Oct. 16, 2004
ANN ARBOR, Mich. & MIDLAND, Texas – Freshman Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) advanced to the semifinals of the Midland Invitational to highlight Saturday results for the Notre Dame men’s tennis team, which also competed in the Wolverine Invitational at the University of Michigan. In the latter event, the Irish won six of nine singles matches, as well as a pair of doubles contests.
Parbhu led off the day with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Brett Joelson, who played Nos. 3-5 for Texas A&M (which ended up 24th in the national rankings) last spring. The Irish rookie’s run then ended in the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-1 defeat at the hands of Texas junior Roger Gubser, who is listed 112th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association preseason national singles rankings. Parbhu, who is 7-2 this season, got off to a quick start against Gubser, who played in the bottom half of the Longhorn lineup in both 2002 and ’03 before missing last spring with an injury, winning the first three games and going up 40-0 in the fourth. But Gubser used some big serves to avoid a second service break and then controlled the rest of the match, winning 12 of the final 14 games. Gubser will face Bulgarian #24 Luben Pampoulov of UCLA in Sunday’s final.
“Sheeva showed tremendous composure for a freshman today, playing in some tough spots,” said Irish assistant coach Todd Doebler. “He was able to fight really hard and play to a high level at crucial points in his matches. That was a key in being able to beat an established player like Joelson. This was a great tournament for him, as he beat three very solid players – two guys who are experienced on the college level, as well as a talented freshman.”
Notre Dame was the lone school that had two players in the quarterfinals, but senior co-captain Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]) was defeated 6-4, 6-3 by Baylor freshman Lars Poerschke of Germany, who then advanced to the title match.
In Ann Arbor, Notre Dame student-athletes won five of eight singles matches against Michigan State and also picked up a win vs. a Western Michigan competitor. They then split four doubles contests with Wisconsin duos.
Three Irish players – senior Jimmy Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) and sophomores Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph’s H.S.) and Irackli Akhvlediani (Vienna, Austria/Vienna International School) – finished unbeaten on the day. Keckley defeated Joseph McWilliams 6-3, 6-3 in a rematch of last spring’s No. 5 contest (also won by Keckley) in the dual match between the schools. After opening the fall with a pair of losses in match tiebreakers, Keckley has now won four consecutive matches. He then paired with junior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) to defeat Wisconsin’s team of Elliott Bisnow and Jeremy Sonkin by an 8-5 score in doubles.
Akhvlediani dropped only a single game in defeating Spartan Adam Monich by scores of 6-1, 6-0. The Irish sophomore, now 5-2 on the season in singles, then paired with Bass to defeat Mike Goodman and Felipe Bellido by a 9-7 score. Bass continued his strong singles play by defeating Western Michigan’s Bryan Norville 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-1. The Irish senior is unbeaten in five matches this season and has won nine in a row in a stretch that dates back more than 13 months. Bass, who holds a 14-4 career mark, had a string of 15 consecutive set victories snapped when he lost the second-set tiebreaker.
Notre Dame sophomore Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College), who played mostly No. 5 for the Irish last spring, posted a win against Michigan State’s No. 2 player, Cameron Marshall, 6-4, 6-3. Sophomore Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.) downed MSU’s No. 6 player from last season, Michael Flowers, 6-0, 6-3 to improve to 6-1 this season and to win for the 14th consecutive time when claiming the first set. Notre Dame’s other victor was freshman Yuichi Uda (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Laurel Springs School [CA]), who defeated Michigan State’s Anthony Stefani 6-2, 7-5.
Irish sophomore Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) nearly pulled off a major upset, as he led 2-0 in the third set against #49 Andy Formanczyk before the Spartan senior rallied for a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 victory. It was the first time Bass had lost a three-setter in his collegiate career, after going 12-0 prior to Saturday.
Notre Dame will conclude action in the Wolverine Invitational on Sunday, playing singles contests at 11:30 a.m. (EDT) against Ohio State, which finished last season ranked 12th in the nation after advancing to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship.
Singles – Quarterfinals
Lars Poerschke (Baylor) def. Brent D’Amico (ND) 6-4, 6-3
Sheeva Parbhu (ND) def. Brett Joelson (Texas A&M) 4-6, 6-3, 7-5
Singles – Semifinals
#112 Roger Gubser (Texas) def. Parbhu (ND) 6-4, 6-1
#49 Andy Formanczyk (Michigan State) d. Stephen Bass (Notre Dame), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4
Barry King (ND) d. Cameron Marshall (MSU), 6-4, 6-3
Nick Rinks (MSU) d. Eric Langenkamp (ND), 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
Ryan Keckley (ND) d. Joseph McWilliams (MSU), 6-3, 6-3
Patrick Buchanan (ND) d. Michael Flowers (MSU), 6-0, 6-3
Brian Compton (MSU) d. Andrew Roth (ND), 2-6, 7-5, 6-3
Irackli Akhvlediani (ND) d. Adam Monich (MSU), 6-1, 6-0
Yuichi Uda (ND) d. Anthony Stefani (MSU), 6-2, 7-5
Jimmy Bass (ND) d. Bryan Norville (Western Michigan), 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-1
Keckley/Lagenkamp (ND) d. Elliott Bisnow/Jeremy Sonkin (Wisconsin), 8-5
Alex Kasarov/Brian Ko (W) d. S. Bass/King (ND), 9-8 (7-4)
Mark Weinig/Jordan Raemisch (W) d. Buchanan/Roth (ND), 8-5
Akhvlediani/J. Bass (ND) d. Mike Goodman/Felipe Bellido (W), 9-7