Sept. 25, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team went 6-1 in singles action on a rain-abbreviated final day of the Tom Fallon Invitational Sunday at the Courtney Tennis Center. The Irish concluded their lone home tournament with a 38-10 (.792) combined record, including 29-6 (.829) in singles. Among the highlights of the final day was junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) earning his second win over a nationally-ranked player in the tournament.
Bass, the highest-ranked player on the Irish at 74th, downed 79th-ranked Matt Baccarani 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday, following up a Friday win against #42 Matko Maravic. Bass went 4-0 in the tournament in singles and now holds a 27-8 (.771) career singles record at home and a 23-5 (.821) mark outdoors. Bass is now 10-0 in his career in singles matches at the Courtney Tennis Center, and he has won seven straight when carrying a national ranking. He is 11-1 (.917) in his career in singles play in the TFI, with the lone defeat coming in his rookie season. Bass holds a 20-5 (.800) mark in fall action as a member of the Irish. The victory was the sixth in Bass’ career against a nationally-ranked player.
Three Irish players – senior captain Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.), junior South Bend native Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.), and freshman Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.) – finished the TFI without taking a loss. Buchanan, who was 4-0 in singles and 3-0 in doubles, earned a singles victory on Sunday by defeating Tony Epkey of Ball State 6-4, 6-0. He finished his career with a 19-5 (.792) record in the Tom Fallon Invitational. He also is 35-12 (.745) in his career in fall play, as well as 36-13 (.735) in singles vs. the Midwest Region.
The first collegiate tournament for Helgeson saw him go unbeaten in seven matches (four singles, three doubles). Ranked 108th in the nation after being the only college-bound player to reach the quarterfinals in the USTA Super National Hardcourt Championships over the summer, he completed the weekend by beating Ball State’s Jarrod Epkey 7-5, 6-0.
Keckley was not in action on Sunday, but he went 3-0 in doubles – with a pair of upsets of top-25 teams – and won his only singles match of the TFI.
In his first tournament as a nationally-ranked player, sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) continued his tendency to pull out tight matches. On Sunday, he downed hard-serving Joe Epkey of Ball State 6-4, 7-6 (7-4). All four of Parbhu’s singles matches in the TFI ended with him taking tight two-set decisions. He has won a career-high 11 consecutive singles matches – dating back to March 17 – and is now 36-7 (.837) in his career. Parbhu is 17-3 (.850) at home, including 9-1 (.900) at the Courtney Tennis Center. He has won 11 straight outdoors and is 23-4 (.852) overall. Parbhu also has won nine straight against the region and is 16-2 (.889) in his career against the Midwest Region. He is now 26-6 (.813) in close sets (6-4, 7-5, or tiebreakers), as well as 13-2 (.867) in close matches.
Other winners on Sunday for Notre Dame were sophomore Andrew Roth (Houston, Texas/Tenney School) and freshman Santiago Montoya (Scottsdale, Ariz./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]). The elder player beat Jan Polhamus of Ball State 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (10-4), while Montoya downed another Cardinal, Danny Vidal, 6-1, 6-3.
Next up for the Irish will be senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.), ranked 89th and 2-1 on the season in singles, taking part in the first leg of the collegiate grand slam, the Polo Ralph Lauren ITA All-American Championships, slated for Oct. 6-9 in Tulsa, Okla.
Tom Fallon Invitational, Day Two (Sept. 24)Singles#74 Stephen Bass (ND) d. #79 Matt Baccarani (BS) 6-4, 6-4#77 Sheeva Parbhu (ND) d. Joe Epkey (BS) 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)#108 Brett Helgeson (ND) d. Jarrod Epkey (BS) 7-5, 6-0Patrick Buchanan (ND) d. Tony Epkey (BS) 6-4, 6-0Patrick Thompson (BS) d. Irackli Akhvlediani (ND) 7-5, 7-6 (9-7)Andrew Roth (ND) d. Jan Polhamus (BS) 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (10-4)Santiago Montoya (ND) d. Danny Vidal (BS) 6-1, 6-3