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Men’s Tennis: Irish avenge 2006 loss against Louisville

Jay Wade | Monday, April 16, 2007

No. 6 Notre Dame wrapped up the regular season Saturday by beating No. 58 Louisville 6-1, avenging its loss to the Cardinals in last year’s Big East championship. The win brought the Irish record to 21-3, while Louisville dropped to 8-14.”We never spoke about it, but I think it was on everyone’s mind that they had beaten us in the final last year,” Notre Dame coach Bobby Bayliss said. Three matches ago, Bayliss reorganized the Irish doubles pairings – a move that has paid off to the tune of three straight doubles point victories. Notre Dame is 14-0 this year when earning the doubles point.Senior Barry King and junior Andrew Roth won the No. 3 doubles match 8-1, improving their record together to 4-0, 3-0 in dual play. Seniors Stephen Bass and Ryan Keckley won their match 8-4, and junior Sheeva Parbhu and sophomore Brett Helgeson won 8-6 at No. 2 doubles. Singles play faired similarly, with only No. 51 Parbhu losing 6-3, 4-6 (10-8) to Lousiville’s Damar Johnson. Helgeson defeated Kenneth Nordheim 6-3, 6-1, and King beat Robert Rotaru 6-3, 6-4. Keckley topped David Simon 6-2, 7-5, and Roth upended James McArthur 6-3, 6-2. At No. 1 singles, Bass started out slowly against rival No. 60 Slavko Radman, but quickly adapted his play to win 3-6, 6-3, 10-8.”Bass lost to him in the finals of the Big East last year and [Radman] has a 130 mile-per-hour serve when he gets it cranking, but we had a little discussion at the end of the first set and he really started attacking more and began to control the play and really ran out the rest of the match,” Bayliss said. With the win, the Irish wrapped up their regular season and move on toward the postseason, beginning play at the Big East tournament in Tampa Fla., Friday. “Our confidence is high, but there are a lot of things that we have left to do and everyone knows that,” Byliss said. “I expect everyone’s focus to be on improving our doubles, getting better outdoors and each player trying to improve their weaknesses.”