Feb. 1, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. –
The No. 11 Notre Dame men’s tennis team will look for its third consecutive victory when they host No. 13 Florida State on Friday inside the Eck Tennis Pavilion. First-serve between the Irish and the Seminoles is scheduled for 4 p.m.
After their season-opening loss at No. 5 Virginia, the Irish have posted back-to-back 7-0 drubbings of William & Mary and No. 58 Indiana. Notre Dame has dropped just two sets over its 12 singles matches in the victories. Senior and 14th-ranked Stephen Bass (Bronxville, NY) and senior Barry King (Dublin, Ireland) lead the Irish with 13 singles’ wins apiece. Bass is 13-7 overall and 2-1 in dual action, while King is 13-5 and 2-1. Junior and 30th-ranked Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, NE) is 12-7 overall and 2-1. Senior Ryan Keckley (South Bend, IN) has been nearly flawless to this point of the year. He is 11-2 in singles, the only Irish player 3-0 in dual play, and has posted a 16-2 mark with Parbhu in doubles. The duo was ranked 11th in the most recent ITA poll.
FLORIDA STATE AT A GLANCE: The Seminoles have a 5-0 record and were ranked 13th in this week’s ITA listing … FSU has had little trouble to this point of the season … the Seminoles have blanked Florida A&M, Florida Atlantic and Furman … Florida State has also cruised past North Florida (6-1) and Georgia State (4-1) … Florida State returned five of nine letterwinners from last year’s squad that was 21-8 and ranked 13th in the nation … the Seminoles reached the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive year in 2006 … the four-straight years in the NCAA Tournament is the longest run of consecutive tournament appearances for FSU since they had five in a row from 1994-1999 … the Seminoles advanced through the first round defeating Auburn, 4-2, but lost to Ole Miss, 4-2, in the 2nd round … Florida State returns eight letterwinners from last season, including Sam Chang, Jonathas Sucupira and Maciek Sykut … Chang led the Seminoles in victories with 18 (18-11), while Sykut and Sucupira added 13 and 10, respectively … Chang (#98) and Sucupira (#100) ended the 2006 spring season ranked in the top 100 … Sykut is rated #76 in the most recent ITA poll … Ytai Abougzir and Sykut are the only ranked Seminole doubles’ team … the duo has not played with one another this spring.
IRISH-SEMINOLES SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame and Florida State will meet for the fifth consecutive season and sixth time overall, with the Irish holding a 4-1 edge in the series, including wins in the last three matchups … this will be the third trip to South Bend for the Seminoles … Florida State prevailed 6-3 in the first meeting between the schools, in 1964, though Notre Dame considers that to have been an exhibition match (FSU does not) … the Irish won in their last meeting with Florida State in South Bend, by a 4-3 score in 2005 … the first official contest between the schools came in 1992, when the 10th-ranked Irish won 5-1 in Corpus Christi, Texas, in the opening round of the H.E.B. Championship … the current incarnation of the series began in 2003, with Florida State prevailing 4-3 at Notre Dame … a year ago, Notre Dame won a 5-2 decision in Tallahassee on Mar. 14 … match point came down to the No. 6 singles spot, where Eric Langenkamp won a third-set tiebreaker against Chris Cloer in the final match remaining … the Irish got straight-set victories at No. 2 and 4, while Florida State won in three sets at No. 1 and two sets at No. 3 … this will be the fifth straight year that both teams have been nationally-ranked … Irish head coach Bob Bayliss holds a 4-1 career record against the Seminoles (3-1 during his tenure at Notre Dame).
Notre Dame will also host No. 8 Duke and Toledo on Sunday. Both matches are scheduled for inside the Eck Tennis Pavilion. First-serve against the Blue Devils is slated for noon, while the match up with the Rockets will get underway at 6 p.m.
— ND —