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Men’s Tennis: Irish lose doubles point but fight back for win

Kate Grabarek | Monday, February 4, 2008

No. 11 Notre Dame overcame a rocky start to improved its dual-meet record to 5-1 Sunday with a 4-3 win over No. 15 Duke in Durham, N.C. The Irish gave the Blue Devils their second loss of the season.

The Irish got into a hole early by dropping the doubles point. The Blue Devils No. 1 doubles team of David Goulet and Christopher Price defeated senior Sheeva Parbhu and junior Brett Helgeson 9-7.

“Neither of those guys likes to take charge on court,” Irish coach Bobby Bayliss said of Parbhu and Helgeson. “This hurt them tonight, and sometimes a relationship on and off court can go sour.”

Reid Carleton and Kiril Dimitrov defeated Irish freshman Stephen Havens and senior Andrew Roth 9-8 (7-2).

“Roth really takes control of points on court,” Bayliss said. “He lets you know that he is in charge, and that’s definitely been beneficial with him playing with Havens.”

Junior Santiago Montoya and freshman Tyler Davis earned the Irish their only doubles win of the day. Montoya and Davis, the No. 3 doubles team, defeated Dylan Arnould and Alex Stone 8-5.

Bayliss said the doubles performance was uncharacteristic of his team.

“Our doubles teams have played well lately,” Bayliss said. “We had a rough day today.”

The Irish picked up the pace of the match in singles. Freshman Daniel Stahl earned the first singles win for the Irish, 6-2. 6-4.

“Stahl is trying to stay out of the middle of the court as much as possible,” Bayliss said. “The freshmen have really stepped up and made their presence known. There are six of them, so they are going to make quite an impact.”

Havens earned his first win of the day by beating Arnould 6-4, 6-4. The win tied the score at two.

Parbhu earned his win at No. 2 singles by beating Dimitrov 7-5, 6-4.

“Parbhu has been a great asset for us the last four years,” Bayliss said. “He will probably go pro after this season, and then possibly go to medical school.”

Freshman David Anderson earned the decisive win for the Irish. Anderson defeated Jared Pinsky in three sets by scores of 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.

This is the second straight win for the Irish over the Blue Devils. In the matchup last year, Notre Dame topped Duke 6-1. The Irish improved their record against the Blue Devils to 6-15, and Bayliss’ record is at 6-10 for his career.

Wisconsin will face the Irish Saturday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The first serve is set at 1 p.m.