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Men’s Tennis: Pairs travel to doubles tourney

Kate Gales | Thursday, March 2, 2006

After an inconsistent performance in doubles against Ohio State Feb. 24, the Irish head to California for the Pacific Coast Doubles Tournament, open to all levels of tennis players.

The tournament is held annually at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, located in La Jolla, California.

In their most recent outing, the Irish were swept in doubles by Ohio State. The Buckeyes dominated first and second doubles, winning both sets 8-2 and taking the third set 8-6.

Although Notre Dame would rally to win the match 5-2 in an upset of their Midwest rival, the doubles performance concerned coach Bobby Bayliss.

“It’s pretty timely that we’re going to a doubles tournament because it looks like we could use the work,” he said after the match.

Stephen Bass and Santiago Montoya are playing at No. 43 and scheduled to play Rice’s Rodrigo Gabriel and Jason Mok today at 1:45 p.m.

Bass has been steady for the Irish this season, ranked at No. 17 in the national singles standings. Montoya is a strong player who has not seen much time on the courts this season, but Bayliss is confident in his ability to compete at this tournament’s high level.

Eric Langenkamp and Andrew Roth, set at No. 52, will be facing UCSD’s Kazari Negishi and Ramesh S. Thonadpu at 2:15 p.m. today.

Roth has been part of several doubles pairings this season, notably with Brett Helgeson in Notre Dame’s lone relative bright spot in doubles against Ohio State. The freshmen battled together in an 8-6 loss to Devin Mullings and Chris Klingemann at third doubles in what Bayliss called “by far our strongest match.”

Langenkamp has also been a strong doubles player for the Irish, usually playing in first and second doubles.

Ryan Keckley and Barry King, one of the strongest Irish duos and playing at No. 76, had a first-round bye and will play Friday at 9:45 a.m. The two juniors have been a highlight for the Irish this season, defeating the then-No. 1 nationally ranked doubles team Ross Wilson and Scott Green in a 4-3 loss at North Carolina in February. The two could not repeat the performance, however, falling to the No. 1 pair in a lopsided loss at the Eck Tennis Pavilion Feb. 26. Although the performance was disappointing, the team took the hit in stride – Ross and Wilson have won three ITA Grand Slam tournament events while playing together.

A first-round bye also went to Helgeson and Sheeva Parbhu, who play Friday at 10:15.