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Men’s Tennis: Irish split road matches

Deirdre Krasula | Monday, January 29, 2007

It may have been a long trip back to South Bend, but it was worth the trip for Notre Dame.

The Irish fought severe weather delays coming home from Virginia and William and Mary in order to make it back for a match against Indiana today at 4 p.m.

“There were obviously concerns about out ability to get into South Bend,” head coach Bobby Bayliss said, “and for the guys to get a good night rest and be ready to play [Monday].”

Notre Dame split its two matches this weekend. The Irish opened their season with a 6-1 loss to No. 8 Virginia Friday. Senior Ryan Keckley was the sole Irish player to garner a win, knocking off Ted Angelinos at No. 5 singles 7-6(1), 6-2. Keckley battled the match on a sore ankle – play had to stop so that the senior could have his ankle taped to allow him to finish.

The Irish fell behind early on in the match, dropping all three doubles challenges to the Cavaliers. Keckley and junior Sheeva Parbhu (No. 11) fell 8-4 to Somdev Devvarman and Treat Huey (No. 8). The other two matches followed suit with the No. 2 and 3 teams both dropping their matches 8-5.

Besides Keckley’s win, the rest of the day wasn’t very successful for the Irish. After dropping set point in the first set, senior Stephen Bass (No. 14) succumbed to Devvarman (No. 8) 7-6(6), 6-1. Parbhu (No. 30) struggled to succeed at second doubles falling 7-6(2), 7-5 to Huey (No. 10).

While Bayliss said the Cavaliers will most likely come out of this weekend as a top-5 team, he was unsure of where exactly the Irish faltered in the match.

“Perhaps it was first match indecisiveness, perhaps Virginia’s just that good – it’s hard to know,” he said.

The Cavaliers went on to defeat No. 5 Illinois 5-2 Sunday.

Saturday in Williamsburg proved more rewarding for Notre Dame. The Irish made up for their 6-1 loss to Virginia with a 7-0 dousing of William and Mary.

A sweep in doubles competition gave the team an early 1-0 lead. Keckley and Parbhu started the team off with an 8-5 win over Colin O’Brien and Alex Cojanu (No. 30). The rest of the matches went smoothly for the Irish, who went 6-0 in singles play. Parbhu battled against Cojanu (No. 49), driving the match into a third set to finally take the win 7-6(3), 3-6, 10-5. Bass – playing at No. 2 singles – routed O’Brien 6-2, 6-2. Keckley found another victory with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Marwan Ramadan to improve to 10-2 overall for the season.

Notre Dame will look to use its win over William and Mary to prepare for its match against Indiana.

“I was proud of the focus we had after losing a hard-fought match the night before,” Bayliss said. “We didn’t have a lot of time to feel sorry for ourselves.”