Head Bob Bayliss is in his 24th season at Notre Dame, where he has led the Fighting Irish to the NCAA Championship 19 times in the past 20 seasons.

Irish Tennis Teams Sweep Top Big East Awards

April 23, 2008

Just three days following a sweep of the Big East team titles, the Notre Dame tennis teams were honored with all-conference awards Wednesday, taking the top awards in both men’s and women’s play. Coaches Bobby Bayliss and Jay Louderback were each named Coach of the Year while Brett Helgeson and Kelcy Tefft captured the Most Outstanding Player award. All awards were voted on by Big East Conference coaches and were announced Wednesday evening.

Coach Jay Louderback took home coach of the year honors for the seventh time overall and second time in three years. He led the Irish to a 21-8 record and the team’s eight Big East title this season. Louderback has compiled a 353-158 record in his 19 years at Notre Dame and has guided the Irish to two straight NCAA quarterfinal appearances.

Kelcy Tefft earned Most Outstanding Player honors for the first time in her career, and was named to the All Tournament Singles and Doubles Teams for the third time in as many years. She posted a 6-0, 6-0 win in quarterfinal action against Rutgers, but was unable to complete her other two singles matches in Tampa. The Irish junior also posted three doubles wins, including two shutout wins, with partner Brook Buck. Tefft was the third Notre Dame player in as many years to earn the Most Outstanding Player award, as 2007 graduate Catrina Thompson took home the award each of the last two seasons.

Tefft was joined on the all-tournament singles team by senior captain Brook Buck, Cosmina Ciobanu and Colleen Rielley. Notre Dame also placed all three of their doubles teams on the all-conference team. Buck and Tefft were joined by the No. 2 team of Ciobanu and Rielley as well as the No. 3 team of Kali Krisik and Kristen Rafael. Buck made her third appearance on the all-Big East singles team (’05, ’06, ’08) to go along with three all-doubles team honors (’05, ’07, ’08). She was the only member of the Irish to win each of her singles and doubles matches this weekend and is currently on a seven-match singles winning streak.

Rielley, Ciobanu, Krisik, and Rafael all earned their first all-Big East recognition. Ciobanu and Rielley have posted a remarkable 20-2 record this season in doubles play and currently have the best winning percentage in school history. Krisik and Rafael have anchored the bottom of the doubles lineup going 9-6 on the year and 4-0 at the No. 3 position.

On the men’s side, Coach Bobby Bayliss earned his second straight Coach of the Year honor, and seventh in the last eleven years. Bayliss has guided Notre Dame to four Big East crowns in five years and 17 NCAA tournament appearances in 18 seasons. Coach Bayliss has posted 669 wins in his coaching career including 387 wins in 21 years at Notre Dame.

Helgeson was dominant in singles play at the Big East Tournament, dropping just four total games in three easy victories. The Notre Dame junior became the second straight Notre Dame player to capture the Most Outstanding Player award following Stephen Bass’s honor last season. In addition, Helgeson was named to both the singles and doubles all-tournament teams for the second time in his career. He teamed up with senior captain Sheeva Parbhu to win two doubles matches for the Irish.

Parbhu also earned all-conference recognition in both singles and doubles for the second time in as many years. A mainstay at the No. 2 singles position for the Irish, Parbhu earned a key straight-set win in the title match against South Florida to tie the team score at three. He has posted a 27-11 single mark this year and is just one win away from becoming just the fourth player in Notre Dame men’s tennis history to reach the 200 combined career win plateau.

Daniel Stahl also earned a place on the all-conference singles team while Andrew Roth and Santiago Montoya were named to the all-Big East doubles team. Stahl’s lone win of the weekend came in the final match of the tournament, as he clinched the title with a win over Diego Toledo of South Florida with the match tied at three. The Notre Dame freshman won the last five games of the match to win in straight sets and claim the title for the Irish. Roth and Montoya joined Stahl as first-time all-conference award winners. The No. 2 doubles team for Notre Dame posted an 8-3 win over Villanova in the quarterfinals and were on their way to wins in both the semifinals and finals when the Irish clinched the doubles point.

The men’s team will play their final regular season match Saturday when they battle #13 Florida State in Tallahassee. Following that match, the men will join the women’s team in waiting for the NCAA pairings to be announced next Tuesday. NCAA tournament play will open the weekend of May 9-11 at one of sixteen yet to be determined campus sites.

BIG EAST Tennis Most Outstanding Players:Brett Helgeson, Notre Dame, Jr.Kelcy Tefft, Notre Dame, Jr.
Coaches of the Year:Bobby Bayliss, Notre DameJay Louderback, Notre DameMen's All-Tournament Team:
Singles: (10)Austen Childs, Louisville, Fr.Alasdair Graetz, DePaul, So.Mahmoud Hamed, USF, Sr.Brett Helgeson, Notre Dame, Jr.Lucas Jovita, USF, Fr.Viktor Maksimcuk, Louisville, Fr.Jose Moncada, DePaul, Jr.Sheeva Parbhu, Notre Dame, Sr.David Simon, Louisville, So.Daniel Stahl, Notre Dame, Fr.
Doubles: (5)Simon Childs/Kenneth Nordheim, LouisvilleDaniel Daudt/Thomas Estrada, USFBrett Helgeson/Sheeva Parbhu, Notre DameLucas Jovita/Mahmoud Hamed, USFAndrew Roth/Santiago Montoya, Notre Dame
Women's All Tournament Team:
Singles: (10)Dunja Antunovic, DePaul, Jr.Janette Bejlkova, USFBrook Buck, Notre Dame, Sr.Katrina Elder-Bush, Rutgers, Sr.Cosmina Ciobanu, Notre Dame, So.Liz Cruz, USF, Sr.Gergana Ganeva, DePaul, Sr.Colleen Rielley, Notre Dame, So.Kelcy Tefft, Notre Dame, Jr.Jessica Zok, USF, So.
Doubles: (5)Brook Buck/Kelcy Tefft, Notre Dame Janette Bejlkova/Iciri Rai, USFNatalia Baez/Bianca Gorbea, LouisvilleCosmina Ciobanu/Colleen Rielley, Notre Dame Kali Krisik/Kristen Rafael, Notre Dame