Senior Stephen Bass.

Stephen Bass Reaches Singles Quarterfinals In ITA Midwest Championships

Oct. 24, 2004

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Sophomore Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School) rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the third set to win a third-round contest Sunday afternoon in the Varsity Tennis Center in order to advance to the quarterfinals of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Midwest Championships. He is the lone competitor still alive in the tournament for Notre Dame, which has been represented in the singles quarters of the event in three of the last four years.

Bass, seeded 15th, staged a comeback in beating Indiana University freshman Mike McCarthy 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 in the round of 16. The Irish sophomore is now 9-2 on the season and 31-9 in his collegiate career. He has made a habit of starting slow, but rallying to win, as he actually holds a winning record, 10-8, as a collegian when losing the first set. Bass also sports a pristine 12-1 career mark in three-set matches. He will try to become the first Irish player since 1999 to reach the semifinals of the Midwest Championships, when he takes on the tournament’s No. 11 seed, #97 Joey Atas of Ohio State, on Monday at 9 a.m. (EDT).

He will try to continue the superlatives in a tournament that has seen Notre Dame’s depth make headlines. The Irish took up three of the eight qualifying spots into the main draw (more than any other team) to have a total of eight student-athletes among the 64-player singles field. No other school had more than six in this year’s tournament, and no team other than the Irish has qualified more than six in the main draw since the current format was adopted three years ago (Notre Dame also had seven participants last fall). All but one Irish player was victorious in the opening round, giving Notre Dame by far the most players (seven) in the round of 32. The Irish had four in the final 16 of the singles draw, also the most of any school.

The Cinderella run of Notre Dame junior Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.) finally ended on Sunday, when, hampered by injuries, he lost 6-2, 6-3 to the tournament’s top seed, #23 Jakub Praibis of Indiana. Buchanan had won three qualifying matches and a pair of main-draw contests before the loss to improve his career mark in the ITA Midwest Championships to 10-3. Buchanan, who notched his first career win against a ranked opponent by upsetting #69 Tommy Hanus of Northwestern on Saturday, is off to his best collegiate start, standing at 12-2. He had won nine in a row before losing to Praibis.

Junior Barry King (Dublin, Ireland/Gonzaga College) also lost in the round of 16, falling 6-2, 6-4 against 12th-seeded and 94th-ranked Brian Hung of Michigan. The Irishman reached the third round by upsetting the No. 6 seed, #50 Chris Martin of Illinois, on Saturday for his second top-50 win of the fall.

Freshman Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.) was one of only two rookies among the final 16 in the singles draw, but he lost 6-2, 6-2 against Ohio State’s Devin Mullings, who is seeded 13th and ranked 116th nationally. It was the second week in a row that Parbhu turned in an eye-opening result, as he reached the semifinals of the Midland Invitational last weekend before losing to a nationally-ranked player.

In doubles, Notre Dame’s lone remaining team, 14th-seeded senior co-captain Brent D’Amico (Castle Rock, Colo./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School) and junior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.) posted an 8-2 victory in the second round against the Bradley team of William Lofgren and Croatian Mario Panzic. The Irish duo then started slowly against the tournament’s No. 2 seed, 36th-ranked Atas and Chris Klingemann of Ohio State, falling behind 4-2 and eventually losing by an 8-6 count. The Notre Dame veterans’ showing was a turnaround from their previous action this fall, as they were winless in three matches this season before the Midwest Championships.

The ITA Midwest Championships is an indoor singles and doubles tournament for the top players in the Midwest Region – which consists of every Big Ten Conference team but Iowa and Penn State, as well as other area schools. It is one of nine regional tournaments taking place across the country this month. The event consists of main draws of 64 in both singles and doubles, with eight spots in singles reserved for winners of a 64-player qualifying bracket. The singles finalists and doubles champions earn automatic entry into the second leg of the collegiate grand slam, the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, slated for Nov. 4-7 in the same venue.

ITA Midwest Championships

Singles – Round of 16

[1] #23 Jakub Praibis (Indiana) def. Patrick Buchanan (Notre Dame) 6-2, 6-3

[12] #94 Brian Hung (Michigan) def. Barry King (ND) 6-2, 6-4

[15] Stephen Bass (ND) def. Mike McCarthy (Indiana) 3-6, 7-5, 7-5

[13] Devin Mullings (Ohio State) def. Sheeva Parbhu (ND) 6-2, 6-2

Doubles – Second Round

[14] Brent D’Amico/Eric Langenkamp (ND) def. William Lofgren/Mario Panzic (Bradley) 8-2

Doubles – Round of 16

[2] #36 Joey Atas/Chris Klingemann (Ohio State) def. [14] D’Amico/Langenkamp (ND) 8-6

Note: Seedings are in brackets preceding national rankings, which precede names.