May 11, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The fifth-seeded Notre Dame men’s tennis team made quick work of Butler, 4-0, in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament on Friday afternoon. The Irish improve to 25-3 overall and move into the second round of the tournament for the second straight season. The Bulldogs end their season at 14-10.
Senior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, NY) set the tone for Notre Dame in the singles portion against Butler. With the Irish already leading 1-0, Bass absolutely hammered James Low at No. 1, 6-0, 6-0. He improves to 34-9 overall and 23-3 in dual matches. The 34 victories move him into a tie with current assistant coach Ryan Sachire (and others) for eighth on the Irish single-season list.
Senior Barry King (Dublin, Ireland) was nearly as dominant in his victory at No. 4 singles. King disposed of Ben Raynauld, 6-2, 6-1, for his 33rd victory of the season. He is now 33-7 overall and 22-3 in dual matches. King now stands 91-36 for his career, which ranks tied for 11th with Luis Haddock on the all-time Notre Dame list.
Junior Andrew Roth (Houston, TX) not only clinched the match for the Irish, but continued his torrid play with another straight-set victory. Roth breezed past Scott Newmark, 6-1, 6-1, for his 11th win in his last 12 matches. He improves to 25-11 overall and 17-6 in dual action.
Sophomore Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, KS) and senior Ryan Keckley (South Bend, IN) each had a set in hand of their respective matches at No. 3 and No. 5, while junior Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, NE) was tied at one set apiece at No. 2 when the match was clinched.
Notre Dame captured the all-important doubles point in relatively convincing fashion. The top doubles tandem of Bass and Keckley cruised past Low and Raynauld, 8-2. The Irish duo raced out to a 5-0 lead and never looked back. Bass and Keckley have won each of their seven matches (7-0, 7-0) since teaming up back on April 10.
Notre Dame clinched the point at No. 3 doubles following the victory by King and Roth. King and Roth grabbed an early 4-1 advantage only to watch Butler’s duo of Scott Newmark and Evan West draw within 4-3. But, King and Roth broke the Bulldogs and dropped just one game the rest of the match, winning 8-4. They now stand 8-0 overall and 7-0 in dual matches. Similar to Bass and Keckley, King and Roth have yet to drop a match since the Irish re-arranged their doubles lineup.
Parbhu and Helgeson fell behind 4-1 early to Sandy Berry and Eric Breitenbach at No. 2, but they battled back and even the match at 6-6 before it was halted.
The 25 victories for Notre Dame are the most in a single-season since the Irish went 25-9 in 1983-84. Notre Dame also evens its all-time record in NCAA Tournament action at 15-15 and improves to 6-4 in South Bend.
Notre Dame will face #38 Wisconsin on Saturday in the second round. First-serve is scheduled for 3:00 p.m..