Feb. 10, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 9 Notre Dame men’s tennis team made it five straight as the Irish defeated No. 46 SMU, 4-3, Sunday afternoon at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Holding a 7-1 record in dual action, the Irish battled through another close match to take the victory.
The Irish jumped out to a quick lead as they won the doubles point. The Notre Dame pair of Andrew Roth and Stephen Havens earned the first win, 8-5, with the other Irish duo of Sheeva Parbhu and Brett Helgeson taking the second win, 8-4, to earn the point. Parbhu and Helgeson had a lead of 5-0 at one point in their match, with Alex Skrypko and Robin Fahgen of SMU able to battle back to make the contest 6-4. Parbhu and Helgeson held on, dominating the final to games to earn the win.
Rounding out the Notre Dame doubles field was Tyler Davis and Santiago Montoya. Their match remained close throughout the competition, until Davis and Montoya were able to break away from a 5-4 lead to go up 7-4. They lost the next game to go down 7-5, but returned to take the win, 8-5.
Havens rounded up the next Irish point, defeating Oivind Alver for the Mustangs. Havens faced a close battle in the first set, taking it 6-4, but went on to cruise past Alver in the second, dominating him 6-0. Havens is now 14-8 in singles action and 5-3 in dual action.
The next two points would go to the Mustangs as No. 11 Helgeson was defeated by Fahgen in the singles match. Fahgen took the first set with ease, 6-2, but Helgeson rallied back in the second, leading much of the way. Unfortunately, Faghen would come back to take the win with a score of 6-4 in the second set.
David Anderson was then defeated by Adolfo Solares of SMU in a tight match. Solares would take the win, 7-5, 7-5, to even the team scores up, 2-2.
Notre Dame would come back though with a win from Dan Stahl in the No.6 spot, battling out a tough match for the Irish point. Stahl took down Chris Hooshyar of SMU, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, giving the Irish a 3-2 advantage over the Mustangs. Stahl is now 17-4 in singles action this season and 6-1 in dual action.
The Mustangs would stick around, despite Irish efforts, with Skrypko taking the point for SMU over Roth. In a heated battle, Roth took the first set, 6-4, but the next two would go to Skrypko, 7-5, 7-5, to take the SMU point, evening out the team scores to 3-3 and leaving Parbhu with the match to decide the winner.
Parbhu took the first set, 7-6 (7-5), but his opponent, David Kuczer of SMU came back to take the second, 6-4. With the match on the line, Parbhu stormed to a 5-0 lead in the third set over Kuczer, holding a big advantage. Parbhu went on to win the final set in dominating fashion, 6-1, to determine the Irish 4-3 victory. Parbhu is now 17-6 on the season and 7-1 in dual action.
Next up for Notre Dame is the ITA National Indoor Team Championships out in Seattle, Wash., Feb. 15-17.