Feb. 23, 2006
#11 Ohio State (9-0) vs. #26 Notre Dame (7-4)Friday, February 23, 4 p.m. (EST) â€¢ Eck Tennis Pavilion â€¢ Notre Dame, Indiana- Live Scoring Updates: und.com
IRISH SET FOR FRIDAY AFTERNOON GOLD GAME vs. #11 OHIO STATE: The 26th-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team (7-4) seeks an elusive big win on Friday when it plays host to undefeated and 11th-ranked Ohio State (9-0) at 4 p.m. (EST) in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Irish are 5-1 against Big Ten Conference opponents this season, but are winless in four matches – three of them 4-3 affairs – against squads currently ranked in the national top 20. It will be this season’s men’s tennis “Gold Game,” a distinction created by the University’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council to encourage the entire Notre Dame community to attend particular home contests deemed the most significant in each sport.
OHIO STATE AT A GLANCE: The Buckeyes enter the match with a perfect 9-0 record – their best start since 1988-89 – and ranked 12th in the nation after being 18th in the preseason … Ohio State is unbeaten in three matches against top-20 opponents, having posted victories against #17 Tennessee (5-2), #19 Kentucky (4-3), and #11 LSU (6-1) … the Buckeyes – who will play on the road for just the second time this season (also at Kentucky) – also have victories against Toledo, Xavier, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Butler, and Wright State … OSU returned five of six starters from last year’s squad that was 20-9 and ranked 24th in the nation (after peaking at 10th) … the Buckeyes were second in the Big Ten Conference behind Illinois with a 10-3 record and lost to the Fighting Illini in the title match of the league tournament … OSU beat Brown (4-0) in the opening round of the NCAA tournament before falling to Tennessee (4-0) … the Buckeyes currently boast the #1-ranked doubles team in the country: senior All-Americans Scott Green and Ross Wilson … that duo is 14-1 on the season (8-0 dual at No. 1) and has three career grand-slam titles to their credit, including winning the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in both of the last two seasons … they have won 12 in a row since their only defeat of the season, which came against Matt Baccarani and Patrick Thompson from Ball State in the quarterfinals of the season’s first grand slam, the ITA All-American Championships, on Oct. 7 … Notre Dame’s team of juniors Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) and Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) upset the nation’s top-ranked team (North Carolina’s Raian Luchic/Brad Pomeroy, who are now #3) on Feb. 4, marking the first win for an Irish doubles squad against the #1 team in the country since 1993 … junior Devin Mullings from the Bahamas is ranked 42nd in the nation in singles with a 16-7 record after being 19th in the preseason … he split a pair of matches against Irish players in the fall, beating freshman Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.) 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) in the round of 16 of the ITA Midwest Championshpis and then losing 6-1, 1-6, 7-5 to sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) … Helgeson and Parbhu lost in the second round of that event in doubles against Wilson and freshman Bryan Koniecko … Koniecko is ranked 46th nationally with a 15-7 record … Ohio State has been strong at the bottom of the lineup, going 8-1 at Nos. 4 and 5 and 7-1 at No. 6 … Wilson – the school’s all-time leader in career doubles victories (100-36 record) – is 7-0 in singles this spring, playing mostly at No. 5 … junior Chris Klingemann, who is unranked after being 38th earlier this spring, is 7-1 in dual action, mostly at No. 4, while senior Dennis Mertens from Belgium also is 7-1, playing mostly No. 6 … in doubles, the Buckeyes are 9-0 at Nos. 1 and 3 and have won the doubles point in every match … Mullings and Klingemann are 8-1 together, including 6-0 dual (mostly at No. 3) … head coach Ty Tucker is in his seventh year as head coach of the Buckeyes, having compiled a 137-41 (.770) record, including 3-3 against Notre Dame … next up for OSU is a trip to #21 Virginia Commonwealth on Sunday.
IRISH-BUCKEYES SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame and Ohio State will meet for the 32nd consecutive season and 47th time overall, with the Irish holding a 25-21 edge in the series (see page 44 of the ND media guide for scores of every match), though the Buckeyes have won the last three … the last Notre Dame victory over OSU came in 2002, when the 10th-ranked Irish beat the 24th-ranked Buckeyes 6-1 in the Eck Tennis Pavilion … its series with the Buckeyes is Notre Dame’s longest current uninterrupted series, having last not played in 1974 … the next-longest is with Wisconsin, which the Irish last did not play in 1985 … only four schools (Michigan-41, Northwestern-36, Michigan State-32, Indiana-27) have more all-time victories against Notre Dame than does Ohio State … it has been a series kind to visiting teams, as the road squad holds a 26-18 record … OSU is 15-12 at Notre Dame, but the Irish had won six straight prior to the 12th-ranked Buckeyes escaping an upset bid in their last visit, coming back to win 4-3 over #43 ND in 2004 in the Eck Tennis Pavilion … the schools first played in 1925, with Ohio State winning 5-1 in Columbus … the Irish got their first win over the Buckeyes in 1927 by a 4-3 score at OSU … it has been a series of shifting streaks, as Ohio State won five of the first six meetings (1925-36), then Notre Dame won nine straight from 1960-73, before the Buckeyes rebounded to win 13 of the next 14 (1975-88), and the Irish then strung together 14 consecutive victories from 1989-2002 before the latest OSU winning streak … both of the last two seasons have produced 4-3 victories for the Buckeyes …in `04, the Irish were up 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2, but Ohio State would win three of the four three-set affairs – including Dennis Mertens topping Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) at No. 6 with the score tied 3-3 – to avoid the upset bid … a year ago, Devin Mullings won 7-5, 7-5 over Notre Dame’s Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) at No. 2 in the final match remaining to hand the 30th-ranked Buckeyes a 4-3 home win over #29 ND … OSU won at the top two doubles spots (No. 3 was abandoned) to go up 1-0 and then also got straight-set victories at Nos. 1 and 4 … the Irish – who were without No. 3 player Brent D’Amico in singles – won three-setters at Nos. 3, 5, and 6 … this will be the fourth time in the last six meetings that Ohio State carries the higher national ranking (OSU is 2-1), but it will be the highest-ranked Buckeyes squad ever faced by Notre Dame … it will be the seventh consecutive meeting in which both teams are ranked … the schools have split 10 all-time meetings decided by one point (5-4 or 4-3) … Irish head coach Bob Bayliss holds a 16-4 career record against the Buckeyes (14-3 during his tenure at Notre Dame) … there are only two schools (Michigan State-21, Georgetown-17) against which he holds more career triumphs (also has 16 wins vs. Purdue, Army, and Michigan) … Bayliss holds a 144-48 (.750) 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).
ND SUFFERS A TRIO OF 4-3 LOSSES TO TEAMS CURRENTLY IN TOP 20: Three of Notre Dame’s four defeats this season have come by 4-3 scores on the road against teams currently ranked among the national top 20. The Irish were up 3-2 against #1 Virginia (now ranked 16th) 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 (now ranked 17th). A day later, the Irish won three-setters at Nos. 2 and 5 to tie the score 3-3 against #9 Duke (now fifth), but the Blue Devils won in three sets at No. 1 (6-3 in the third) to avoid the upset.
LET’S PLAY THREE … PLEASE!!: Notre Dame players have combined to win 72% of their three-set matches this season, compiling a 26-10 record. Leading the way is freshman Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.), who is 4-0 in three-setters, with three of those victories coming in dual action with the team outcome not yet determined. Junior Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) is 5-1 – including 4-0 this spring, all with the dual outcome undetermined – and sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) stands 6-2, including 3-1 when the dual winner is not yet decided.
ROCKING THE REGION: Irish competitors have combined to win 77% of their singles matches against other players from the ITA’s Midwest Region, which includes most of the Big Ten Conference and other area squads. Notre Dame players have a 73-22 singles record vs. regional foes and are 6-1 in dual matches this spring against that group, having lost only to #3 Illinois. No ND student-athlete has lost more than three times against the region this season, and Irish junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) – who became the first ND player since 1993 to win the singles title in the ITA Midwest Championships in October – leads the way with a 15-1 mark (the lone defeat coming against Illinois’ Kevin Anderson, currently ranked #6). Sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) is 13-2 against regional opponents, while freshman Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.) is 11-2. Notre Dame also excelled in singles against the region a year ago, combining for a 104-37 (.738) mark in 2004-05.
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.
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 a 10-1 mark in dual action (1-0 at No. 4, 9-1 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 12-2 overall in singles in 2005-06.
ND 9-2 AT No. 3 DOUBLES: After struggling there in recent seasons, Notre Dame’s best spot in doubles this spring has been No. 3, where five different teams have combined to go 9-2, with the lone defeats coming against North Carolina (8-4) and Michigan (8-6). Over the previous three campaigns, the Irish had won just 42% of their matches at No. 3 doubles, combining for a 27-37 mark (12-10 in `05, 9-14 in `04, 6-13 in `03). This season, the team of senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) and sophomore Andrew Roth (Houston, Texas/Tenney School) is 3-0 at that spot. Roth and freshman Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.) – who played there in ND’s last two dual match – are 2-1, as are Langenkamp and junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School). The pairs 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 6-1 mark at the spot, while Langenkamp is 5-1. Ohio State boasts a 9-0 record at No. 3 doubles.
ROCKIN’ ROTH: Sophomore Andrew Roth (Houston, Texas/Tenney School) has been nearly perfect since being inserted into the Notre Dame doubles lineup for the first time in his career on Feb. 5. He currently stands 6-1 in dual action at No. 3, as well as 10-2 on the season in partnered play. Roth has been a big reason that No. 3 doubles has emerged as a Notre Dame strength, with a 9-2 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 11 dual matches this spring: vs. Northwestern, #1 Virginia, William & Mary, #3 Illinois, Purdue, and Wisconsin.
ND UP TO 26th IN FILA COLLEGIATE TENNIS RANKINGS: After beating Michigan State and Michigan last week, the Irish moved up five spots to 26th in the latest set of Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings administered by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), which were released on Wednesday. In all, 17 of Notre Dame’s 19 regular-season opponents are listed in the rankings, with seven in the top 25: #3 Illinois, #5 Duke, #11 Ohio State, #12 Texas, #16 Virginia, #17 North Carolina, and #24 Texas A&M. Additionally, the Irish beat USC – currently ranked 23rd – 6-1 during the fall in exhibition action.
IRISH BOAST THREE AMONG NATION’S TOP 60 IN SINGLES: In the latest set of Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, released on Feb. 22, Irish junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) is 17th nationally in singles, while sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) is 28th, and freshman Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.) is 60th. Notre Dame is one of only eight Division I schools (along with Duke, Georgia, Illinois, Miami, Pepperdine, Stanford, and Texas) to have multiple players among the top 30 in the listing, as well as one of only seven squads (also Arkansas, Baylor, Duke, Georgia, Texas, and Virginia) with three or more in the top 60.
HELGESON AMONG NATION’S FIVE HIGHEST-RANKED FRESHMEN: Rookie Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.) jumped back into the latest edition of the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, appearing at 60th in the nation in singles, including fifth among freshmen. The only first-year collegians ranked higher than Helgeson are Stanford’s Matt Bruch (10th), Radford’s Martin Sayer (27th), Blake Strode of Arkansas (41st), and Ohio State’s Bryan Koniecko (46th). Helgeson – who was listed 108th in the preseason after being the only college-bound player (and just the second ND recruit) to reach the quarterfinals of the USTA Super National Hardcourt Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich. – is the highest-ranked Notre Dame rookie since Ryan Simme concluded 1993-94 at 52nd. Helgeson is in an elite group of just four Irish rookies to have been nationally-ranked in singles, joining Simme and All-Americans David DiLucia (class of `92) and Ryan Sachire (`00).
KECKLEY BECOMES FIRST ND PLAYER EVER TO BE RANKED WITH FOUR DIFFERENT PARTNERS: Notre Dame 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 – became the first Notre Dame player ever to be listed in the national rankings with four different partners when he and classmate Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) were 51st in the latest edition of the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, released on Feb. 22. Keckley was first listed 18th with Luis Haddock following the fall of the 2003-04 season and then switchedd partners and peaked at 14th with Brent D’Amico later that spring. He paired with current senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) to be 12th following the fall part of this season, but then switched partners to team with the Irishman.
IRISH HEAD COACH: Bob Bayliss is in his 19th year at Notre Dame with a 334-161 (.675) record, while his 36-year career mark stands at 625-264-1 (.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 won five consecutive matches. [last loss: 2/7/06 at #3 Illinois, 7-0]
– Notre Dame has won seven consecutive home matches. [last loss: 3/17/05 vs. #3 Illinois, 6-1]
– Notre Dame has won 18 consecutive matches when winning at No. 1 singles. [last loss: 4/4/04 at Virginia Tech, lost 4-3; Luis Haddock def. Andreas Laulund 6-3, 6-4 at No. 1]
– Notre Dame has lost 17 consecutive matches against top-15 teams. [last win: 3/7/02 at #5 Illinois, 4-3]
– Notre Dame has lost six consecutive matches against higher-ranked teams. [last win: 1/29/05, #34 ND 5, #18 North Carolina 2]
– 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 five consecutive singles matches [last loss: 2/7/06 vs. Illinois’ Kevin Anderson 6-4, 7-5]
– 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]
– Sheeva Parbhu has won five consecutive doubles matches [last loss: 2/7/06 vs. Illinois’ DeHeart/Gonzales 8-2]
– Sheeva Parbhu has won seven consecutive home doubles matches [last loss: 9/24/05 vs. Purdue’s Hodgman/Pat. Rose 8-2]
– Brett Helgeson has won five consecutive singles matches [last loss: 2/7/06 vs. Illinois’ Ruben Gonzales 6-2, 6-3]
– Brett Helgeson is 4-0 as a collegian in three-set singles matches.
– Barry King has lost seven consecutive tiebreakers in singles. [last win: 3/11/05 vs. Boise State’s Matias Silva, first set]
– Ryan Keckley has won five consecutive singles matches [last loss: 2/7/06 vs. Illinois’ Ryan Rowe 6-3, 6-4]
– Ryan Keckley has won four consecutive three-set matches with the dual-match outcome still undetermined [last loss: 4/3/05 vs. SMU’s David Kuczer 4-6, 6-4, 6-2]
– Ryan Keckley has won six consecutive close singles matches (three sets, match tiebreaker, or two sets with game differential of four or fewer) [last loss: 10/21/05 vs. Minnesota’s Adrien Debreyne 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5)]
– Ryan Keckley has won 10 consecutive home singles matches [last loss: 1/15/05 vs. Illinois State’s Alfredo Lagarda 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 1-0 (11-9)]
– Eric Langenkamp has won a career-high seven consecutive doubles matches. [last loss: 2/4/05 vs. North Carolina’s Guejman/Porter 8-4]
– Eric Langenkamp has won five consecutive home doubles matches [last loss: 10/14/05 vs. USC’s Kazarian/Van’t Hof 8-5]
– 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]
TOP WINS UNDER BAYLISS: See pdf for a list of Notre Dame’s 21 victories against top-11 teams during the tenure of head coach Bob Bayliss, ordered by opponent ranking.
LONGEST CURRENT UNINTERRUPTED SERIES: See pdf for the list of the current opponents Notre Dame has played in the most consecutive years without a break.
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-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. Notre Dame has had a long history of playing the teams that now make up the Big Ten, posting an all-time 320-228-2 (.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 144-48 (.750) 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 (26-41). Notre Dame is 5-1 against the Big Ten this season, having beaten Northwestern (6-1), Purdue (6-1), Wisconsin (6-1), Michigan State (7-0), and Michigan (5-2), and lost at #3 Illinois (7-0).
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 (won 5-2 on 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).
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.email@example.com, who also can provide any information about the Irish tennis program.