April 10, 2007
MUNCIE, Ind. – The No. 6 Notre Dame men’s tennis team picked up its 20th victory of the season on Tuesday afternoon with a 7-0 victory over Ball State. The Irish improve to 19-3 overall with their 17th consecutive victory over the Cardinals (8-11).
Notre Dame took an early 1-0 advantage following a clean sweep of the three doubles matches. The Irish decided to shift their doubles teams for the first time this entire dual match season and the benefits were immediate. Junior Andrew Roth (Houston, TX) and senior Barry King (Dublin, Ireland) picked up their first victory of the season with an 8-4 triumph over Jarrod Epkey and Joe Vallee at No. 3 doubles. The tandem had not played with one another since Sept. 21, 2006.
Senior Ryan Keckley (South Bend, IN) and senior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, NY) clinched the doubles point for the Irish following their win over Joe Epkey and Jose Perdomo, 8-6, at No. 1 doubles. Keckley and Bass, playing together for the first time since Sept. 18, 2004, improved to 3-1 over their careers.
Sophomore Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, KS) and junior Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, NE) held off Aaron Phillips and Jorge Rodriguez at No. 3 doubles, 9-8 (3). Helgeson and Parbhu were also making their doubles debut in 2006-07, but were 5-5 overall and 2-4 in dual action last season.
Roth was first off the court for the Irish in singles. He breezed past Vallee at the No. 6 position, 6-0, 6-0. Roth improves to 20-11 overall and 12-6 in dual matches. #51 Parbhu posted the next Notre Dame victory. He cruised past Phillips, 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2 singles. Parbhu is now 26-10 overall and 16-4 in dual play.
#9 Bass clinched the match for the Irish at No. 1 singles. He defeated Joe Epkey, 6-2, 6-2. Bass (29-9, 18-3) picked up his team-leading 29th win of the season. He also leads Notre Dame with 18 dual match victories. Bass, now 102-44 for his career, moved into sole possession of sixth place on the all-time singles win list.
King gave the Irish a 5-0 lead with his 6-1, 6-2 straight-set triumph over Jarrod Epkey at No. 4. King improves to 28-7 overall and 17-3 in dual action. Keckley, the lone Notre Dame player that was extended into three sets, got past Bret Berryman at No. 5, 2-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10). He rebounded from a tough performance in the opening set with an impressive second set before securing the point following his 12-10 victory in the third set, super tiebreaker. Keckley improves to 21-5 overall and 14-3 in dual matches.
Perdomo pushed #114 Helgeson to the test at No. 3 singles, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5). He now stands 25-7 overall and 17-4 in dual action.
Notre Dame returns to action Wednesday afternoon against No. 54 Kentucky. First-serve with the Wildcats is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.
NOTRE DAME 7, BALL STATE 0
No. 1 – #9 Stephen Bass (ND) def. Joe Epkey (BSU) – 6-2, 6-2
No. 2 – #51 Sheeva Parbhu (ND) def. Aaron Phillips (BSU) – 6-0, 6-1
No. 3 – #114 Brett Helgeson (ND) def. Jose Perdomo (BSU) – 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5)
No. 4 – Barry King (ND) def. Jarrod Epkey (BSU) – 6-1, 6-2
No. 5 – Ryan Keckley (ND) def. Bret Berryman (BSU) – 2-6, 6-3 1-0 (9)
No. 6 – Andrew Roth (ND) def. Joe Vallee (BSU) – 6-0, 6-0
No. 1 – Keckley/Bass (ND) def. Joe Epkey/Perdomo (BSU) – 9-7
No. 2 – Parbhu/Helgeson (ND) def. Phillips/Jorge Rodriguez (BSU) – 9-8 (5)
No. 3 – King/Roth (ND) def. Jarrod Epkey/Vallee (BSU) – 8-4
— ND —