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Men’s Tennis: ND carries streak to Seattle

Kate Grabarek | Friday, February 15, 2008

Notre Dame carries a five-match winning streak to Seattle this weekend for the National Team Indoor competition, which begins today. The Irish have not lost since falling 5-2 to No. 1 Virginia on Jan. 27 and will face No. 8 UCLA in the first round of the tournament.

The No. 9 Irish (7-1) won two matches last weekend over Southwestern Midwest University and Wisconsin.

“[Senior] Sheeva Parbhu was a big key to our two wins last weekend,” coach Bobby Bayliss said. “When you have a senior who has been there you feel more confident. He won a match like he did on Saturday as a freshman over Florida State.”

Bayliss said the doubles teams played well last weekend after struggling in the previous matches.

“Both of our opponent’s coaches were impressed by the doubles play last weekend,” Bayliss said. “Whenever you lose there is a greater sense of urgency to play well. We came out with more energy and were able to keep the momentum going against Wisconsin and SMU.”

In the win over Wisconsin, Parbhu pulled out a four-hour match that clinched the win for the Irish. Junior Brett Helgeson also won in three sets.

The team’s six freshmen have stepped up this season, Bayliss said.

“The freshman are living up to or better than our expectations for them,” Bayliss said. “They have each taken turns being in the spotlight. Tyler Davis is a very poised doubles player.”

The team is mostly healthy heading into Seattle. Bayliss said his squad has a few bumps and bruises, but no major issues. Bayliss also said strength and conditioning intern Eric Overland has emphasized stretching and cool downs after each practice.

Although Bayliss wants to perform well, he said he won’t be disappointed with a subpar performance because the Irish have not played some of the teams in the competition.

“We want to continue our good play,” Bayliss said. “It is a wide open event, but we want to play well. I will be happy with any result since we haven’t seen some of these teams before.”

Another freshman who impressed Bayliss this spring season was David Anderson.

“Anderson has come through against Duke,” Bayliss said. “The doubles teams are really gelling and that will be key for our success in the close matches.”

Bayliss said junior Santiago Montoya, Davis’ doubles partner, has also played well, but still has work to do.

“Montoya has really improved his serve but it is an ongoing process,” Bayliss said. “He is very coachable, and has worked well with Davis