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Men’s Tennis: Parbhu advances to semis at ITA

Deirdre Krasula | Tuesday, October 24, 2006

For Sheeva Parbhu, taking on Ohio State’s Devin Mullings in the semifinals may seem like a case of déjà vu.

The two faced off in the semifinals of the 2005 ITA Midwest Championships and are scheduled to do so again today. Parbhu, this year’s No. 2 seed, defeated Mullings, this year’s No. 8 seed, 6-1, 1-6, 7-5 in 2005.

Parbhu knocked off Ohio State’s Drew Eberly in a tiebreaker Monday, winning 1-6, 7-6, 6-1 on his way to securing a place in the semifinals.

Senior Stephen Bass – who won the event last year – fell to Ohio State’s Steven Moneke 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 in the quarterfinals.

“He needs to step it up, to be more offensive,” head coach Bob Bayliss said of Bass. “At whatever level he plays he needs to do it instinctively, to strike first.”

The rest of the Irish team also had a strong showing at the tournament. Senior Barry King dropped a close match to Minnesota’s Raoul Schwark, falling 7-6, 6-4.

“He had chances to win it and played very well, but could not quite pull it out,” Bayliss said of King. “I think he could have gone far in the tournament.”

Bayliss also praised the efforts of sophomore Brett Helgeson. Helgeson advanced to the main draw with a No. 17 seed only to fall to Louisville’s David Simon 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

“Brett has had a great fall and is hitting the ball very well,” Bayliss said. “He’s hitting better than anyone on the team right now.”

Parbhu has thrived not only in singles but also in doubles as he and senior partner Ryan Keckley advanced to the semifinals of the Doubles Championship.

The Irish have been working on their doubles game all season and Bayliss is pleased with the results the team is seeing. The duo triumphed over Illinois’ Brendon Davis and GD Jones 8-2 in the quarterfinals. On their way to earning a spot in the semifinals, the two also eliminated Michigan’s Matko Maravic and George Navas.

Parbhu and Keckley are scheduled to take on Ohio State’s Drew Eberly and Justin Kronauge today at 2 p.m.

Deirdre Krasula

Sports Writer