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Men’s Tennis: Irish knock off Seminoles for fifth straight win

Joe Meixell | Monday, April 28, 2008

The Irish remained hot in their first appearance since the Big East Tournament and pulled off their best win of the season with a 4-3 upset over No. 13 Florida State. With the win, Notre Dame ran its winning streak to five matches.

For the second straight match, the Irish relied on gutsy play from freshman Daniel Stahl at the No. 6 position. Stahl defeated Seminole junior Drew Bailey 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 to seal the win for the Irish.

“He has really made a lot of improvements,” Irish coach Bobby Bayliss said of his freshman.

The Irish stayed hot early and won two of three doubles matches to win the doubles point. Junior Santiago Montoya and senior Andrew Roth jumped out to a 3-1 lead against the Florida State pair of Bailey and sophomore Brad Mixson, but the Seminole pair tied it at 7-7 before Montoya and Roth pulled away for a 9-7 victory. The Irish clinched the point with a come-from-behind victory from the pair of junior Brett Helgeson and senior Sheeva Parbhu, who defeated the Florida State pair of senior Sam Chang and junior Maciek Sykut. Chang and Sykut jumped out to a 4-2 lead before Helgeson and Parbhu rallied for an 8-6 win.

The Seminoles tied it up when junior Chris Cloer defeated Irish freshman David Anderson at No. 5 in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1. The Irish responded with back-to-back wins from Helgeson and freshman Stephen Havens.

Helgeson defeated Florida State freshman Clint Bowles in straight sets. Helgeson dominated the first set with a 6-1 win and jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the second set, but Bowles fought back to tie the set 4-4 before Helgeson pulled away with a 7-5 win.

Havens matched Helgeson with a straight sets win of his own as he defeated Mixson 7-5, 6-2 at the No. 4 position. With the win, he improved to 20-20 on the season.

The two wins gave the Irish a commanding 3-1 lead, but the Seminoles did not go away easily. Sykut defeated Roth in straight sets 7-6 (6), 6-2 to bring the Seminoles within one at the No. 3 position. The loss dropped Roth to 10-19 on the season.

The Seminoles tied the match 3-3 when Chang defeated Parbhu in a match-up of nationally ranked players. Chang, ranked No. 90 nationally, won a tightly contested first set 6-4 and went on to win the second set in a tiebreak 7-3

With the win, the Irish concluded the season with a 16-10 record. Notre Dame’s previous win in the Big East tournament earned the Irish an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Irish have made the tournament in 17 of the past 18 years.