The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Men’s Tennis: Indiana and Wisconsin fall to ND

Kate Gales | Monday, January 24, 2005

Working overtime, the Irish were taking care of business every day this weekend, seizing control of two Big Ten teams to improve to 4-0 on the season.Saturday’s 5-2 win over rival Indiana set the stage for a 6-1 victory at Wisconsin on Sunday as the Irish demonstrated endurance, resilience and the determination fans have come to expect.”I think everyone did a great job,” captain Brent D’Amico said after Saturday’s win. “I think we’ll continue to see this over the course of the season.”The team came out strong on Saturday as Stephen Bass and Barry King finished off the No. 3 opponent from Indiana with ease by a score of 8-3.Although Sheeva Parbhu and Eric Langenkamp dropped an 8-5 decision, Ryan Keckley and Brent D’Amico clinched the doubles point for the Irish with their own 8-5 win.”I’m very encouraged,” coach Bobby Bayliss said after Sat-urday’s match. “Third doubles was a real shot in the arm – those guys take a lot from the team because they’re so up and down.”D’Amico easily disposed of Indiana’s Neil Kenner at No. 3, first off the courts with a 6-3, 6-2 win. He was followed by Irackli Akhvlediani at No. 5 with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Dmytro Ishtuganov. At No. 6, Patrick Buchanan clinched the match for the Irish with a dramatic two-set finish over John Stone with a 6-1, 7-5 score.Parbhu registered the last victory for the Irish with a 6-1, 7-6(10-8) victory at the No. 4 spot, after King dropped a 6-3, 6-3 match to Indiana’s Ryan Recht at No. 2.No. 61 Jakub Praibis had a lucky finish over No. 77 Bass, as the top player in the Irish lineup showed signs of a comeback in the second set. A 7-5 finish in the second set, paired with a 6-4 decision in the first, gave Indiana the final point of the match. “Had the match gone to three, Steven would have won,” Bayliss said. “He needed to be a little more patient and a little more opportunistic.”At the conclusion of the match, the team immediately boarded a bus for Wisconsin for its second match in 25 hours. However, the young and resilient squad was prepared for the challenge of the weekend’s back to back matches.”I think our conditioning program’s been good and we are ready to handle back to back matches,” Bayliss said.D’Amico pointed out the value of momentum during a difficult stretch. “It just carries you in,” he said. “It’s almost easier going into the next match.”After a slow start where the Irish would lose a close doubles point, every singles match went against the home team in the 6-1 victory. Following what Bayliss called an “uncharacteristically poor” performance on Saturday, Langenkamp and Parbhu won 8-6 at No. 2, while Bass and King dropped their own 8-6 at No. 3. The Badgers clinched the point at No. 1 as Keckley and D’Amico lost 9-8(8-6) in the tiebreaker.However, the Irish came out on fire in the bottom four of the lineup, as D’Amico posted a speedy 6-1, 6-2 victory followed by Akhvlediani’s 6-2, 6-0 win that Bayliss described as “overwhelming.”Parbhu won 6-2, 6-2 before Buchanan clinched the weekend’s second match, winning 6-2, 6-3 at No. 6.Although the top two matches were more difficult, Bass recorded a 7-5, 6-2 win at the top spot and King finished the match with another 7-5, 6-2 victory.”It’s good to beat anybody on the road and to beat a Big Ten team at their place,” Bayliss said. “I do realize that the next four matches coming up are extremely difficult-it’ll be interesting to see.”