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Men’s Tennis: Dominant weekend for Irish

Joe Meixell | Monday, January 21, 2008

Notre Dame had its first double-header of the 2008 season, sweeping Penn State and Toledo by 5-2 and 7-0 scores, respectively, on Sunday.

The Irish opened the contest against the Nittany Lions by winning the doubles point. Junior Brett Helgeson and senior Sheeva Parbhu dominated Adam Slagter and Eddie Bouchier at the one doubles spot.

“They return as well as anybody,” Irish coach Bobby Bayliss said. “They have made great improvements this season.”

Senior Andrew Roth and Stephen Havens defeated Michael James and James Dwyer, 8-4, in the first completed doubles match. Santiago Montoya and Tyler Davis fell to Brendan Lynch and Ryan Gormley for the only Irish doubles loss.

“Davis has made great adjustments, and flattened out his forehand, and battles well,” Bayliss said. “Montoya traveled with us last year, and has made great strides this season as well.”

Helgeson came back and dominated again in singles play, defeating Michael James 6-1, 7-5, in a battle of big hitters. James is ranked No. 51 in the nation, while Helgeson is ranked No. 12.

Parbhu also came up with a big singles win over Slagter, winning 6-4, 6-4. Roth finished the top three singles sweep with a win over Bouchier 7-5, 6-2.

The four and five singles for the Irish both fell in tough matches. Havens fell 6-3, 6-2 to Lynch. David Anderson fell in three sets to Ryan Gormley, 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (10-8).

“Havens has played great for us,” Bayliss said. “He has great timing and shot making, he will learn to play with more discipline. Anderson is learning to play net to complement his great groundstrokes.”

Daniel Stahl was able to pull out a tight match over Dwyer, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 1-0.

The Irish defeated the Nittany Lions 5-2 in the early match.

The Irish faced Toledo in the late match on Sunday. This was the 24th match between the two schools, and the Irish have dominated the contests 22-2 all-time over the Rockets. The Irish defeated Toledo 7-0 last season and continued their dominance in the nightcap.

The Irish doubles teams dominated Toledo dropping only one match.

Helgeson and Parbhu beat Chris Clark and Wade Ward 8-1 in the first match finished. Roth and Havens fell at number two doubles to Jared Miller and Knut Likitkumchorn 8-6. Davis and Montoya clinched the doubles point for the Irish with a 8-4 win over Sven Burus and Gursher Harika.

In singles play, Bayliss flip-flopped Parbhu and Helgeson. The change was successful for the Irish and Parbhu won 6-2, 6-3 over Miller. Helgeson won at two singles 6-3, 6-4.

Anderson, Havens, Stahl and Davis rounded out the Irish sweep of the Rockets.

The Irish will stay home Sunday to take on Virginia at the Eck Tennis Pavilion starting at noon.