Feb. 2, 2006
#26 Notre Dame (2-1) vs. #30 North Carolina (5-0)Saturday, February 4, Noon (EST) â€¢ Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center â€¢ Chapel Hill, N.C.- Live Scoring Updates: tarheelblue.com (also linked on und.com)
#26 Notre Dame vs. #9 Duke (1-0)Sunday, February 5, 1 p.m. (EST) â€¢Sheffield Tennis Center â€¢ Durham, North Carolina- Live Scoring Updates: goduke.com (also linked on und.com)
#26 Notre Dame vs. #3 Illinois (2-0)Tuesday, February 7, 5:30 p.m. (CST) â€¢ Atkins Tennis Center â€¢ Urbana, Illinois- Live Scoring Updates: fightingillini.com (also linked on und.com)
IRISH HIT THE ROAD FOR THREE TOUGH TESTS – TWO AGAINST TOP-10 TEAMS – IN FOUR DAYS: The 26th-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team (2-1) – which nearly pulled of an upset of then-#1 Virginia last weekend before falling 4-3 – will continue its extremely-difficult early-season schedule, as it will hit the road for three matches in four days against squads that have combined to go 8-0 thus far this spring. The Irish will first take on 30th-ranked North Carolina (5-0) on Saturday at Noon (EST) before challenging #9 Duke (1-0) on Sunday at 1 p.m. (EST) and then heading to #3 Illinois on Tuesday for a 5:30 p.m. (CST) contest.
NORTH CAROLINA AT A GLANCE: North Carolina moved up one spot to 30th in this week’s Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings following a 5-0 start … the Tar Heels have victories against Campbell (7-0), Elon (7-0), Northwestern (5-2), Gardner-Webb (7-0), and North Carolina A&T (7-0) … the Irish beat the Wildcats 6-1 on Jan. 21, losing only at No. 6 singles, while the Tar Heels lost at Nos. 1 (match tiebreaker) and No. 2 … UNC returned 13 letterwinners and five of six starters from last year’s squad that went 16-11, was tied for sixth in the Atlantic Coast Conference (4-6 record), reached the semifinals of the league tournament, and lost 4-1 to Boise State in the opening round of the NCAA tournament to finish 34th (after being 18th in the preseason and dropping to as low as 53rd) … among the top returnees for UNC are senior Raian Luchici of Romania and sophomore Benjamin Carlotti from France … the elder player qualified for the NCAA Singles Championship last year and currently is a career-high fifth in the ITA national rankings with an 8-4 record … Carlotti is ranked 93rd with a 7-2 record after being 66th in the preseason … Luchici and fellow senior Brad Pomeroy are ranked #1 nationally in doubles with a 12-3 record after qualifying for the main draw and advancing all the way to the title match in the Polo Ralph Lauren ITA All-American Championships and then reaching the semis of the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships … head coach Sam Paul is in his 13th season at North Carolina, having compiled a 193-106 (.645) record, including 4-4 against Notre Dame … next up for UNC – which is on a nine-match homestand to start the spring – is a contest with Yale on Sunday.
IRISH-TAR HEELS SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame and North Carolina will meet for the second consecutive season and 17th time overall, with the Tar Heels holding a 9-7 edge in the series … UNC is one of just nine schools to hold a winning all-time record against the Irish (minimum five wins vs. ND) … the teams have split the last four meetings … it is a matchup between two of the winningest men’s tennis programs in the country, as UNC’s 1,378 all-time victories are the most in college tennis history, while ND’s 1,015 rank seventh … UNC leads 6-2 in matches in Chapel Hill, including two straight wins … the last Irish victory at UNC came in 1994, when 16th-ranked ND won 4-3 over the 21st-ranked Tar Heels … the schools first played in 1955, the first of three consecutive 9-0 UNC home victories … ND’s first triumph came by a 5-4 score in Chapel Hill in 1989 … a year ago, the 34th-ranked Irish beat #18 North Carolina 5-2 on Jan. 29 in the Eck Tennis Pavilion for Notre Dame’s 1,000th all-time victory … ND won the doubles point, got straight-set wins at Nos. 3, 4 and 6 singles to clinch the win, and added a three-set win at No. 2 … UNC won in straight sets at No. 1 and in three at No. 5 … Barry King won 6-4, 7-6 (7-0) against Geoff Boyd at No. 3 to clinch the match … that was the first match between the schools since #28 UNC prevailed 4-3 at home against 23rd-ranked Notre Dame in 2000 … this will be the 11th time in the last 13 meetings that the Irish are carrying a higher national ranking, but the squads have split those matches, 5-5 … ND head coach Bob Bayliss holds a 7-6 career record against North Carolina (all at ND), while Sam Paul is 4-4 vs. the Irish … Bayliss has a 37-38 career mark against current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, making it one of just three leagues whose current members hold a winning record against Bayliss-coached squads (along with the Pacific-10 and Southeastern Conferences).
DUKE AT A GLANCE: Despite starting the season with a victory, Duke dropped a spot to #9 in this week’s Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings … the Blue Devils beat Old Dominion (7-0) in their dual opener on Jan. 29, but will play host to #3 Illinois on Friday before facing the Irish … Duke returned six letterwinners, including four of six starters, from last year’s squad that was 20-6 and finished second to Virginia in the Atlantic Coast Conference (8-2 record) before being upset in the quarterfinals of the league tournament by North Carolina … the Blue Devils beat South Carolina (4-0) and VCU (4-1) before losing 4-3 to Pepperdine in the round of 16 of the NCAA tournament to finish the season ranked #9 (after peaking at fourth) … Duke has been ranked in the national top 10 in 29 consecutive sets of rankings, dating back to March 2, 2004 … the top players for the Blue Devils are seniors Ludovic Walter and Jonathan Stokke, who are both currently ranked among the national top 20 in singles …Walter, a native of France and an ITA All-American in 2004 and `05, was ranked #2 in the preseason, but currently stands ninth with an 11-5 record … Stokke is a career-high 20th, boasting a 16-7 record …junior Joey Atas – who transferred from Ohio State – combines with Stokke to be ranked #9 in doubles, with an 11-3 record … Atas was ranked 29th nationally in singles in the preseason, but did not play enough in the fall to be considered for the current rankings … head coach Jay Lapidus is in his 16th season at Duke, having compiled a 325-96 (.772) record, including 10-3 against Notre Dame … next up for Duke are home matches next weekend against #20 Texas and #25 Texas A&M.
IRISH-BLUE DEVILS SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame and Duke will meet for the 13th consecutive season and 19th time overall, with the Blue Devils holding a 14-4 edge in the series … Duke is one of just nine schools to hold a winning all-time record against the Irish (minimum five wins vs. ND), and its 10-match lead in the series score is bettered only by Michigan, who is up 41-25 in its all-time series with Notre Dame … the Blue Devils have won three in a row and six of the last seven … ND’s last win came in 2002, when the seventh-ranked Irish prevailed 4-3 over #10 Duke in Durham … the Blue Devils are 7-2 at home against Notre Dame … the schools first played in 1955, which produced a 9-0 win by Duke, the first of four straight triumphs for the Blue Devils … ND’s first triumph over Duke came by a 6-3 score in the 1990 H.E.B. Championship in Corpus Christi, Texas … a year ago, ninth-ranked Duke won 6-1 over #25 ND on Feb. 6 in the Eck Tennis Pavilion … the Devils won 9-7 at No. 3 in the final match remaining to take the doubles point and then got straight-set wins at Nos. 1, 2, 4, and 5 in singles … ND’s lone point came in straight sets at No. 3, while Duke won a match tiebreaker at No. 6 … this will be the 12th time in the last 13 meetings – and fourth straight time – that the Blue Devils carry a higher national ranking, but ND has three upset victories in the series … ND head coach Bob Bayliss holds a 4-9 career record against Duke (all at ND), while Jay Lapidus is 10-3 vs. the Irish … the Blue Devils could join Harvard (15-5 all-time record vs. Bayliss) and Princeton (14-1) as the only schools to notch 10 or more victories against Bayliss-coached squads … they would be the first school to beat Notre Dame 10 times since Bayliss took over the reins of the program 19 seasons ago … Bayliss has a 37-38 career mark against current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, making it one of just three leagues whose current members hold a winning record against Bayliss-coached squads (along with the Pacific-10 and Southeastern Conferences).
ILLINOIS AT A GLANCE: After upsetting #1 Virginia last weekend, Illinois slid up a spot to #3 in this week’s Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings … the Fighting Illini – who play at #9 Duke on Friday – opened the season by beating Ball State 7-0 before downing the Cavaliers 5-2 at home just two days after UVA rallied for a 4-3 win in Richmond against Notre Dame … the Irish and Illini both won at Nos. 3 and 5 singles vs. the Cavs, but U of I also won the doubles point and got victories at Nos. 1 (match tiebreaker) and No. 6, while ND won in three sets at No. 4, but lost in three at Nos. 1 and 2 … Illinois – which went 32-0 en route to winning the NCAA team championship in 2002-03 and extended its NCAA-record 64-match winning streak to the 2004 NCAA final – has been ranked among the national top 10 in 64 consecutive sets of rankings, dating back to the first team standings of the 2001-02 season … U of I returned eight letterwinners, including seven of 11 starters, from last year’s team that was 25-4 and won its ninth consecutive Big Ten Conference regular-season title (10-0 record) before taking its fourth straight league-tournament crown … seeded fifth in the NCAA tournament, the Fighting Illini beat Quinnipiac (4-0) and Louisville (4-1) before being upset by Florida State (4-2) in the round of 16 to finish the season ranked #6 (after peaking at second) … that broke a streak of 34 consecutive sets of rankings in which U of I was in the national top five … the team’s top player is senior Ryler DeHeart, who was ranked #1 in the preseason singles rankings, but is now seventh, boasting a 16-2 record … sophomore Kevin Anderson of South Africa – who is 8-1 in 2005-06 – is ranked 37th after being as high as 15th last season, as well as 18th in the preseason … both DeHeart and Anderson reached the round of 16 in last year’s NCAA singles tournament … sophomore Ruben Gonzales is ranked 59th with a 12-5 mark, while his classmate, Ryan Rowe, is 99th with a 12-2 record … junior GD Jones of New Zealand was listed 11th in the preseason, but did not play collegiately in the fall, so he was ineligible for the current set of rankings … Illinois has four ranked doubles teams, though none of those combinations took the court against UVA … DeHeart and fellow senior Pramod Dabir are 13th, while freshman Marc Spicijaric and Monte Tucker – who transferred to South Alabama for the spring semester – are 17th, Gonzales and Spicijaric are 21st, and Dabir and sophomore Brandon Davis are 26th … DeHeart and Jones reached the round of 16 in the 2005 NCAA Doubles Championship and finished last season ranked 14th … there were three ND-Illinois matchups in last October’s ITA Midwest Championships … Irish junior Stephen Bass beat Rowe 7-5, 7-5 in the opening round of singles, but Bass and Andrew Roth lost 8-6 to Gonzales and Rowe in the first round of the doubles draw … Spicijaric and Tucker prevailed 8-6 over Patrick Buchanan and Santiago Montoya in the second round of doubles … head coach Brad Dancer is in his first year as head coach at Illinois, after Craig Tiley resigned last summer to become the director of player development for Tennis Australia … Tiley compiled a 274-76 (.783) record in 12 seasons leading the Illini … Dancer was his associate head coach in 2004-05, following three seasons as the head coach at Fresno State … he compiled a 38-35 (.521) mark in three seasons leading the Bulldogs, losing his only match with the Irish … next up for Illinois is a home doubleheader next Saturday (Feb. 11) against #27 Clemson and #41 Harvard.
IRISH-ILLINI SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame and Illinois will meet for the 18th consecutive season and 38th time overall, with the Irish holding a 20-17 edge in the series, even though the Fighting Illini have won five in a row and 10 of the last 11 … ND’s last win came in 2002, when the sixth-ranked Irish prevailed 4-3 over #5 Illinois in Urbana … since that match – which came just one day after the Illini were ranked #1 – Illinois has posted an incredible 45-1 home record, including a 7-0 win over the Irish in 2004 … the lone loss was a 4-3 decision against Kentucky on April 6, 2005 … Notre Dame and Illinois have split the 10 all-time meetings in Urbana … the streak of 18 consecutive years with at least one match is the third-longest current string among Notre Dame opponents … the Irish will play Ohio State for the 30th consecutive year and Wisconsin for the 21st straight season in 2005-06 … the schools first played in 1933, with the Illini winning 7-0 for the first of three straight shutouts by U of I … ND’s first triumph came by a 5-4 score in 1942 … a year ago, third-ranked Illinois won 6-1 over #16 Notre Dame on March 17 in the Eck Tennis Pavilion … the Illini swept the doubles and then won in straight sets at Nos. 1, 3, and 4 in singles to clinch the victory … Illinois got three-set wins at Nos. 2 and 6, while the lone Irish point came in a three-setter at No. 5 … this will be the 11th time in the last 13 meetings – and fifth straight time – that the Illini carry a higher national ranking, but ND has two upset victories in the series … ND head coach Bob Bayliss holds a 12-9 career record against Illinois (11-9 at ND), while Brad Dancer lost his only previous match against the Irish, a 4-0 decision in the 2004 Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic when he was the coach at Fresno State … Duke is tied with Texas and Duke as the schools with the most victories against Notre Dame since Bayliss took over the program 19 seasons ago … Bayliss holds a 140-47 (.747) 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).
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 26TH IN FILA COLLEGIATE TENNIS RANKINGS: After beginning the spring with wins over #51 Northwestern (6-1) and #65 William & Mary (7-0) and a hard-fought 4-3 loss to #1 Virginia, the Irish remained 26th in the latest set of Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings administered by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), which were released on Tuesday. In all, 16 of Notre Dame’s 19 regular-season opponents are listed in the rankings, with seven ranking in the top 25: #3 Illinois, #7 Virginia, #9 Duke, #15 Ohio State, #20 Texas, #22 Florida State, and #25 Texas A&M. Additionally, the Irish beat USC – currently ranked 18th – 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 329-158 (.676) record, while his 36-year career mark stands at 620-261-1 (.703). 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.
ND, DUKE LEAD NATION IN STUDENT-ATHLETE GRADUATION RATES: Sunday’s match will feature two of the top academic institutions in the nation, as Notre Dame and Duke were first and second, respectively, among Division I-A schools in graduation rate for student-athletes, it was announced in an annual federal report for the Department of Education on Jan. 19. Notre Dame’s federal graduation rate is 90.4 percent, while Duke came in at 89.6 percent. The federal rate is based on the raw percentage of student-athletes who entered an institution and graduated with six years (covering classes entering college from 1995 to 1998). Students who leave or transfer, regardless of academic standing, are considered nongraduates.
ND, DUKE AMONG TOP FIVE IN NACDA DIRECTORS’ CUP: Sunday’s match will feature two of the schools that are top contenders in the 2005-06 United States Sports Academy Directors’ Cup all-sports competition sponsored by the National Association of Collegiate Dirctors of Athletics (NACDA). Notre Dame is in first place in the most-recent set of standings, which was released on Jan. 12 and included results from all fall sports, while Duke stands fourth. 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 round out the top five. Fall highlights for the Blue Devils included a national runner-up finish in field hockey and a third-place result in women’s cross country. Notre Dame finished 18th 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.
IRISH FALL JUST SHY OF UPSET OF #1 VIRGINIA: Notre Dame nearly registered a historic upset over the nation’s top-ranked team on Jan. 27, but could not convert on a 3-2 advantage, losing 4-3 to Virginia in the Country Club of Richmond. The Irish needed just one win from the top two matches, which were the final ones remaining on the court. At No. 2, Virginia senior Doug Stewart got a late service break at 4-4 in the third set to top 14th-ranked sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 and knot the score at 3-3. At No. 1, junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School), ranked #8 in the nation, was serving up a break at 4-3 in the third, but saw 10th-ranked Somdev Devvarman win three straight games for a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 triumph to save the Cavaliers. It would have been Notre Dame’s first-ever regular-season upset of the #1-ranked team in college tennis, though the Irish beat top-ranked USC in the semifinals of the 1992 NCAA tournament.
STREAKS: The following streaks are active heading into this weekend:
– Notre Dame has lost five consecutive matches against Illinois. [last win: 3/7/02, 4-3 in Urbana]
– Notre Dame has lost three consecutive matches against Duke. [last win: 1/29/02, 4-3 in Durham]
– Notre Dame has lost six consecutive matches against top-five teams. [last win: 3/7/02 at #5 Illinois, 4-3]
– Notre Dame has lost 11 consecutive matches against top-10 teams. [last win: 3/7/02 at #5 Illinois, 4-3]
– Notre Dame has lost 15 consecutive matches against top-15 teams. [last win: 3/7/02 at #5 Illinois, 4-3]
– Stephen Bass is 10-0 this season in singles against players from the Midwest Region [last loss: 5/14/05 vs. Louisville’s Damar Johnson 1-6, 6-4, 6-3]
– Stephen Bass is 13-0 this season when winning the opening set (46-2 career record) [last loss: 5/14/05 vs. Louisville’s Damar Johnson 1-6, 6-4, 6-3]
– Stephen Bass has won eight 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 15 consecutive singles matches against players from the Midwest Region (not including his own teammates) [last loss: 3/17/05 vs. Illinois’ Monte Tucker 6-2, 7-5]
– Sheeva Parbhu has won 19 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 eight 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 five consecutive tiebreakers in singles. [last win: 3/11/05 vs. Boise State’s Matias Silva, first set]
– Eric Langenkamp has won five consecutive tiebreakers in singles [last loss: 9/16/04 vs. William & Mary’s Stephen Ward, second set]
– Patrick Buchanan has won six consecutive singles matches at home [last loss: 3/17/05 vs. Illinois’ Ruben Gonzales 6-2, 5-7, 6-4]
– Patrick Buchanan has won six consecutive singles matches outdoors [last loss: 4/3/05 vs. SMU’s Henrik Soderberg 6-3, 6-3]
– Andrew Roth has won seven consecutive doubles matches at home [only career loss: 9/16/04 with Yuichi Uda, vs. William & Mary’s Sud/Szewczyk 8-5]
– 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]
TOP WINS UNDER BAYLISS: See pdf for a list of Notre Dame’s 19 victories against top-10 teams during the tenure of head coach Bob Bayliss, ordered by opponent ranking.
ALL-TIME WINNINGEST COLLEGE TENNIS PROGRAMS: See pdf the list of the schools with the most all-time victories in varsity men’s tennis (as of Feb. 1, 2006).
LOSING RECORD IN ALL-TIME SERIES: See pdf for the list of teams that have a winning all-time record against Notre Dame in its 84 years of varsity men’s tennis (minimum five wins over ND).
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.
MOST WINS vs. Bob Bayliss: See pdf for the list of schools with the most victories against teams coached by Bob Bayliss in his 36-year head-coaching career.
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.
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 316-227-2 (.581) 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 140-47 (.747) 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 beat Northwestern 6-1 on Jan. 21 in Evanston, Ill.
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-EVER 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.
NO DOUBLES? NO PROBLEM: Losing the doubles point has not necessarily translated into a loss for Notre Dame, as the Irish are 11-14 over the past two seasons when dropping the match’s initial point. Notre Dame was 5-6 last 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). This year, the Irish are 0-1, having lost both the doubles point and match against #1 Virginia (4-3).
ND TO FACE THREE TOP-10 TEAMS IN SEASON’S FIRST THREE WEEKS: The Irish will get an early indication of where they stack up among the nation’s elite, as they will use the first three weeks of the spring to take on a trio of teams ranked among the top eight in the first edition of the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, administered by the ITA. Notre Dame will face #1 Virginia on Friday in Richmond and will then play at #8 Duke on Feb. 5 and at #4 Illinois on Feb. 7.
BRING ON THE BEST … ACTUALLY, WE’LL COME TO YOU: Notre Dame will face seven teams ranked among the national top 25 in the first edition of the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, with all but one of those matches coming on the road. The Irish will challenge #1 Virginia in Richmond on Jan. 27 and then play true road matches against #4 Illinois (Feb. 7), #8 Duke (Feb. 5), #11 Florida State (March 14), #13 Texas A&M (March 26), and #22 Texas (March 25). Ohio State, ranked 18th, 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 (Feb. 4), #48 Michigan (Feb. 18), #51 Northwestern (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.
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.email@example.com, who also can provide any information about the Irish tennis program.