Sept. 11, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Men’s tennis player Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West) is ranked No. 25 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) preseason rankings. Helgeson’s No. 25 ranking gives him the distinct honor of being the highest-ranked BIG EAST competitor. Overall, Helgeson is one of five BIG EAST players ranked in the ITA top-100. It marks the second consecutive year in which Helgeson has cracked the ITA top-100 in preseason rankings, having been ranked No. 66 prior to the 2007-08 campaign.
Last season, Helgeson ascended as high as No. 11 in the ITA rankings before closing out the season at No. 45. He was named to the BIG EAST All-Tournament team in both singles and doubles play for the second consecutive year. He also was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Performer on his way to earning the BIG EAST’s automatic bid into the singles draw of the NCAA Finals. It marked the third consecutive year a member of the Fighting Irish advanced to the NCAA Finals. Helgeson advanced out of the round-of-64 with a win over Harvard’s Chris Clayton (6-3, 6-1), before falling to No. 3 Oleksandr Nedovyesov of Oklahoma State in the round-of-32 (6-3, 6-2).
Helgeson posted a 31-10 record in singles play during the 2007-08 season, including a 15-1 mark in open competition and a 16-9 mark in dual play. He played the majority of the season at No. 1 singles, where he posted a 14-9 mark. He also posted a combined dual and open season 12-7 record against opponents ranked in the ITA top-100.
In the 2007 fall season, Helgeson posted a 13-1 record. His highlights included advancing to the semifinals of the ITA Midwest Regionals, where he fell in straight sets to ninth-ranked Ryan Rowe of Illinois (6-1, 6-4). Helgeson made it to the semifinals with wins over Phil Orno (6-2, 5-7, 6-1), Dara McLoughlin (6-3, 1-6, 6-2), second-ranked Steven Moenke (6-2, 1-6, 6-4) and Raoul Schwark (6-3, 6-4).
Tennis’ top players, including Helgeson, are slated to compete in the first ITA national event of the year at the D’Novo All-American Men’s Tennis Championship from Oct. 9-12. The tournament also includes six rounds of prequalifying matches, beginning on Oct. 3 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. But first Helgeson and the Fighting Irish begin their 2008 fall season on September 19 at the Michigan Invitational in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The invitational will run through September 21.