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Men’s Tennis: Notre Dame shuts out visiting Boilermakers

Mike Gotimer | Monday, February 25, 2008

In its first match since last week’s trip to Seattle, Wash., for the ITA National Indoor Championship, No. 12 Notre Dame shut out in state rival Purdue 7-0 at the Eck Tennis Pavilion Sunday.

The Irish victory was Notre Dame’s 19th consecutive win over the Boilermakers.

Notre Dame took the doubles point from Purdue, but the Boilermakers did not go down easily.

The Irish No. 1 pair of senior Sheeva Parbhu and junior Brett Helgeson trailed 6-5 in their match against Purdue sophomore Branko Kuzmanovic and sophomore Slavko Bijelica, but came back to win in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (8-6).

The new pair of senior Andrew Roth and junior Santiago Montoya defeated Purdue junior P.J. Rosae and freshman Eric Ramos 8-6.

Freshmen Stephen Havens and Tyler Davis held off the Purdue pair of redshirt junior Jose Fuenmayor and junior Griffin Nienberg in another tightly contested 8-6 match to seal the doubles point.

The Irish dominated singles play – five of Notre Dame’s six singles wins came in straight sets. National No. 32 Helgeson won the first Irish singles point over Kuzmanovic in dominating fashion, winning 6-1, 6-1.

Helgeson improved his impressive singles record to 22-4 with the win. The Irish got their second singles point from Parbhu, who defeated Bijelica 6-2, 6-1. Parbhu’s victory gave Notre Dame a 3-0 advantage.

Notre Dame’s third singles win came from Roth, who snapped a six-match losing streak with the win. Roth defeated Rose 6-2, 6-2.

To round out singles competition, the Irish turned to three of their highly talented freshmen. Havens won the fourth point with a 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) victory over Purdue’s Ramos.

Notre Dame freshman David Anderson broke a four-match losing streak with a tiebreak victory over Nienberg, 7-5, 3-6, 1-0.

Irish freshman Dan Stahl continued his stellar singles play with a straight sets victory over Purdue sophomore Paul Foley, 6-2, 6-3. With the victory, Stahl improved to 19-5 on the year in singles play.

The Irish improved to 9-3 on the season with the victory over the Boilermakers. Notre Dame is on the road until March 28, when it faces No. 2 Ohio State.

The Irish travel to Champaign to face defending national runner-up Illinois Saturday.