Feb. 17, 2006
#31 Notre Dame (6-4) vs. #42 Michigan (5-2)Saturday, February 18, 6 p.m. (EST) â€¢ Varsity Tennis Center â€¢ Ann Arbor, Michigan- Live Scoring Updates: mgoblue.com (also linked on und.com)
IRISH HEAD TO MICHIGAN FOR SATURDAY-EVENING CONTEST: The 31st-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team (6-4) will look for its fifth consecutive victory on Saturday, as it travels to #42 Michigan (5-2) for a 6 p.m. (EST) match in the Varsity Tennis Center. The Irish will try to continue their success against Big Ten Conference opponents, having posted a 4-1 mark against the league thus far this spring.
MICHIGAN AT A GLANCE: The Wolverines enter their match with the Irish with a 5-2 record and ranked 42nd in the nation … Michigan – which was ranked 48th in the preseason – upset then-#37 Rice 5-2 on Feb. 3 at home and also has victories against Western Michigan (4-3), Ball State (5-2), William & Mary (4-3), and Alabama (6-1) … the Wolverines defeats both came against squads currently ranked among the national top 15: #11 Virginia (6-1) and #15 LSU (5-2) … ND and Michigan have faced two common opponents, as the Irish fell 4-3 to Virginia and beat William & Mary 7-0 … against the Cavaliers, the Wolverines won the doubles point with wins at Nos. 1 and 2 and then lost all of the singles matches, despite going to three sets in four matches … ND won at Nos. 3-5 (and No. 3 doubles) vs. UVA and lost in three at Nos. 1 and 2 … the Irish did not lose a match against the Tribe, while Michigan won at Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 5 in singles (plus No. 1 in doubles) … Michigan returned four of eight starters from last year’s squad that was 15-10 and ranked 54th in the nation (after peaking at 39th) … the Wolveriens were third in the Big Ten Conference with a 7-3 record and then fell 4-0 to Ohio State in the semifinals of the league tournament to fall just short of an invitation to the NCAA tournament … the top players on the Wolverines are sophomore Matko Maravic of Croatia and junior Brian Hung from Hong Kong … the younger player is currently ranked 42nd in the nation, but has lost nine of his last 11 matches, beginning with a three-set decision against Irish sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) in the quarterfinals of the ITA Midwest Championships … Hung has been ranked as high as 70th during his career, and junior Ryan Heller is currently 62nd, but has dropped nine of his last 13 matches … there were 17 ND-Michigan matchups in the spring, with the Irish winning 13 of them (12-2 singles, 1-2 doubles) … head coach Bruce Berque is in his second year as head coach of the Wolverines, having compiled a 20-12 (.625) record, including 0-1 against Notre Dame … next up for Michigan is its Big Ten opener, Feb. 24 at Northwestern.
IRISH-WOLVERINES SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame and Michigan will meet for the 18th consecutive season and 67th time overall, with the Wolverines holding a 41-25 edge in the series (see page 43 of the ND media guide for scores of every match), though the Irish have won the last four … the last Michigan victory over the Irish came in 2002, when the 46th-ranked Wolverines knocked off #4 ND by a 4-3 score in Ann Arbor … it is a matchup of two of the winningest college tennis programs in the country, as Notre Dame’s 1,019 all-time victories are the seventh-most among all Division I schools, and the 1,012 by Michigan rank eighth … the Wolverines’ 41 all-time wins against Notre Dame are the most by any school (Northwestern’s 36 are next) … Michigan’s 16-match lead in the all-time series with Notre Dame (41-25) is the largest deficit the Irish face in any series (Duke’s 14-4 lead is next) … Saturday will tie the Wolverines with Indiana as the third-most-common opponent in the 84-year history of Notre Dame’s varsity program, behind only Michigan State and Northwestern (75 all-time meetings apiece) … the Wolverines hold a 19-7 mark at home against the Irish, though the Irish are 5-3 in Ann Arbor under head coach Bob Bayliss … the schools first played in 1923, the inaugural season of varsity tennis at Notre Dame, with Michigan prevailing 5-0 … after another loss the following year, the Irish got their first win in the series in 1938 in a 6-3 decision at home … Michigan led the series 15-10 after Notre Dame’s 5-4 home win in 1960, but the Wolverines would then run off 23 consecutive victories over the Irish before ND finally broke through with a 6-0 win in Ann Arbor in 1990 … beginning with that match, the Irish have won 14 of the last 17 meetings … a year ago, 20th-ranked Notre Dame won four of five three-set matches to win 5-2 over #56 U-M on March 26 in the Eck Tennis Pavilion … the Wolverines won a tiebreaker at No. 1 in the final match remaining to take the doubles point and take first sets in three singles matches, but the Irish would earn a straight-set victory at No. 4 and then win in three at Nos. 1, 3, 5, and 6 to get the win … the Wolverines won in three sets at No. 2 … this will be the 16th time in the last 18 meetings that Notre Dame carries the higher ITA national ranking (ND is 14-1) … it will be the 14th straight time that both squads are nationally-ranked … Michigan holds a 7-5 advantage in matches decided by just one point (5-4 or 4-3) … Bayliss holds a 15-4 record against Michigan – all during his time at Notre Dame – including the historic streak-stopping 1990 victory in his second match against the Wolverines … there are only two schools – Purdue (16-0 record for ND) and Michigan State (16-1) – against which Notre Dame has more victories during Bayliss’ 19-year tenure … Bayliss holds a 143-48 (.749) career mark against current members of the Big Ten Conference, making it by far the league that has been victimized most during his 36-year career (next is the Ivy League, which has 69 career losses to Bayliss-coached teams).
KECKLEY/KING KNOCK OFF NATION’S #1-RANKED DOUBLES TEAM: Notre Dame juniors Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) and Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) posted an 8-4 victory over the #1-ranked team in college tennis, North Carolina’s Raian Luchi of Romania and Brad Pomeroy, on Feb. 4 at the No. 1 position. It was the first time an Irish doubles team had knocked off the nation’s top-ranked squad since Feb. 18, 1993, when Chuck Coleman and Will Forsyth prevailed 8-3 against Anders Eriksson and Trey Phillips of Texas at No. 1 in the opening round of the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Louisville, Ky. Notre Dame, ranked sixth at the time, went on to win the match 4-3 against the 10th-ranked Longhorns. This season’s win marked the first time King had upset a nationally-ranked team in doubles during his collegiate career, while Keckley – who is currently ranked 12th nationally with senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) – has five to his credit.
ND SUFFERS A TRIO OF 4-3 LOSSES TO TOP-30 TEAMS: Three of Notre Dame’s four defeats this season have come by 4-3 scores on the road against teams ranked among the national top 30. The Irish were up 3-2 against #1 Virginia on Jan. 27 in Richmond, but lost three-set affairs at No. 1 (6-4 in the third set after serving with a service break at 4-3) and No. 2 (6-4 in the third set). On Feb. 4, Notre Dame lost three-set matches at No. 1 (6-4 in the third) and No. 3 (6-3 in the third) to lose 4-3 at #30 North Carolina. A day later, the Irish won three-setters at Nos. 2 and 5 to tie the score 3-3 against #9 Duke, but the Blue Devils won in three sets at No. 1 (6-3 in the third) to avoid the upset.
ND 9-1 AT No. 3 DOUBLES: Notre Dame’s best spot this spring has been No. 3 doubles, where five different teams have combined to go 9-1, with the lone defeat coming against North Carolina (8-4). Senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) and sophomore Andrew Roth (Houston, Texas/Tenney School) are 3-0 at that spot, while Roth and freshman Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.) – who played there in ND’s last match – are 2-0. Langenkamp and junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) are 2-1, while the teams of Bass and Helgeson and Roth and senior captain Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.) both also have wins to their credit. Roth leads the way with a 6-0 mark at the spot, while Langenkamp is 5-1.
KING KECKLEY: Junior Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.), the 2002 Indiana state singles champion and a graduate of St. Joseph’s High School in South Bend, has been Notre Dame’s most-consistent winner in singles this spring, compiling an 9-1 mark in dual action (1-0 at No. 4, 8-1 at No. 5). That came after he had just an 11-8 record in dual singles play during the first two years of his collegiate career. This spring, Keckley has wins against #1 Virginia, #30 North Carolina, and #9 Duke. He is 11-2 overall in singles this season.
PRIMO PARBHU: Sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) rocketed to 14th in the national singles rankings following the fall, but has defended that ranking well this spring, posting a 7-2 record (1-1 at No. 1, 6-1 at No. 2) in his first year playing in the top two positions in the lineup. His first defeat of the spring came against Virginia’s Doug Stewart – who was ranked #6 in the preseason, but did not play enough in the fall to be ranked in the latest edition – when he fell 6-4 in the final set. Parbhu then nearly earned a huge win in his debut at No. 1 before eventually falling to seventh-ranked Ryler DeHeart of Illinois (who was #1 in the preseason) by dropping a 6-3 third set. Parbhu’s top wins of the spring both came in three sets, as he beat Derek Porter of North Carolina and #20 Jonathan Stokke from Duke on back-to-back days in 4-3 Irish defeats. He is 18-4 on the season, including 6-2 against nationally-ranked players.
ROCKIN’ ROTH: Sophomore Andrew Roth (Houston, Texas/Tenney School) has been perfect since being inserted into the Notre Dame doubles lineup for the first time in his career on Feb. 5. He currently stands 6-0 in dual action at No. 3, as well as 10-1 on the season in partnered play. He has dropped just 19 total games this spring in doubles (an average of 3.2 per match), including no more than five in any contest. Roth has been a big reason that No. 3 doubles has emerged as Notre Dame’s best spot in the lineup, with a 9-1 record. He also is 7-2 in 2005-06 in singles, including a win in his dual singles debut at No. 5 against Bradley.
QUICK KECKLEY: Junior Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) has established himself as the quickest singles player on the Irish, as he has been first off the court in six of the 10 dual matches this spring: vs. Northwestern, #1 Virginia, William & Mary, #3 Illinois, Purdue, and Wisconsin.
IRISH ONLY DI SQUAD WITH FOUR PLAYERS BOASTING TOP-15 RANKINGS: Notre Dame is the only Division I school to feature four different players that currently boast a national top-15 ranking in singles and/or doubles. Plus, for the first time ever, the Irish have two players among the top 15 nationally in singles, as junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) is #8 and sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) came in 14th in the latest edition of the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings administered by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), which were released on Jan. 10. In addition, the Irish have a top-15 squad in doubles, with senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) – who is also 65th in singles – and junior Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.), a St. Joseph’s High School graduate, at 12th.
ND 31st IN FILA COLLEGIATE TENNIS RANKINGS: Despite wins over Purdue, Wisconsin, and Bradley last week, the Irish dropped three spots to 31st in the latest set of Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings administered by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), which were released on Tuesday. In all, 17 of Notre Dame’s 19 regular-season opponents are listed in the rankings, with six ranking in the top 25: #3 Illinois, #9 Duke, #11 Virginia, #12 Ohio State, #13 Texas, and #22 Texas A&M. Additionally, the Irish beat USC – currently ranked 25th – 6-1 during the fall in exhibition action.
BASS, PARBHU MAKE ND ONE OF THREE TEAMS WITH TWO PLAYERS AMONG TOP 15 NATIONALLY IN SINGLES: Notre Dame is one of just three schools – along with #1 Virginia and #3 Georgia – that have multiple players ranked among the national top 15 in singles. Junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) is #8 and sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) came in 14th in the latest edition of the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings administered by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), which were released on Jan. 10. It is the first time two Irish players have been in the national top 15 at the same time. Senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) is 65th, putting ND in an elite group of just four teams – along with Virginia, #4 Illinois, and #6 Mississippi – to have three in the top 65. Bass is the highest-ranked Irish singles player since Ryan Sachire entered his final collegiate season (1999-2000) ranked #2. The current junior is only the third ND student-athlete – along with Sachire and five-time All-American David DiLucia (’92) – to be ranked among the national top 10 in the ITA singles rankings.
KECKLEY/LANGENKAMP HIGHEST-RANKED ND TEAM SINCE 2001-02: Senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) and junior Ryan Keckley (South Bend,Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) – listed 12th in the latest edition of the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings – comprise the highest-ranked Notre Dame doubles team since Javier Taborga and Casey Smith concluded their careers in 2001-02 ranked eighth. The current players continue a long tradition of highly-ranked Irish doubles teams, as they are the eighth different pair under head coach Bob Bayliss to be ranked 12th in the nation or higher. Langenkamp has joined an elite group of just 12 Irish players who have been ranked among the national top 65 in both singles and doubles. He earned his second career ranking in doubles, after being 60th for a brief time last spring. Keckley has now been nationally-ranked with three different partners, matching the Irish record held by Andy Zurcher (’94) and Luis Haddock (’04). Keckley is one of just five ND players to earn top-15 rankings with two different partners. In the spring of 2003-04, he and Haddock peaked at 14th, which had been the South Bend native’s career-best ranking.
IRISH HEAD COACH: Bob Bayliss is in his 19th year at Notre Dame with a 333-161 (.674) record, while his 36-year career mark stands at 624-264-1 (.702). He is one of just six active NCAA Division I coaches to boast 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, 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.
STREAKS: The following streaks are active heading into this weekend:
– Notre Dame has lost four consecutive 4-3 matches [last win: 3/12/05 vs. #27 Rice in Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic]
– Stephen Bass has won 12 consecutive singles matches at home [last loss: 3/17/05 vs. Illinois’ Kevin Anderson 6-1, 6-4]
– Stephen Bass is 10-0 in singles in his career at the Courtney Tennis Center.
– Sheeva Parbhu has won 21 in a row when winning the opening set (39-2 career record) [last loss: 3/11/05 vs. Boise State’s Ikaika Jobe]
– Sheeva Parbhu has won 11 consecutive singles matches at home [last loss: 3/17/05 vs. Illinois’ Monte Tucker 6-2, 7-5]
– Sheeva Parbhu has won 11 consecutive singles matches outdoors [last loss: 3/11/05 vs. Boise State’s Ikaika Jobe]
– Barry King has lost seven consecutive tiebreakers in singles. [last win: 3/11/05 vs. Boise State’s Matias Silva, first set]
– Eric Langenkamp has won six consecutive doubles matches. [last loss: 2/4/05 vs. North Carolina’s Guejman/Porter 8-4]
– Eric Langenkamp has won six consecutive traditional tiebreakers in singles [last loss: 9/16/04 vs. William & Mary’s Stephen Ward, second set]
– Andrew Roth has won six consecutive doubles matches. [last loss: 10/21/05 vs. Illinois’ Gonzales/Rowe 8-6]
– Andrew Roth has won 11 consecutive doubles matches at home [only career loss: 9/16/04 with Yuichi Uda, vs. William & Mary’s Sud/Szewczyk 8-5]
– Patrick Buchanan has won six consecutive singles matches outdoors [last loss: 4/3/05 vs. SMU’s Henrik Soderberg 6-3, 6-3]
– Yuichi Uda has won six consecutive close sets (6-4, 7-5, or 7-6) [last loss: 10/15/04 vs. Wisconsin’s Brian Ko, 6-4 in third set]
– Yuichi Uda has won six consecutive singles matches at home [only career loss: 9/17/04 vs. Purdue’s Scott Warner 6-4, 7-5]
– Yuichi Uda has won six consecutive singles matches at home [only career loss: 9/17/04 vs. Purdue’s Scott Warner 6-4, 7-5]
ALL-TIME WINNINGEST COLLEGE TENNIS PROGRAMS: See pdf for the list of the schools with the most all-time victories in varsity men’s tennis (as of Feb. 16, 2006).
MOST LOSSES AGAINST ONE SCHOOL: See pdf for the list of teams that have defeated Notre Dame most in its 84 years of varsity men’s tennis.
LARGEST DEFICIT IN ALL-TIME SERIES: See pdf for the list of teams that hold the largest leads in the all-time series against Notre Dame.
LONGEST LOSING STREAKS: See pdf for the longest losing streaks against a single opponent in the 84 seasons of Notre Dame varsity tennis.
MOST-COMMON OPPONENTS IN IRISH HISTORY: See pdf for the list of most-common opponents faced by Notre Dame in its 84 years of varsity men’s tennis.
MOST WINS IN BAYLISS ERA: See pdf for the list of schools against which Notre Dame has the most victories during the 19-year tenure of head coach Bob Bayliss.
MOST WINS BY BAYLISS: See pdf for the list of schools against which Notre Dame head coach Bob Bayliss owns the most career victories.
BIG ELEVEN (OR TWELVE)?: Though Notre Dame participates in the BIG EAST Conference in men’s tennis, a glance at the Irish schedule may not bear out that fact. Notre Dame will face only one BIG EAST foe (Louisville) during the regular season, but will take on a total of eight teams from the Big Ten Conference. Only Penn State, Iowa, and Minnesota from the Big Ten will not play the Irish this season. A year ago, Notre Dame played those same eight Big Ten teams, going 6-2. Notre Dame has had a long history of playing the teams that now make up the Big Ten, posting an all-time 319-228-2 (.582) mark in averaging nearly seven matches per season against Big Ten teams in the 84-year history of the program. Head coach Bob Bayliss holds a 143-48 (.746) career mark against current league members. The Irish have played each of the original 10 members of the conference at least 25 times, holding a winning mark against every team but Michigan (25-41). Notre Dame won 6-1 at Northwestern on Jan. 21 and lost 7-0 at #3 Illinois on Feb. 7.
HELGESON POSTS HIGHEST-RANKED ND SINGLES WIN SINCE 2000: Freshman Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.) knocked off Virginia sophomore Treat Huey 6-7, 6-1, 6-1 at No. 4 singles in dual-match action on Jan. 27. Huey was ranked #6 in the national singles rankings, making him the highest-ranked player to fall victim to a Notre Dame student-athlete since Javier Taborga beat then-#3 K.J. Hippensteel of Stanford on Oct. 12, 2000, in the second round of the ITA All-American Championships.
BASS, PARBHU EXCEL IN NATIONAL INDOORS: Junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) and sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) combined to make Notre Dame one of only two schools (along with Stanford) to have multiple players among the final 16 in the season’s second grand slam, the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships. Bass knocked off the tournament’s No. 6 seed to become just the second Notre Dame player (along with Ryan Sachire in 2000) ever to reach the quarterfinals of the event. Just six schools – Duke, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Stanford, and Virginia – qualified two players for the 32-player singles draw (none had more than two). This season marked the fourth time – all since 1992 – that Notre Dame has had multiple players in the men’s singles draw of the National Indoor Championships, but the first since 1995. This was the first time that both reached the round of 16.
BASS, PARBHU COMBINE FOR FIRST ALL-IRISH SINGLES FINAL IN ITA MIDWEST CHAMPIONSHIPS: Junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) prevailed against his teammate, sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) in the first-ever all-Irish singles final of the Wilson/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Midwest Championships. No ND player had reached the singles final of that event – which features the top talent in the ITA’s Midwest Region – since 1996 (Ryan Sachire), and Bass became the first Irish victor since Andy Zurcher did so in 1993. Bass came away with a 7-5, 6-2 victory in the championship match to snap Parbhu’s 17-match winning streak and join an elite club of just four Notre Dame players who have won that singles title. Notre Dame was the only school to have two players in the quarterfinals, and that duo kept winning. Bass – a semifinalist in 2004 – is the fifth Irish player to reach the semifinals of the ITA Midwest Championships multiple times.
BRING ON THE BEST … ACTUALLY, WE’LL COME TO YOU: Notre Dame will face seven teams ranked among the national top 25 in the preseason edition of the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, with all but one of those matches coming on the road. The Irish lost 4-3 against preseason #1 Virginia in Richmond on Jan. 27 and play true road matches against #4 Illinois (lost 7-0 on Feb. 7), #8 Duke (lost 4-3 on Feb. 5), #11 Florida State (March 14), #13 Texas A&M (March 26), and #22 Texas (March 25). Ohio State, ranked 18th in the preseason, will visit the Eck Tennis Pavilion on Feb. 24. All 11 of Notre Dame’s scheduled road matches during the regular season will be against teams that were in the preseason rankings, as the Irish also have road dates with #31 North Carolina (lost 4-3 on Feb. 4), #48 Michigan (Feb. 18), #51 Northwestern (won 6-1 on Jan. 21), #60 Indiana (March 7), and #68 Ball State (April 9).
TERRIFIC TRIO: The 2005-06 campaign marks the first time ever that Notre Dame had three different players compete in singles action in grand slams in the fall semester. Senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) participated in the singles main draw of the season’s first grand slam, the Polo Ralph Lauren ITA All-American Championships, while junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) and sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) played in the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships.
IRISH BOAST FOUR AMONG TOP 25 SINGLES PLAYERS IN MIDWEST REGION: Notre Dame joined Ohio State as the only schools with four or more singles players listed among the top 25 in the ITA’s Midwest Region rankings, released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) in December. Junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) led the way at #2, while sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) was fifth, freshman Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.) was 13th, and senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) was 22nd. Junior Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) would have been ranked, but was listed as having insufficient data since he did not play collegiately during the fall. Bass is the highest-ranked Irish player in the regional singles rankings since Ryan Sachire finished his career in 1999-2000 at #1, which concluded a decade-long span in which ND boasted the region’s top singles player in every season but one. In an almost-unbelievable turn, Langenkamp and junior Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) were listed just 13th in the regional doubles rankings determined by a committee of head coaches, despite having wins over the teams ranked #2 and #5 in the region and coming in 12th in the national rankings (determined by the ITA’s computer formula).
MEN’S TENNIS “GOLD GAME” SET FOR FEB. 24 vs. #18 OHIO STATE: Notre Dame’s matchup with #18 Ohio State on Friday, Feb. 24 at 4 p.m. (EST) has been designated as this season’s men’s tennis “Gold Game,” a distinction created by the Student-Athlete Advisory Council to encourage the entire Notre Dame community to attend particular contests. The match will feature two of the top three teams in the ITA’s Midwest Region, according to the national rankings. OSU – ranked 12th at the time – snapped a six-match losing streak at ND in its last visit, using a trio of three-set victories to rally for a 4-3 win over the 43rd-ranked Irish, who were without their top singles player.
LANGENKAMP WINS ITA SUMMER NATIONALS: Senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) claimed the singles title in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Summer Championships, presented by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) last month at Indiana University. Among the highlights of his run were wins against Steven Peretz (who played Nos. 4-6 for Michigan last spring), Ryan Preston (Nos. 4-5 for Vanderbilt in ’05), top-seeded Paul Rose (Purdue’s No. 1 player who is ranked 54th in the preseason ITA listing), Will Gray (Nos. 3-6 for Tulsa in ’05), and Eric Hechtman (Nos. 2-3 for Miami in `05). The championship earned Langenkamp – who combined with sophomore Yuichi Uda (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Laurel Springs School [CA]) to make Notre Dame the only school with two players among the final 16 in the singles draw – wild-card entry into the main draw of the first grand slam of the 2005-06 collegiate season, the Polo Ralph Lauren ITA All-American Championships. It was the first time an Irish player ever won a title in the tournament.
BUCHANAN SERVES AS SOLE TEAM CAPTAIN: Senior Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.) was voted team captain for the 2005-06 season. Following three straight years in which Notre Dame had multiple team captains – the only such span in the history of the program – the Irish have now returned to their tradition of having a single team captain. In 84 years of varsity tennis, Notre Dame has had just one team captain in all but 10 seasons, with the most-recent solo captain being Casey Smith in 2001-02. He concluded a 32-year stretch in which all but two seasons saw Notre Dame have exactly one captain.
DOEBLER PROMOTED TO ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH: Todd Doebler was promoted to associate head coach of the Irish men’s tennis team, it was announced in January. Now in his fourth year on the coaching staff at Notre Dame, he is the first associate head coach in the history of the program, as well as one of just five currently in the Irish athletic department.
IRISH INK SEAN CORRIGAN FOR NEXT SEASON: Long Island’s Sean Corrigan (Lido Beach, N.Y./Long Beach H.S.), who was ranked among the top 25 in the nation in both singles and doubles at the end of 2004, signed a national letter of intent during the early period to enroll at the University of Notre Dame next fall and join its men’s tennis team. Corrigan, a senior at Long Beach High School, finished 2004 ranked 24th in the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) boys’ 16-and-under national rankings in singles, as well as 22nd in doubles (first in the Eastern Section). In prep action, he went undefeated at No. 1 singles last spring for Long Beach.
DAVID DiLUCIA NOW PERSONAL COACH FOR LINDSAY DAVENPORT: A five-time All-American during his four-year career at Notre Dame (1988-92), David DiLucia, left his job with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) in December 2005 to become the personal coach of the world’s #1 women’s player, Lindsay Davenport. DiLucia was ranked #1 in both singles and doubles during his collegiate career and then went on to play in the singles main draw in all four professional grand slams before retiring in 2002. During his pro career, DiLucia earned wins over players such as Gustavo Kuerten, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Mark Philippoussis, and David Wheaton.
BAYLISS HONORED BY NAVAL ACADEMY: Notre Dame head coach Bob Bayliss was recognized recently by the United States Naval Academy, where he was the head tennis coach for 15 years, as well as the school’s head squash coach for four seasons. Navy named one of its varsity tennis courts in his honor and also dedicated a plaque in its squash facility on the occasion of the return to campus by Bayliss, who posted a 19-0 record against Army during his tenure in Annapolis. The long-time Irish mentor visited the Naval Academy during the weekend of Nov. 5, which also featured the football team’s homecoming game, a 49-21 win over Tulane. Though the tennis court had been dedicated previously – when Bayliss was unable to attend – there was a small ceremony held to show it to him. The weekend also featured the squash team’s annual alumni match, the Bowen Cup, and the dedication of a new plaque honoring Bayliss’ service to that team.
BAYLISS AT WIMBLEDON: Notre Dame head coach Bob Bayliss headed to London, England, last June to participate in a High Performance Continuing Education Program, which was organized by the USA Tennis Coaching Education Department and held in conjunction with The Championships Wimbledon. A total of 15 American coaches who work primarily with junior players took part, with the intent of continuing to work toward the program’s ultimate goal of developing world-class American champions. Bayliss was selected to participate in the continuing education program out of a pool of applicants of coaches who work with talented and highly-ranked junior players.
ND #1 IN NACDA DIRECTORS’ CUP: Notre Dame is in first place in the most-recent set of standings in the 2005-06 United States Sports Academy Directors’ Cup all-sports competition sponsored by the National Association of Collegiate Dirctors of Athletics (NACDA), which were released on Jan. 12 and included results from all fall sports. Fall NCAA competition earned the Irish 412 points based on their third-place finish in men’s cross country (85 points), their seventh-place finish in women’s cross country (69 points), their quarterfinal appearance in women’s soccer (73), their third-round appearance in men’s soccer (64), their regional semifinal appearance in women’s volleyball (64) and their 11th-place finish in football based on the final USA Today poll (57). This marks the second straight year Notre Dame has ranked atop the final fall standings – and its 412 points are its highest-ever fall total. Penn State (308.5 points) ranks second, Stanford (282) is third, and Duke (280) and Wisconsin (277) round out the top five. Notre Dame finished 16th in 2004-05, its fifth consecutive top-20 placing, and has three times finished an all-time high of 11th (1993-94, `95-96, 2000-01). Duke posted its all-time best finish of fifth in 2004-05.
CHANGES TO THE ITA RANKINGS: The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) recently announced some changes to its national rankings for the 2005-06 season: (1) It will use one set of points for wins and also a tighter set of points, with less gaps. This set of points will be the same set that has been used for the season’s first computer rankings in the past; (2) There will be bonus points awarded for road wins; (3) The rankings that are run at the time of NCAA Championship selections will be run twice and the second run of the rankings will be the published ranking; (4) There will be expanded, unpublished rankings (and values for opponents): 76-125 for team, 126-175 for singles, and 61-90 for doubles; (5) The first computer rankings (for team) will take place 2 weeks earlier on March 8; (6) The singles and doubles rankings from Fall results will go back to being a computer ranking; it had been done by committee vote the past three years.
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.firstname.lastname@example.org, who also can provide any information about the Irish tennis program.