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MEN’S TENNIS: ND knocks off pair of NCAA teams

Kate Gales | Monday, January 31, 2005

There have been 1,001 victories in program history for men’s tennis. But this weekend, the only ones that counted were the two most recent, as the Irish continued their winning streak against No. 18 North Carolina and No. 42 Florida State.Freshman Sheeva Parbhu battled to a fierce three-set victory to clinch the Florida State match for the Irish, 4-3. The Irish also claimed the doubles point for the fifth time this season after struggling in doubles last year. “I’m pretty excited right now,” coach Bobby Bayliss said. “From here it just gets a little tougher – we’ll have to play really well next weekend.”The team mentality was apparent as Sunday’s final two matches dragged into third sets, with the Irish on the sidelines throwing themselves into supporting their teammates on the court.The No. 34 Irish improved to 6-0 with the weekend’s victories.In Saturday’s action, the Irish began their rout of the Tar Heels with victories at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. Parbhu and Eric Langenkamp put the Irish within a point as they posted an 8-3 win at No. 2, and Stephen Bass and Barry King followed with an 8-6 win at No. 3 to seal the point for the Irish.Patrick Buchanan quickly finished David Stone at the No. 6 spot with a straight set 6-3, 6-4 victory. Bass went down to No. 66 Raian Luchici at No. 1, but the Irish quickly rebounded as Parbhu topped Benjamin Carlotti 6-3, 6-2 at No. 4.The clincher came at No. 3, as King used a second-set tiebreaker to defeat Geoff Boyd 6-4, 7-6 (7-0). Akhvlediani would be sidelined with an ankle sprain for Sunday’s match, and Bass spent Satruday night in the emergency room after getting a particle stuck in his eye. However, the Irish came out strong again in doubles against Florida State.Although Bass and King would lose at No. 3 in a quick 8-2 showdown, D’Amico and Keckley held fast to an 8-6 win and Langenkamp and Parbhu clinched the point with an 8-4 defeat of the Seminoles. The singles matches turned into nail biters, however, as Buchanan’s strenuous efforts in the second set could not secure a victory at No. 5. His 6-1, 7-5 loss preceded Keckley’s 7-5, 6-4 victory at No. 6. Bass had chances in a 6-4, 6-4 defeat at the hands of Mat Cloer at No. 1, but was unable to get ahead.