Junior Brett Helgeson owns a team best 21-4 mark in singles this season.

Irish To Face Boilers In Intrastate Battle

Feb. 22, 2008

Match Details: Notre Dame (8-3) vs. Purdue (5-3)
Sunday, February 24, 2008, 12:00 ET
Eck Tennis Pavilion, Notre Dame, IN

Swinging in Seattle: The Notre Dame men’s tennis team went 1-2 last weekend at the ITA National Indoor Championships, hosted by the University of Washington. The Irish fell 4-0 to UCLA in a first round match that was much closer than the score indicated. Notre Dame was on the verge of winning two matches when the Bruins earned the clinching point. The lone Irish win came the following day when Notre Dame bested Penn State for the second time this season, this time by a 4-2 margin. North Carolina defeated Notre Dame 5-0 on the final day of competition. All of Notre Dame’s losses this season have come against teams ranked in the top 12.

Scouting Purdue: The Boilermakers will be looking to earn their first road win of the 2008 season Sunday when they come to Notre Dame. Purdue has dropped road contests at Harvard, Arkansas, and William & Mary, with two of the losses coming by 4-3 scores. Despite lacking a senior on its roster, Purdue has plenty of solid leadership in the form of juniors Griffin Nienberg and P.J. Rose. Nienberg boasts a team-best 6-1 dual record on the year while Rose has a team-best 5-2 doubles mark. Sophomore Branko Kuzmanovic has been a fiery competitor for the Boilers this year at No. 1 singles. The native of Serbia has posted a 2-5 record, yet two of the losses came in tight, three-set matches.

Series Against the Boilermakers: Notre Dame has dominated the all-time series against Purdue, winning 51 of 60 meetings, including each of the last 18. Coach Bob Bayliss is 17-0 all-time against Purdue with four of those victories coming by 4-3 or 5-4 scores. Notre Dame won last year’s meeting 7-0 in West Lafayette.

Parbhu’s Place in History: Senior captain Sheeva Parbhu continues his assault on the Irish career record book this weekend. With a singles win against Penn State, Parbhu moved to within one win of fifth place on the career singles wins list with 112 victories. Parbhu, who is 112-34 in his career has a chance to tie Mark Schmidt (1990-93) this weekend. The Irish senior also posted a two doubles victories over the weekend, giving him 184 total victories (singles and doubles) for his career. That total is good enough for fifth all time and is just one victory shy of fourth place Chuck Coleman (1990-93).

ND Men’s Tennis Career Singles Wins
Player Years Record
1. David DiLucia 1989-92 146-33
2. Ryan Sachire 1997-00 138-44
3. Andy Zurcher 1990-94 128-60
4. Chuck Coleman 1990-93 123-58
5. Mark Schmidt 1990-93 113-44
6. Sheeva Parbhu 2004-08 112-34
ND Men’s Tennis Combined Career Wins
Player Years Record
1. David DiLucia 1989-92 219-63
2. Ryan Sachire 1997-00 211-76
3. Andy Zurcher 1990-94 206-101
4. Chuck Coleman 1990-93 185-88
5. Sheeva Parbhu 2004-08 184-86

Irish Opponents at the ITA Indoors: Four of Notre Dame’s 2008 opponents took part in the ITA tournament in Seattle including the two championship match participants. Virginia, whom the Irish lost to 5-2 last month, captured the title over Ohio State by a 4-1 score. The Buckeyes and Irish are scheduled to battle March 28 at the Eck Pavilion. Illinois and Penn State also participated, with the Illini posting a 2-1 record, falling to USC in the opening round before bouncing back to defeat Boise State and Washington. The Illini and Irish will meet March 1st in Champaign. The Nittany Lions went 0-3 at the tournament.

Rankings Update: Brett Helgeson is the highest ranked singles player for the Irish. He was ranked 32nd in this week’s poll. The junior was joined by teammate Sheeva Parbhu who is ranked this week at No. 73. It is Parbhu’s first ranking since the fall preseason poll where he was ranked 30th.