 6-4Andrew Roth (ND) d. Jose Perdomo (BS) 6-3, 6-2Steve Guntly (W) d. Santiago Montoya (ND) 6-3, 7-5#74 Stephen Bass (ND) d. Jarred Leibner (P) 6-1, 6-3#77 Sheeva Parbhu (ND) d. Eric Hodgman (P) 6-4, 7-6 (7-2)#108 Brett Helgeson (ND) d. Patrick Rose (P) 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (10-4)#89 Eric Langenkamp (ND) d. Kurt Zaske (P) 6-2, 6-2Colin Foster (P) d. Irackli Akhvlediani (ND) 7-5, 6-2Patrick Buchanan (ND) d. Matt Zollman (P) 6-1, 6-1Andrew Roth (ND) d. Griffin Nienberg (P) 6-4, 6-2Yuichi Uda (ND) d. Kelubia Mabatah (P) 6-4, 6-1DoublesRyan Keckley/Eric Langenkamp (ND) d. #22 Brian Hung/Matko Maravic (M) 9-7Ryan Heller/Andrew Mazlin (M) d. Santiago Montoya/Sheeva Parbhu (ND) 8-6Stephen Bass/Brett Helgeson (ND) d. Peter Aarts/Steve Peretz (M) 8-3Patrick Buchanan/Andrew Roth (ND) d. Dave Iancu/Chris Lueth (D) 8-5