March 28, 2007
EAST LANSING, Mich. – The No. 5 Notre Dame men’s tennis team breezed past Michigan State, 7-0, Wednesday afternoon for its 11th consecutive victory. The Irish improved to 17-2 on the season, while the Spartans drop to 9-11. Senior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, NY) registered his 100th career singles win, becoming just the eight player in Notre Dame men’s tennis history to eclipse the century mark in victories.
Bass, ranked eighth in the most recent ITA poll, defeated #45 Nick Rinks, 6-3, 7-6 (5), at No. 1 for his team-leading 27th overall and 16th dual match victory of the season. He is 27-8 overall and 16-2 in dual play.
Notre Dame captured the doubles point after taking two of the three matches and swept all six singles matches in straight sets. The Irish have not only captured their last 21 matches in singles play, but 18 of those matches were decided in straight sets.
After securing the all-important doubles point, Notre Dame proved entirely too strong for Michigan State in singles.
Senior Barry King (Dublin, Ireland) was the first player off the court for the Irish at No. 4. King picked up his first double-bagel victory of the season. He whipped Jason Norville, 6-0, 6-0, to give Notre Dame a 2-0 lead. King, who extended his team-high winning streak to 11 matches, now stands 26-6 overall and 15-2 in dual matches. He also registered his 84th career singles victory that moved him past Brian Patterson (1996-99) and Matthew Scott (2001-03) into 15th place all-time at Notre Dame.
Senior Ryan Keckley (South Bend, IN) was next off the court for Notre Dame following his 6-3, 6-4 straight-set victory over Scott Rasmussen at No. 5. Keckley improved to 19-4 overall and 12-2 in dual action.
Junior #54 Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, NE) clinched the victory for the Irish at No. 2. Parbhu upended Alex Forger in straight-sets, 6-1, 6-4, for his seventh consecutive victory. He upped his record to 24-9 overall and 14-3 in dual action. Parbhu is now 89-24 overall and 54-11 in dual play over his three-year career.
Junior Andrew Roth (Houston, TX) pushed the match to 5-0 after his triumph over Tyler Sauerbrey. Roth improved to 18-10 overall and 10-5 in dual matches with his 6-3, 6-2 victory. Roth has captured each of his last four matches.
Sophomore #102 Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, KS) closed the scoring for Notre Dame following his three-set win over Adam Monich. Helgeson grabbed the opening set, 6-3, before dropping the second set, 6-1. He rebounded to secure the match with a 6-1 rout in the third and deciding set. Helgeson improved to 24-5 overall and 16-2 in dual action. He has won nine straight matches.
In doubles, Notre Dame opened play with an 8-1 rout at No. 3. Bass and Roth dropped the first game to the Spartans’ tandem of Norville and Sauerbray, but answered with the final eight to record the win. Bass and Roth now stand 13-5 overall and 10-4 in dual action (all at No. 3).
King and Helgeson sealed the point for the Irish at No. 2. With the match tied, 3-3, with Forger and Michael Flowers, the Irish duo pulled away for an 8-4 win. King and Helgeson improved to 20-7 overall and 12-4 in dual matches.
Notre Dame’s top-ranked doubles team of Keckley and Parbhu were not as fortunate. They lost their match, 8-6, to the 32nd-ranked duo of Monich and Rinks.
The Notre Dame winning streak is the longest for the Irish since the 1989-90 squad ripped off 15 consecutive matches. The school-record winning streak is 29 matches set over the course of three seasons (1965-67). The longest single-season winning streak is 20 matches during the 1971 season.
The Irish return to action this weekend with a pair of matches against top 10 opponents. Notre Dame travels to Columbus, Ohio to face the No. 3 Buckeyes on Friday at 2:00 p.m. before returning home for No. 8 Illinois on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
— ND —