Feb. 9, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – It lasted four hours and included 3 tiebreak sets, continue the one that decided the match. It had four singles matches go three sets, including the final one on the court in the No. 2 spot. After all of this, the Notre Dame Men’s tennis team outlasted Wisconsin 4-3 in a classic Saturday inside the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The win pushes Notre Dame’s record to 6-1, including 3-0 in 4-3 matches.
Sheeva Parbhu clinched the match for Notre Dame as he defeated Nolan Polley of Wisconsin in come from behind fashion, 6-7, (1-7) 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) in the last match on the court. Parbhu seemed to gain the upper hand in the third set with a break at 3-3, but the Badger senior broke right back to tie the match at 4-4. The players each held their serve in the last four games to set up the tiebreaker. Parbhu dropped the first two points of the tiebreaker before regaining the upper hand. The win improves Parbhu to 16-6 on the year.
With the match tied at two points apiece, it was Irish veterans Parbhu and Brett Helgeson who dug deep to pull out matches after both dropping the first set. Helgeson trailed Wisconsin’s Moritz Baumann, ranked 39th nationally, 4-2 in the second set and was two games from defeat when he rallied to win four of the sets final five games. The third set was a back and forth affair until the Irish junior seized control with the match tied at 3-3. Helgeson won the match’s final three games, including two breaks of Baumann’s serve to earn the 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory. The win was Helgeson’s 20th of the season pushing his overall mark to 20-3. His win put the Irish on the verge of victory at 3-2.
After Luke Rassow-Kantor came from behind to defeat Irish freshman David Anderson 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 in the No. 5. match, the stage was set for Parbhu’s heroics. The match in the No. 5 spot knotted the match at 3-3 just as Parbhu’s match was going to the third set tiebreak.
Freshman Daniel Stahl rallied from an early 4-1 first set deficit to defeat Wisconsin sophomore Luke Rassow-Kantor in a 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 decision. The victory was Stahl’s 16th this season, second best on the team. It gave the Irish a 2-1 lead.
Notre Dame earned a hard fought doubles point to take the early lead. All three matches were closely contested with the No. 3 doubles match proving to be decisive. With the first two matches split and the doubles point on the line, Notre Dame’s Santiago Montoya and Tyler Davis held off Wisconsin’s Marek Michalicka and Michael Muskievicz, 8-6. The Irish held a 7-4 advantage in the match before squandering an opportunity to serve the match out. They rebounded to win a long deuce game at 7-6 to earn the win. The win pushed the Irish pair’s record to 5-2 on the dual season.
The Irish got the other doubles win from veterans Parbhu and Helgeson, a 9-7 decision over the Badgers’ Nolan Polley and Moritz Baumann at No. 1. The duo Parbhu and Helgeson improve their record to 4-3 this spring.
Wisconsin earned their lone doubles victory in the No. 2 match where Jeremy Sonkin paired with Luke Rassow-Kantor, the #26 pair in the nation, to defeat Andrew Roth and Stephen Havens of Notre Dame, 8-6. The match was decided when the Badgers broke Roth’s serve at 6-6 and held the next game to secure the victory. Roth and Havens fell to 2-5 this spring.
It will be a quick turnaround for Notre Dame as the Irish will take to the home court again Sunday to face the SMU Mustangs. First serve is set for noon at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.