Junior Patrick Buchanan and the Irish will take on Louisville in Saturday's first round, previewing a series between BIG EAST rivals that will begin next year.

Irish Head To #5 Illinois For NCAA Tournament, Set For First-Round Showdown With Louisville On Saturday

May 12, 2005

Complete Release & Statistics in PDF Format
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(Consult pdf for various charts, as well as updated statistics)

NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championship

Urbana, Illinois • Atkins Tennis Center

First Round — Saturday, May 14

[No. 5 seed] #5 Illinois (24-3) vs. Quinnipiac (11-6), 10 a.m. (CDT/EST)

– Live Scoring: fightingillini.com (also linked on und.com) #32 Notre Dame (18-7) vs. #33 Louisville (21-9), 1 p.m. (CDT/EST)

– Live Scoring: fightingillini.com (also linked on und.com)

Second Round — Sunday, May 15

First-Round Winners, 1 p.m. (CDT/EST)

– Hotline Updates: Notre Dame Sports Hotline, 574-631-3000, #8, #2 (if ND is in match)

– Live Scoring: fightingillini.com (also linked on und.com)

IRISH HEAD TO #5 ILLINOIS FOR NCAA TOURNAMENT, SET FOR FIRST-ROUND SHOWDOWN WITH LOUISVILLE: The 32nd-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team (18-7), making its 14th postseason appearance in the last 15 years, will head to Urbana, Ill., to face a future conference rival, #33 Louisville (21-9), in the opening round action of the NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championship on Saturday at 1 p.m. (CDT/EST) at the Atkins Tennis Center. The tournament’s No. 5 seed, fifth-ranked Illinois (24-3), will play host to Quinnipiac (11-6) at 10 a.m. that day, with the winners meeting on Sunday at 1 p.m. for a spot in the round of 16.

HOTLINE TO FEATURE IN-MATCH UPDATES: Fans and media unable to attend the NCAA tournament action at Illinois will be able to keep up with the action via the Notre Dame Sports Hotline, which will feature in-match updates, which will be available with certainty for the second-round match (should the Irish be in it) and possibly for the opening-round contest (if Notre Dame’s women’s team fails to advance to the second round of the NCAAs). The hotline will be updated regularly — at least every half hour and more frequently if the action warrants. These reports can be accessed by dialing (574) 631-3000 and selecting option #8 for tennis and #1 for men’s tennis. In addition, the official athletic website of the University of Notre Dame, www.und.com, will feature recaps of all the Irish action at the end of each day.

LIVE SCORING: Fans and media also will be able to access live scoring updates via the official website of Illinois athletics, fightingillini.com. That also will be linked on Notre Dame’s site, und.com, and ncaasports.com.

IRISH IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP: Notre Dame earned one of the No. 17-32 seeds in this year’s NCAA tournament for the first time since 2001 and will travel to Illinois. For the seventh year in a row, the NCAA Championships consist 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 will be played at 16 campus sites from Friday-Sunday. The 16 remaining teams will advance to the national site, Texas A&M University’s George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas, for the final four rounds, to be contested May 21-24. Since the current format was adopted, ND has twice before been a No. 17-32 seed, losing in the second round both times: 2000 at UCLA and `01 vs. Washington (at Harvard). 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 14 of the last 15 seasons — a distinction matched by only 11 other Division I teams: Duke, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, Pepperdine, Stanford, Texas, TCU, UCLA, and USC. Bob Bayliss is one of only three Division I coaches to have led his current team to at least 14 of the last 15 NCAA tournaments (also Georgia’s Manuel Diaz and Duke’s Jay Lapidus). 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 returned to the round of 16 in 2002. 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. Last season, Notre Dame — one of the No. 33-48 seeds — fell 4-0 in the opening round against Tulane in a match at Harvard University. This will be the second trip for the Irish to Urbana for NCAA action, as #13 ND was upset 4-2 by #69 Minnesota in the semifinals of the 1997 NCAA Midwest Regional in the previous occasion. Notre Dame is 12-13 all-time in NCAA Championship play. The Irish are 7-9 in NCAA competition when playing away from home, including 2-1 when playing on the opponents’ home courts. Notre Dame beat Georgia 5-4 in the quarterfinals in 1992 in Athens and downed Harvard 4-0 in the first round in 2001 in Cambridge, but lost 4-2 at UCLA in the 2000 second round. The Irish are 4-9 against higher-ranked teams and 7-4 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: 3-2 in the round of 64, 1-2 in the round of 32, 3-4 in regional tournaments, 2-3 in the round of 16, 1-1 in the quarterfinals, 1-0 in the semifinals, 0-1 in the championship.

IRISH HEAD COACH: Bob Bayliss is in his 18th year at Notre Dame with a 327-156 (.677) record, while his 36-year career mark stands at 609-250 (.709). On Feb. 18 vs. Northwestern, he became just the fourth active NCAA Division I coach to reach 600 career victories. Bayliss has had just one losing season in his career and has seen his teams finish in the top 20 nine times in the past 15 years, advancing to the NCAA round of 16 on five 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 14 NCAA tournaments over the last 15 seasons. Bayliss, named national coach of the year in 1980 and ’92, is a four-time ITA Midwest Region coach of the year and 12-time conference coach of the year (five times in the last eight years in the BIG EAST, including 2004 and `05). In his time at Notre Dame, Bayliss’ teams have won 12 conference titles, while his players have earned All-America honors 17 times, won eight national ITA awards, and earned 16 invitations to the NCAA Singles Championship and 11 to the NCAA doubles tournament.

ND JUMPS TO 32ND IN ITA NATIONAL RANKINGS: Despite being idle, Notre Dame jumped seven spots to 32nd in the penultimate set of Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national rankings, released on May 2. It is the biggest move for the Irish since they rose nine spots to 25th on Feb. 1. Notre Dame began the spring 34th and peaked at 16th on March 15. The Irish were a season-low 39th in the April 26 rankings.

IRISH WIN BACK-TO-BACK BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR FIRST TIME: Top-seeded Notre Dame registered a pair of quick victories in claiming the BIG EAST Conference championship last month at the University of South Florida in Tampa. The Irish earned a bye in the opening round and then beat St. John’s 4-1 in the semifinals before winning 4-0 in the title match against Rutgers. It was Notre Dame’s fifth league title in its 10 years as a league member and its 10th consecutive trip to the tournament final. The Irish have still not lost a match in the BIG EAST tournament since the 2001 final, having won eight straight since then (championships in 2002, `04, and `05, plus reaching the rained-out final in `03).

IRISH REACH HIGHEST NATIONAL RANKING SINCE 2002: On March 15, Notre Dame ascended to 16th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national rankings, marking the highest listing for the Irish since concluding the 2001-02 campaign at 14th.

IRISH ONE OF 12 TEAMS TO HAVE BEEN IN 14+ 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 14+ NCAA tournaments in the last 15 seasons: Duke, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, Pepperdine, Stanford, Texas, TCU, UCLA, and USC.

ND SEES 13 REGULAR-SEASON OPPONENTS EARN NCAA BIDS: Of the 23 teams on Notre Dame’s regular-season schedule, 13 of them earned berths in the NCAA Championship: Virginia (No. 2 overall seed), Illinois (No. 5), Duke (No. 9), Ball State, Boise State, Florida State, North Carolina, Northwestern, Ohio State, Rice, SMU, Texas, and William & Mary. The Irish went 6-7 against those teams.

BAYLISS REPEATS AS BIG EAST COACH OF THE YEAR: Notre Dame’s Bob Bayliss and Mickey Cook of Rutgers were co-winners of BIG EAST Conference Coach of the Year, announced late last month. The Irish mentor earned the honor for the second year in a row and fifth time in the last eight seasons. Bayliss – who now has 12 conference coach-of-the-year honors to his credit (5 BIG EAST, 4 Midwestern Collegiate, 3 Mid-Atlantic) – led the Irish to back-to-back BIG EAST championships for the first time after peaking at 16th in mid-March in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association national rankings. Notre Dame has now won eight consecutive matches in the BIG EAST tournament, with its last defeat coming in 2001.

D’AMICO NAMED BIG EAST TOURNAMENT MVP: Senior co-captain Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]) joined three-time All-American Ryan Sachire (1999 and 2000) as the only Notre Dame players to be tabbed the BIG EAST Conference Most Outstanding Tournament Performer since the Irish became league members 10 years ago. It was just the second time that Notre Dame won the team title and boasted the top performer. D’Amico provided the clinching win in the title match, defeating Gordi Milchutsky 6-1, 6-3 at No. 2 singles to ice the 4-0 victory against Rutgers. With that, the senior became the first-ever Irish player to go through an entire four-year career without seeing his team lose a match in the BIG EAST Championship. Notre Dame won championships in 2002, ’04, and ’05, and reached the final in ’03 only to see it rained out with no winner declared. D’Amico was on pace for a victory in the semifinals, as well, as he held a 6-4, 4-3 lead against Aurelio DiZazzo of St. John’s when the Irish clinched a 4-1 win against the Red Storm. He also was named to the all-tournament team in both singles and doubles, along with junior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.). That duo won at No. 1 in the semis, as it held a 5-1 lead against DiZazzo and Louis Desmerteaux when the SJU team retired due to an injury to Desmerteaux. The Irish squad was on serve (down 4-5) in the final against Milchutsky and Tyler Deming when Notre Dame clinched the doubles point. D’Amico — who finished with a 6-0 career record in doubles in the conference tournament — was a BIG EAST all-tournament honoree in doubles in 2003, as well.

A TALL ORDER: Notre Dame, Louisville, and Quinnipiac will face a stiff challenge this week, in trying to defeat Illinois at the Atkins Tennis Center. The last Irish victory in Urbana came in a 4-3 decision on March 7, 2002. Since then, the Fighting Illini hold a 43-1 home record, including a 38-match winning streak that was snapped on April 6, 2005, against Kentucky (4-3). Illinois also has won 56 consecutive matches against Midwest Region teams (which ND and Louisville are) since that Irish triumph. Notre Dame holds a 6-8 all-time record at Illinois.

SOME OF THE NATION’S BEST CONVERGE ON URBANA: Five singles players and two doubles teams listed in the national rankings will be at the Urbana subregional: #8 Ryler Deheart, #23 GD Jones, and #51 Kevin Anderson of Illinois, #76 Damar Johnson of Louisville, #115 Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) of Notre Dame, #10 Deheart/Jones of Illinois, and #44 Jakob Gustafsson/Jeremy Clark of Louisville.

PARBHU VOTED TEAM MVP: Freshman Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) was voted the team’s Notre Dame Monogram Club Most Valuable Player by his teammates. He has been the most consistent Irish player in singles this spring, posting a 19-3 record in dual-match action (16-3 at No. 4 and 3-0 at No. 3). On the season, Parbhu leads the Irish with a 31-7 record in singles. He also stands 20-13 in doubles, including 14-8 in dual play (10-6 at No. 2, 4-2 at No. 3). The rookie — who became just the third ND freshman to enter the ITA national doubles rankings last February — has won six in a row in singles and four straight in doubles heading into the NCAAs. Last fall, he reached the semifinals of both the Midland Invitational and the A flight of the Crimson Tide Fall Championships. Overall in singles, Parbhu is 13-3 at home, 12-2 against the Midwest Region, and 13-3 indoors as a collegian. He is also 5-2 in three-set affairs, 18-6 in close sets (decided by two games or fewer), and 10-2 in close matches. It was the second consecutive year that a freshman was named Notre Dame’s MVP, after Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) earned the honor a year ago.

IRISH DOMINATE BIG EAST ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAMS: Notre Dame took up three of the six spots on the all-tournament team, as well as two of three in doubles, when the BIG EAST Conference awards were announced last month. Senior Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]) — who was the tournament MVP — and sophomore Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) earned BIG EAST accolades in both singles and doubles. Sophomore Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) was a singles selection, while junior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) and sophomore Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph H.S.) garnered doubles honors.

D’AMICO NAMED REGION’S WINNER OF ITA/ARTHUR ASHE AWARD FOR LEADERSHIP AND SPORTSMANSHIP: Senior co-captain Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]) was named the Midwest Region’s recipient of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA)/Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship by the ITA for “exhibiting outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular, and tennis achievements.” As a regional winner, D’Amico is now a finalist for the national Arthur Ashe Award, which will be presented on May 25 in College Station, Texas. The other finalists (regional winners) are Mario Arce of St. Bonaventure (Northeast Region), Mat Cloer of Florida State (Mideast), Hamid Mirzadeh of Florida (Southeast), Tommy Garrison of Oklahoma (Central), Rice’s Robert Searle (South Central), Beck Roghaar of Boise State (Mountain), and Patrick Briaud of California (West). Since the award began in 1993, Notre Dame has had four regional winners, but D’Amico was the first in nine years. Previous Irish honorees were Chuck Coleman in 1993 (also the national winner) and Mike Sprouse in both 1995 (national winner) and ’96. Notre Dame has now had at least one winner of an ITA regional award in 16 of the last 17 years.

THE ND-ILLINOIS REGULAR-SEASON MATCH: Notre Dame, ranked a season-high 16th at the time, had chances, but could not convert them, losing 6-1 to #3 Illinois on March 17 in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Notre Dame got its lone point from sophomore Irackli Akhvlediani (Vienna, Austria/Vienna International School), who won at No. 5. Illinois swept the doubles and then won all six of the first sets in singles. Notre Dame then won three second sets and lost 6-4 and 7-5 in two others. But the Fighting Illini held on for three straight-set victories to clinch the match and then won two of the three-set matches. Akhvlediani was nearly off the court first – as a loser – but he fought off a pair of match points when Pramod Dabir – who was 68th in the preseason rankings and was playing No. 5 for the first time this spring after competing at Nos. 3 and 4 – served for the match, up a set and 5-4 in the second. But the native of the former Soviet republic of Georgia held strong, broke serve and forced a third set. He then prevailed in that, securing a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory. Senior co-captain Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]) nearly pulled off by far the biggest upset of his career, but he eventually lost a tight match at No. 2 with #4 Ryler Deheart 6-2, 5-7, 7-5. Junior Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.) also appeared to be on his way to a victory, but he eventually lost 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 to Ruben Gonzales at No. 6. Freshman Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) was on his way to prolonging the match, when he took a lead in the second set, but he saw another rookie, Monte Tucker, come back and end the match in straights, 6-2, 7-5, effectively ending any opportunity for the Irish to rally for victory. GD Jones, ranked 33rd in the nation at the time, clinched the win for Illinois – its fifth in a row against the Irish – by beating sophomore Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) 7-6 (7-0), 6-2 at No. 3. First off the court was 18th-ranked Kevin Anderson, who beat sophomore Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) 6-1, 6-4 at No. 1. Brandon Davis and Chris Martin were done first in doubles, beating Bass and King 8-5 at No. 3. It was the fifth-ranked team in the nation, Deheart and Jones, that clinched the doubles point, beating D’Amico and sophomore Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) 8-2 at No. 1. Completing the sweep was the pair of Anderson and Dabir, who beat Parbhu and junior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) 8-5 at No. 2.

ALL-TIME SERIES vs. NCAA REGIONAL TEAMS: Out of the teams in Urbana this weekend, Notre Dame played only Illinois during the regular season, falling 6-1 at home on March 17 in an indoor match. In all-time action, the Irish lead the series with Louisville (4-0) and the Fighting Illini (20-17), while ND and Quinnipiac have never met. Even though the teams are slated to begin a regular-season series next season when Louisville becomes a member of the BIG EAST Conference, the Irish and Cardinals will meet for the first time since 1988 and just the fifth time overall. Notre Dame won all of the previous matches easily, prevailing 9-0 in 1957 (home) and ’58 (away), 8-1 in ’63 (away), and 6-0 in ’88 at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill. Should they meet in the second round, Notre Dame and Illinois — who have played at least once in each of the last 17 seasons — would be playing for the 38th time overall. The Fighting Illini have had the upper hand of late, winning 10 of the last 11 meetings (and each of the last five), dating back to 1998. The lone Notre Dame triumph in that stretch was a 4-3 victory by the sixth-ranked Irish over #5 Illinois on March 7, 2002. Notre Dame is 11-10 against Illinois under current head coach Bob Bayliss and is 6-8 all-time at Illinois. The schools first played in 1933, with the Illini prevailing 7-0. The Irish and Illini are familiar foes, having played at least once in each of the last 17 seasons and 37 times overall. Notre Dame holds a 20-17 advantage, but Illinois has won 10 of the last 11 matches, including each of the last five. The schools have met once in the NCAAs, in the ’02 round of 16, with Illinois prevailing 4-1. Should they meet in the second round, it would be the first-ever contest between Notre Dame and Quinnipiac in men’s tennis. Both were first-round losers in the 2004 NCAAs contested at Harvard University.

FOLLOWING THE NCAAs: There will be televised coverage of the NCAA Championships, as ESPN2 will broadcast the team title match on a tape-delayed basis, airing on Tuesday, May 31 at 3 p.m. EDT (2 p.m. in South Bend). Additionally, the Tennis Channel will show the singles final on Sunday, June 5 at 8 p.m. EDT (7 p.m. in South Bend) and the doubles final that same night at 10 p.m. EDT (9 p.m. in South Bend). Live audio coverage of the semifinals and final of the NCAA singles and doubles tournaments will be available for free via radiotennis.com, beginning at 11 a.m. EDT (10 a.m. in South Bend) on May 29 and 30.

GETTING IT DONE AS A TEAM: Notre Dame has just one singles player – sophomore Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College), at 115th – and no doubles teams (60 are ranked) in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national rankings, but still is 32nd in the team listing. The Irish are the only team in the top 45 of the team rankings that does not have either a ranked doubles team or a top-100 singles player. The only other top-60 squads to fall into that group are #47 Tulsa, #48 North Carolina State, and #59 BYU. Notre Dame is one of just three top-40 squads that does not have a top-100 singles player (also #20 Tulane and #23 Mississippi State), while just two higher-ranked teams join the Irish in having no nationally-ranked teams in doubles (#15 Texas Tech and #25 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi).

NCAA INEXPERIENCE: Notre Dame’s current team is relatively inexperienced in NCAA tournament action, as just one Irish player has registerd a victory in the NCAAs. Senior co-captain Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]) won at No. 3 doubles in both the first and second rounds in 2002. Overall, current ND players are 0-1-3 in singles and 2-4 in doubles in the NCAA tournament.

PARBHU HITS 30-WIN PLATEAU: Freshman Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) enters the NCAAs with a 31-7 record in singles this season. He is the 11th Notre Dame player to post a 30-win season and the first since 2004 grad Matthew Scott was 32-5 in 2001-02. In all, Irish players have won 30+ singles matches in a season on 17 occasions, with Ryan Sachire (1997-2000) doing it four times, David DiLucia (1989-91) accomplishing the feat on three occasions, and Andy Zurcher (1990-91) doing it twice. In addition, current junior Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.) currently stands 29-9. If he reaches 30 wins, it would be just the third time that teammates have had 30+ singles victories in the same season. The first was the 1989-90 campaign, when Andy Zurcher (36-9), David DiLucia (33-12), Ron Rosas (33-12), and Chuck Coleman (33-13) all did so. The most-recent occasion was 1996-97, when Ryan Sachire was 37-9 and Danny Rothschild finished 33-12.

D’AMICO BREAKS IRISH RECORD FOR CAREER DOUBLES-POINT CLINCHING WINS: Senior co-captain Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]) has clinched the doubles point for Notre Dame four times this season, bringing his career total to 21, which is the most by an Irish player since the statistic was first kept in 1999. The previous Notre Dame record was 20 by 2002 graduate Aaron Talarico.

THE KING OF CLINCHING: Sophomore Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) has five match-clinching victories in singles to his credit this season, as well as five doubles-point clinching wins. His total of 10 clinching victories is just one shy of the most by an Irish player since the statistic debuted in 1999. The record of 11 was done by both Javier Taborga (3 singles, 8 doubles) and Aaron Talarico (1 singles, 10 doubles) in 2000. Two others – Ryan Sachire (4 singles, 6 doubles) in 1999 and Javier Taborga (6 singles, 4 doubles) in 2002 – have had 10 clinches in a season.

KECKLEY THE (DOUBLES) CLINCHER: Sophomore Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) has clinched the doubles point for Notre Dame seven times this season, which puts him in a fourth-place tie on the Irish list of most doubles clinches in a season since that was first kept in 1999. The record is 10, done by Aaron Talarico in 2000, while Javier Taborga (2000) and Luis Haddock (2001) both clinched eight. Two others – Ashok Raju in 2002 and current senior Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School) in 2004 – have had seven doubles clinching wins in a season.

D’AMICO/KECKLEY SECOND IN CAREER CLINCHES FOR A DOUBLES TEAM: Senior co-captain Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]) and sophomore Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) have clinched the doubles point for the Irish four times this season. The duo — which is no longer playing together — had three clinching wins in 2004, and the seven career clinches puts them second among Notre Dame doubles teams in the category since it debuted in 1999. The record of 13 was done by 2002 graduates Javier Taborga and Aaron Talarico.

RECORD BOOK UPDATE: A number of Irish players have cracked the Notre Dame season and career record books. For a complete summary, see the charts on page 5 of this release.

Stephen Bass FIRST SOPHOMORE SINCE 1998 TO PLAY No. 1 FOR ND: Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) has played No. 1 singles for the Irish in 15 matches this spring. He is the first sophomore to play at the top of the Notre Dame singles lineup since three-time All-American Ryan Sachire played No. 1 for the Irish during all of the 1997-98 season, compiling an 18-6 record. Bass is 7-7-1 at No. 1.

BUCHANAN & KING CLINCHING WINS: Junior Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.) and sophomore Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) have both provided the match-clinching victory on five occasions this season. The most singles clinching wins in a season since the statistic debuted in 1999 is six, which was done by Andrew Laflin in 2000 and Javier Taborga in 2002. Four others have had five clinches in a season: Aaron Talarico in 2001, Matthew Scott in 2002, and Luis Haddock in 2002 and ’04.

TRENDS: See below some Irish trends in this dual-match season: – Notre Dame has won the doubles point 15 times in 25 matches this season and has gone on to win the match on 13 occasions after taking a 1-0 lead. – The Irish have a 5-5 record when losing the doubles point, having come back to defeat Wisconsin (6-1), Northwestern (5-2), Michigan State (4-3), Rice (4-3), and Michigan (5-2). – Notre Dame has played eight 4-3 matches this season, beating Florida State, Michigan State, William & Mary, and Rice, while losing to Texas, #2 Virginia, Boise State, and Ohio State. – Ten of the 25 Irish matches this season have been undecided with only three-set affairs left on the court. Notre Dame holds a 6-4 mark in those matches. – Notre Dame’s winningest position is No. 3 singles, where four Irish players – senior Brent D’Amico (4-0), sophomores Barry King (14-3) and Ryan Keckley (1-0), and freshman Sheeva Parbhu (3-0) – have combined for a 22-3 record. – In doubles, the Irish are 17-7 at No. 2, with four teams combining for that record. Eric Langenkamp and Sheeva Parbhu are 10-6, while Ryan Keckley and Barry King are 5-1. – ND is 9-0 this season when winning at No. 1 singles. Dating back to last year, the Irish have won 11 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. – ND is 15-1 this season when winning at No. 2 singles, with the lone defeat coming in a 4-3 decision against Boise State in the quarterfinals of the Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic, which came despite Stephen Bass beating Thomas Schoeck 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 at No. 2. – ND is 11-1 this season when winning at No. 1 doubles, with the lone defeat coming in a 4-3 affair with #2 Virginia on Feb. 27, which came despite Brent D’Amico and Ryan Keckley downing Nick Meythaler and Rylan Rizza 9-7 at No. 1. – ND is 10-1 this season when winning at No. 3 doubles, with the lone defeat coming in a 5-2 match at SMU on April 4, which came despite Stephen Bass and Sheeva Parbhu defeating Gwinyai Chingoka and David Kuczer at No. 3. – ND is 0-5 this season when losing at No. 4 singles. The last time the Irish overcame a defeat at that position to prevail was in the final of the 2004 BIG EAST Championship, when Notre Dame won 4-2 against Virginia Tech, despite the Hokies winning there.

NOTRE DAME BECOMES SEVENTH SCHOOL WITH 1,000 VICTORIES: A 5-2 upset of #18 North Carolina on Jan. 29 served as the 1,000th victory in the 83-year history of the Irish varsity program. The Irish became just the sixth Division I program to register 1,000 victories, joining North Carolina, Texas, Georgia, USC, Stanford, and UCLA. Notre Dame has an all-time record of 1,013-435-4 (.699).

BAYLISS HITS 600: Notre Dame’s 5-2 home victory against Northwestern on Feb. 18 marked the 600th in the illustrious career of Irish head coach Bob Bayliss. The mentor, who is in his 36th year as a head coach, currently stands 609-250 (.709). He is one of just four active Division I coaches to have 600+ career wins, joining Furman’s Paul Scarpa, Rich Gugat of Air Force, and Rice’s Ron Smarr, who saw his Owls lose 4-3 to Bayliss’ Irish last week at the Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic. Bayliss is 327-156 (.677) in 18 years at Notre Dame after previously coaching for 15 seasons at Navy (1970-84) and for three at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1985-87).

BUCHANAN FASTEST IRISH PLAYER EVER TO REACH 20 WINS: Junior Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.) defeated David Stone 6-3, 6-4 at No. 6 singles on Jan. 29 in helping Notre Dame to a 5-2 upset of #18 North Carolina. That victory improved his season singles record to 20-2 and made him the fastest Notre Dame player ever to win 20 matches in a season. Previously, the quickest any Irish student-athlete registered his 20th singles victory was on Feb. 6, 1999, when third-ranked Ryan Sachire (’01) defeated #25 Daniel Andersson of VCU to win the consolation title in the Rolex National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships to improve to 20-4. The three-time Irish All-American went 37-9 that season. The last time an Irish player won 20 of his first 22 matches was in 2001-02, when Matthew Scott opened 22-2 en route to a 32-5 mark.

NO DOUBLES? NO PROBLEM: Losing the doubles point has not necessarily translated into a loss for Notre Dame, as the Irish are 11-12 over the past two seasons when dropping the match’s initial point. Notre Dame is 5-5 this year, having come back to win after losing the doubles against Wisconsin (6-1), Northwestern (5-2), Michigan State (4-3), Rice (4-3), and Michigan (5-2).

STREAKS: The following streaks are active heading into this weekend: – Sheeva Parbhu has won six consecutive singles matches [last loss: 3/17/05 vs. Illinois’ Monte Tucker 6-2, 7-5] – Eric Langenkamp has won 10 consecutive singles dual matches [last loss: 2/29/04 vs. Miami’s Jeremiah Fuller 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 1-0 (10-7)] – Stephen Bass has won 28 consecutive matches when taking the opening set (35-1 career record) [only loss: 2/8/04 vs. Purdue’s David Robinson, 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 1-0 (10-8)] – Brent D’Amico has won 19 consecutive matches when winning the opening set [last loss: 2/1/04 vs. Duke’s Jason Zimmermann 1-6, 6-2, 6-1] – Patrick Buchanan has lost eight consecutive match tiebreakers (career record: 1-8) [only win: 9/19/02 vs. William & Mary’s Alexander Fish 1-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-2)]

D’AMICO IN IRISH CAREER DOUBLES RECORD BOOK: Senior co-captain Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]) is beginning to show up on some of Notre Dame’s career doubles lists. See below a summary of his positions: Category Stat Rank Next All-Time Leader Doubles Wins 60 T-21st 20th-Joe Nelligan (1983-86), 61 Jakub Pietrowski (1995-98), 95 Doubles Clinching Wins 21 1st [2nd-Aaron Talarico (1999-2002), 20) Brent D’Amico (2002-05), 21 (individual) Doubles Clinching Wins 7 2nd 1st-Javier Taborga/Aaron Talarico (1999-2001), 13 (team) (w/Ryan Keckley) Combined Clinching Wins 24 4th 3rd-Aaron Talarico (1999-2002), 28 Luis Haddock (2001-04), 31 (w/Matthew Scott)

D’AMICO WINS PRESTIGIOUS BYRON V. KANALEY AWARD: Senior co-captain Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]) was one of three recipients of the Byron V. Kanaley Award, presented last month at Notre Dame’s O.S.C.A.R.S. (Outstanding Student-Athletes Celebrating Achievements and Recognition Showcase). The most prestigious honor presented to student-athletes, it has been given each year since 1927 to senior monogram athletes who have been most exemplary as both students and leaders. Chosen by the University’s Faculty Board on Athletics, the awards are named in honor of Byron V. Kanaley, a 1904 Notre Dame graduate who was a member of the Irish baseball team as an undergraduate. The other winners were three-time NCAA fencing champion Alicja Kryczalo and volleyball standout Emily Loomis. D’Amico is the ninth men’s tennis player — and sixth since 1991 — to win the Kanaley. Luis Haddock was a 2004 recipient of the award.

D’AMICO TABBED TEAM’S TOP ACADEMIC PERFORMER: Senior co-captain Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]) was named the team’s recipient of the Knute Rockne Student-Athlete Award, presented by the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley. He boasts a 3.758 cumulative grade-point average as a finance major in the Mendoza College of Business. D’Amico is a member of Notre Dame’s Academic Honors Program for Student-Athletes and has twice been named both a BIG EAST Academic All-Star and Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar-Athlete. He has been named to the Dean’s List six times in seven semesters and was the University’s one male nominee for the BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete Award, as well as a nominee to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America program.

D’AMICO AN ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA NOMINEE: Senior co-captain Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]) is one of Notre Dame’s three nominees for the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America Men’s At-Large Program. The category covers student-athletes competing in 12 different sports (fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming, tennis, volleyball, water polo, and wrestling) and allows each school to submit no more than three nominees. The organization’s members will vote, and the members of the Academic All-District teams will be announced on May 26. Those winners will move on to the national ballot.

D’AMICO EARNS BIG EAST SCHOLAR-ATHLETE AWARD: Senior co-captain Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]) was a recipient of a $2,000 stipend presented by the BIG EAST Conference as Notre Dame’s nominees for the conference’s male scholar-athlete awards. D’Amico, who owns a 3.758 grade-point average and is enrolled as a finance major in the Mendoza College of Business, was the one Irish male student-athlete selected for the honor, based on his athletic and academic accomplishments.

IRISH ONLY TEAM WITH FIVE IN TOP 21 IN MIDWEST REGION: After a fall season that saw Notre Dame’s depth showcased at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Midwest Championships, the Irish were rewarded when the ITA’s Midwest Region rankings were released on Nov. 30. Notre Dame was the only school to have five players among the top 21 in the region in singles (no other school – including #5 Illinois and #11 Ohio State – had more than three). In fact, only three teams in Division I – also #32 Oklahoma State and #60 Tulsa in the Central Region – placed five among the top 21 in their respective regions. Sophomore Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School), who reached the semis of the ITA Midwest Championships, led the way in a fourth-place tie with Ohio State’s Joey Atas after he was 10-3 in the first semester, with wins against #97 Atas and #56 Paul Rose of Purdue and all of his defeats coming vs. nationally-ranked opponents. Sophomore Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) checked in at 14th after going 7-3 and reaching the round of 16 of the ITA Midwest Championships, and notching upsets of #26 Jeff Kader of William & Mary and #50 Chris Martin of Illinois. Rookie Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.), who reached the semifinals of the Midland Invitational and the A flight of the Crimson Tide Fall Championships, as well as being one of just two freshmen in the round of 16 in the regional tournament, was ranked 18th after going 12-4 and defeating #31 Derrick Spice of Wake Forest. Junior Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.) was 19th following a fall season in which he went 16-2 and reached the round of 16 in the Midwest Championships, while senior co-captain Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]) came in 21st with a 6-3 record. D’Amico and junior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) were Notre Dame’s only entrant in the doubles listing, coming in at 14th after advancing to the final 16 in the regional championships.

PARBHU TOP ROOKIE IN REGION: Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.), who reached the semifinals of the Midland Invitational and upset #31 Derrick Spice of Wake Forest en route to the same round in the A flight of the Crimson Tide Fall Championships, was the top-ranked freshman in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Midwest Region rankings, released Nov. 30. He went 12-4 in his first collegiate semester and was one of just two rookies to reach the final 16 in the ITA Midwest Championships. In fact, only four freshmen were in the top 30 of the regional singles rankings, with Michigan’s Matko Maravic 20th, Mike McCarthy of Indiana at 26th, and Illinois’ Monte Tucker coming in 30th. Parbhu currently stands 31-7 on the season, including 19-3 in dual matches, mostly at No. 4, with one of those victories a straight-set win against McCarthy and another a three-setter against Chris Westerhof to clinch Notre Dame’s 4-3 win against Florida State.

IRISH DEPTH SHINES AT ITA MIDWEST CHAMPIONSHIPS: Notre Dame’s depth was the story in the annual indoor tournament of the top players in the region, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Midwest Championships, held Oct. 21-26 in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Irish took up three of the eight qualifying spots into the main draw (more than any other team) to have a total of eight student-athletes among the 64-player singles field. No other school had more than six in this year’s tournament, and no team other than the Irish has qualified more than six in the main draw since the current format was adopted three years ago (Notre Dame also had seven participants in 2003-04). All but one Irish player was victorious in the opening round, giving Notre Dame by far the most players (seven) in the round of 32. The Irish also had four in the final 16 of the singles draw, the most of any school.

D’AMICO, CHIMERAKIS SERVE AS IRISH CAPTAINS: Seniors Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]) and Nick Chimerakis (North Palm Beach, Fla./Benjamin School) were elected captains of this year’s Notre Dame team. D’Amico, also a tri-captain as a junior, is just the fifth two-year captain in the last 25 years for the Irish, while Chimerakis has made the journey from earning a spot on the team in walk-on tryouts in 2002-03 to assuming a leadership role.

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 Bo Rottenborn at Rottenborn.2@nd.edu, who also can provide any information about the Irish tennis program.