Oct. 23, 2005
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team saw three of its players – junior Stephen Bass (Bronxville, N.Y./Iona Preparatory School), sophomore Sheeva Parbhu (Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.), and freshman Brett Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West H.S.) – advance to the final 16 in the singles draw of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Midwest Championships via a pair of victories on Saturday in the University of Michigan’s Varsity Tennis Center. The Irish join Ohio State (which has four competitors left) as the only schools to have multiple players remaining in the singles main draw, while all three players improved to 7-0 this season in singles play.
Helgeson continued his perfect record as a collegian. Seeded 12th and ranked 108th, he defeated Indiana’s Neil Kenner 6-4, 6-2 in the opening round and then battled 19th-seeded Brian Hung – who played Nos. 1 and 2 for Michigan last spring – to a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 triumph. Helgeson, who now stands 7-0 this fall in singles and 5-0 in doubles play, will face his stiffest test yet when he challenges the tournament’s top seed, 19th-ranked Devin Mullings from Ohio State in the round of 16 on Sunday.
Bass, ranked 74th and seeded fourth, won a pair of tight matches on Saturday. First he defeated Illinois’ Ryan Rowe 7-5, 7-5 before bouncing back from a marathon tiebreaker defeat to beat Michigan’s Andrew Mazlin 6-7 (15-17), 6-4, 6-3. Next up for the Irish junior, who played No. 1 for ND last spring, is 16th-seeded and 125th-ranked Christian Tempke of Northwestern. Bass was a semifinalist in the tournament last year.
Parbhu, on the other hand, had little trouble on Saturday, winning two matches while dropping just five total games. He beat qualifier Eric Hodgman of Purdue 6-1, 6-2 and then downed Al Nabhani Mohammed from Toledo 6-0, 6-2. Parbhu – who is ranked 77th, seeded fifth and in the regional’s final 16 for the second straight year -will face 14th-seeded and 117th-ranked Slavko Radman of Louisville on Sunday.
Senior Eric Langenkamp (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale H.S.), ranked 89th and seeded 10th, won his opening-round test 7-5, 6-2 against Jarred Leibner from Purdue, but then lost 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-0 against Nic Edlefson from Minnesota. Another Gopher, 20th-seeded Adrien Debreyne, outlasted Irish junior Ryan Keckley (South Bend, Ind./Penn H.S.) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5) in the first round. Notre Dame senior captain Patrick Buchanan (Fullerton, Calif./Servite H.S.) also lost a three-set affair in the opening round, falling 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 against Matt Christian from Northwestern.
The Irish had six entrants in the singles main draw, a sum matched only by Ohio State (seven) and Louisville. ND then saw four of them reach the final 32, which just the Buckeyes (six) and Northwestern (five) could match.
Notre Dame also has two teams remaining in the doubles main draw, which did not see action on Saturday. Buchanan and freshman Santiago Montoya (Scottsdale, Ariz./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School [TX]) will next face the 13th-seeded squad of Marc Spicijaric and Monte Tucker from Illinois. Parbhu and Helgeson have a round-of-32 matchup set with the fifth-seeded squad of Bryan Koniecko and Ross Wilson from Ohio State on Sunday.
The two singles finalists and the doubles champions in the ITA Midwest Championships will earn berths into the main draw of the season’s second grand slam, the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships.
ITA Midwest Championships (October 22)Singles - Main Draw #108 Brett Helgeson (ND) def. Neil Kenner (Indiana) 6-4, 6-2 - first round Adrien Debreyne (Minnesota) def. Ryan Keckley (ND) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5) - first round #77 Sheeva Parbhu (ND) def. Eric Hodgman (Purdue) 6-1, 6-2 - first round #74 Stephen Bass (ND) def. Ryan Rowe (Illinois) 7-5, 7-5 - first roundMatt Christian (Northwestern) def. Patrick Buchanan (ND) 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 - first round #89 Eric Langenkamp (ND) def. Jarred Leibner (Purdue) 7-5, 6-2 - first round #108 Brett Helgeson (ND) def.  Brian Hung (Michigan) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 - second round #77 Sheeva Parbhu (ND) def. Al Nabhani Mohammed (Toledo) 6-0, 6-2 - second round #74 Stephen Bass (ND) def. Andrew Mazlin (Michigan) 6-7 (15-17), 6-4, 6-3 - second roundNic Edlefsen (Minnesota) def.  #89 Eric Langenkamp (ND) 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-0 - second round
Note: Numbers in brackets are seedings. Numbers preceding names are ITA national rankings.