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Men’s Tennis: Notre Dame downs Ball State, falls to William & Mary

Mike Gotimer | Monday, April 7, 2008

No. 34 Notre split a pair of home matches this weekend, beating Ball State on Friday before falling to William & Mary on Sunday.

Friday’s win was Notre Dame’s 18th consecutive win against the Cardinals. It also was Notre Dame’s first win since March 13 against North Carolina State.

The Irish dominated in singles competition, winning 12 straight sets to win all six singles matches. Freshman Dan Stahl won the first Irish point with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Cardinals’ junior Jimmy Brannon. The win was Stahl’s 21st of the season. Junior Brett Helgeson followed Stahl with his own 6-1, 6-1 victory over Ball State freshman Eduardo Pavia to improve to 25-8 on the season.

Senior captain Sheeva Parbhu put Notre Dame ahead 3-0 with a 6-2, 6-1 over Cardinals junior Jose Perdomo. Irish freshman Stephen Havens quickly added the clinching point with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Ball State junior Jorge Rodriguez.

Senior Andrew Roth picked up a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Cardinal freshman Shaun Bussert to run the score to 5-0. Freshman David Anderson completed the singles sweep with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Ball State junior Joe Vallee.

Notre Dame continued its dominance in doubles play, which it also swept. Irish freshman Matt Johnson made his first appearance in doubles play with sophomore Sean Corrigan, and the pair earned an 8-3 win over the Ball State pair of Perdomo and Rodriguez.

Despite returning to the win column on Friday, Notre Dame found itself an upset victim Sunday, dropping a 4-3 decision to No. 63 William & Mary.

The match was tied 3-3 heading into the final singles match that had yet to be completed between Roth and Tribe junior Dominic Pagon. Roth battled back from a 5-2 deficit in the first set and won four straight sets to take a 6-5 lead. However, he could not put away the Tribe junior, and lost the set in a tiebreak. Roth found himself in a 3-1 hole in the second set, but once again battled back to take a 4-3 lead. However, Pagon evened the match at 4-4 and went on to win the set 6-4.

William and Mary won the doubles point at the outset of the match. Notre Dame earned its three points from singles victories by Parbhu, Anderson, and Stahl. Parbhu highlighted Notre Dame’s singles play with a 6-1, 6-1 straight sets victory over Tribe junior Marwan Ramadan. In addition to Roth, both Helgeson and Havens both fell in straight sets.

Notre Dame returns to action Saturday when it travels to Ann Arbor to face No. 14 Michigan. The Irish then return home to play Louisville Sunday.