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Men’s Tennis: Team loses fourth in a row

Mike Gotimer | Monday, March 31, 2008

No. 27 Notre Dame found itself overmatched against No. 2 Ohio State Friday, and the Buckeyes defeated the Irish 6-1 at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The loss was Notre Dame’s fourth straight and only the second at home this season.

Ohio State got on the board first with a win in the doubles point. The Buckeyes then went on to win the first set in all six singles matches, and the Irish could not recover.

The Notre Dame pair of senior Sheeva Parbhu and junior Brett Helgeson registered a 9-7 win over the No. 25-ranked Buckeyes pair of sophomore Mike O’Connell and freshman Matt Allare.

The Buckeyes earned their first singles point with a win at the No.1 spot from junior Bryan Koniecko, who defeated Helgeson in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2. Helgeson looked good early and jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the first set, but then lost 10 of the next 12 games to drop the match.

Ohio State increased its lead to 3-0 as 27th ranked Buckeye junior Steven Moneke defeated 83th ranked Parbhu 6-3, 6-4. With the loss, Parbhu fell to 21-10 on the season and 5-6 against ranked opponents.

The Buckeyes clinched the match at the No.3 spot as 19th ranked sophomore Justin Kronauge defeated Irish senior Andrew Roth in straight sets, 6-2, 7-6 (4). Roth was competitive in the second set and had an early 2-1 lead, but he dropped four of the next five games en route to the loss. Roth fell to 8-14 on the season with the loss.

At the No. 5 position, Irish freshman David Anderson fell into an early hole against Ohio State freshman Balazs Novak and could not recover, as he dropped the first set 6-1 fell 6-4 in the second set. Anderson was in a 4-1 hole early in the second set, but he closed the gap to one at 4-3 before losing two of the next three games. Anderson’s record stands at 15-11 on the season.

The lone Irish point was registered by freshman Daniel Stahl, who pulled off a come from behind win at the No. 6 singles spot. Stahl dropped the first set against O’Connell 7-5 after blowing a 4-1 lead. Stahl took the second set, 6-3, to even the match, and avoided dropping two match points to win the final set 1-0 (11-9). With the win, Stahl improved to 20-8 on the season.

Fellow Irish freshman Stephen Havens had a chance to replicate his teammate’s feat, but fell in the third set to Buckeye freshman Shuhei Uzawa. After dropping the first set 6-2, Havens rebounded to win the second set 6-3, but dropped the third set 6-4 to fall to 17-15 on the season.

The loss dropped to Irish to 10-8 on the season while the Buckeyes improved to 19-1. Notre Dame will try to stop the bleeding on Friday against in-state rival Ball State, whom the Irish have defeated in 17 straight contests.