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Men’s Tennis: Team drops match to top-ranked Cavaliers

Kate Grabarek | Monday, January 28, 2008

Notre Dame fell 5-2 to No. 1 Virginia at home on Sunday, but senior Sheeva Parbhu was a bright spot for the Irish.

Parbhu defeated Cavaliers junior No. 3 Dominic Inglot 6-1, 6-1, which tied the match at a point apiece after the Irish dropped the doubles point. Parbhu took a 3-0 lead in the first set and continued to roll from there.

“Parbhu was an All-American last year,” Irish coach Bobby Bayliss said. “He is one of two players we have that can play [number] one singles.”

To compliment Parbhu’s victory, freshman Stephen Havens pulled out a close match for the second singles win for the Irish.

Havens fell behind early, but went on to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Fellow freshman Daniel Stahl did not have as much luck against Virginia senior Teddy Angelinos, falling 6-1, 6-3 at No. 6 singles.

“Stahl needs to work on keeping the ball out of the middle of the court,” Bayliss said. “Havens needs to stay in the rallies longer, and use his shots to his advantage.”

Irish freshman David Anderson fell to Cavaliers freshman Sanam Singh, giving the Cavaliers a 3-1 edge. Anderson was serving for the first set at 5-3, but couldn’t hang on and lost 7-5, 6-1.

Virginia’s No. 1, senior Somdev Devvarman, clinched the win for the Cavaliers when he defeated Irish junior Brett Helgeson 6-4, 6-3.

“Helgeson had a tough match against Toledo [on Jan. 20] that he learned from,” Bayliss said. “Their No. 2 ran everything down, and forced Brett to come in.”

Irish senior Andrew Roth fell to Cavaliers senior Trent Huey 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-3 in the day’s longest match. Roth battled back after being down 5-2 in the first set and won it in a tiebreaker. Huey was able to regain his composure and dominate the last two sets.

“Roth can really make you work,” Bayliss said. “Once he sinks his teeth into a match, he doesn’t let go.”

The Irish held early leads in all three of the doubles matches but couldn’t earn the doubles point.

Parbhu and Helgeson jumped out to an early 3-2 lead over Devvarman and Huey, the nation’s best doubles team. The Cavaliers took the match by a score of 8-4.

The Irish duo of Tyler Davis and Santiago Montoya had an early 2-1 lead at the No. 3 doubles position. However, Angelinos and Cavaliers sophomore Lee Singer were up for the challenge and continued Virginia’s dominance in rolling to an 8-4 victory.

“I am pleased with the doubles,” Bayliss said. “[No. 3] doubles did a great job; they make a lot of balls, and responded well. I am also pleased with our No. 2 team [Roth and Havens].”

Roth and Havens fell into an early hole by suffering two early breaks of serve. They dropped their match to Inglot and sophomore Houston Barrick.

This was only the 11th time the Irish have faced the No. 1 ranked team in the nation. With the loss to the Cavaliers, the Irish fall to 1-10 against No. 1 ranked teams.