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Pair wins title in tiebreak round

Joe Meixell | Monday, November 13, 2006

Notre Dame entered the fall season with hopes of improving both their singles and doubles game as well as proving that they had the potential to be one of the top teams in the nation.

Junior Sheeva Parbhu and senior Ryan Keckley defeated No. 26 Slavko Radman and Damar Johnson of Louisville 9-8 (5) in the ITA Midwest Doubles Championship. The duo triumphed over five straight teams to reach the finals where the two were tested more than they had been the entire tournament. The match was driven into a tiebreaker in which Parbhu and Keckley were able to walk away with the win. The win in the regional tournament gave the doubles team a berth in the ITA National Indoor Doubles Championships.

Parbhu fell 7-6 (2), 6-2 to Ohio State’s Steven Moneke in the singles finals, but he still secured a spot in the ITA National Indoor Championships. Irish senior Stephen Bass also reached the tournament as an at-large selection – he was selected based on ranking and fall performance.

Bass advanced to the semifinals of the ITA National Indoor Championship and pulled of a huge upset in the process defeating No. 2 John Isner of Georgia 6-4, 7-6 (6). Bass’ high came to a halt in the semifinals as he fell to Ohio State’s Steven Moneke for the second time this season. Moneke defeated Bass 7-5, 6-3 in the National Indoors and also defeated Bass 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the ITA Midwest Regional Championship.

Moneke is a familiar foe for the Irish. He knocked off Parbhu with a 7-6(2), 6-2 victory in the ITA Midwest Singles Final.

According to NCAA regulations, the team will be limited to eight hours a week of conditioning and skill instruction until January. Head coach Bobby Bayliss said it is up to the players to improve during this off time.

“Everything will be on an individual basis,” Bayliss said. “Its up to the guys to choose when to play.”

The Irish will open their regular season on the road at Charlottesville where they are scheduled to take on Virginia Jan. 27. Bayliss said that the team hopes to enter the season with a top-13 ranking so that the Irish will have a place at the National Team Indoor Championship in February. To reach that goal, the team intends to improve their overall strength and power.

“We are trying to get a little stronger right now,” Bayliss said.