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Irish drop two at Blue-Gray

Mike Gotimer | Monday, March 17, 2008

This weekend, No. 30 Notre Dame traveled to Montgomery, Ala., to compete in the Blue-Gray Tennis Classic. Against some of the top competition in the country, the Irish dropped two of their three matches on the weekend.

Notre Dame 4, North Carolina State 3

The Irish began competition on Thursday against North Carolina State. The match was tightly contested, as five of the six singles matches went to three sets. Notre Dame clinched the match when freshman Tyler Davis won in the No. 6 singles slot.

The Irish won the doubles point against the Wolfpack despite a loss from the Irish pair of junior Brett Helgeson and senior Sheeva Parbhu.

The Wolfpack then won the first singles match to tie the score at 1. The Irish followed that loss with two singles wins from Helgeson and Parbhu to make the score 3-1, and Notre Dame seemed to be on the way to an easy win.

But Irish senior Andrew Roth dropped his match at the No. 3 slot and Irish freshman Dan Stahl lost at the No. 5 slot to even the match at 3-3. The two losses set the stage for Davis’s clincher.

Davis defeated Wolfpack freshman David Chermak in three sets. Davis won the first set 7-5 but dropped the second set in a tiebreak. Davis rallied from a 3-2 deficit in the third set to secure a 7-5 win.

Tulsa 4, Notre Dame 0

In the second round on Friday, No. 8 Tulsa defeated Notre Dame with relative ease. Because of rain delays, the singles matches were played first, and the doubles were only to be played if necessary.

The Irish woes started early as Tulsa junior Arnau Brugues upset national No. 17 Helgeson in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3. The loss was only Helgeson’s sixth of the season and only the third to a lower ranked opponent. Irish freshman Stephen Havens then lost for the second straight day, 6-4, 6-2 in the second singles match to Tulsa senior Will Gray.

Tulsa picked up its third singles point when Roth fell to Tulsa freshman Viktor Kolik, 6-3, 7-5.

Davis put forth a valiant, three-set effort against Tulsa junior Ross Cunningham. Davis dropped the first set 7-5, but he rallied to win the second set 6-3 before he fell in the third set 6-4.

Boise State 4, Notre Dame 3

After the disappointing loss to Tulsa, the Irish dropped a close one to No. 33 Boise State.

The loss was Notre Dame’s first 4-3 loss of the season, and they had been 5-0 in 4-3 matches prior to the loss.

The Irish won the doubles point, but they quickly found themselves in a hole after Boise State won the first three singles matches. Facing a 3-1 deficit, the Irish rallied behind three set victories from Helgeson and Roth. The rally ended, however, after a thrilling three set match in which Stahl dropped the third set in a tiebreaker.

After this weekend’s action, the Irish sit at 10-5 on the season. The losses to Tulsa and Boise State were Notre Dame’s first consecutive losses of the season.

The Irish look to return to the win column when they travel to Kentucky on March 25.