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Men’s Tennis: Squad loses at Ann Arbor, wins at home

Mike Gotimer | Monday, April 14, 2008

For the second consecutive weekend, No. 33 Notre Dame split its two matches, falling to Michigan 6-1, but downing Louisville 4-3.

On Saturday, the Irish traveled to Ann Arbor, Mich., to take on No. 15 Michigan. Notre Dame could not upset the Wolverines, falling 6-1 on Michigan’s Senior Day.

The Wolverines jumped on the Irish early, winning all three doubles matches to earn the point.

But the Irish rebounded and evened the match when freshman Dan Stahl won the first singles point over Wolverine sophomore George Navas in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5.

Unfortunately for the Irish, Stahl’s singles performance proved to be the lone bright spot, and Michigan won the next five matches. Michigan sophomore Mike Sroczynski put the Wolverines ahead for good with a straight sets victory over Irish senior Andrew Roth, 6-3, 7-5. The Wolverines followed up with another straight sets victory from junior Andrew Mazlin, who defeated Irish freshman Stephen Havens 7-5, 6-4.

Although the Irish lost the next three matches, they took all of them to three sets. Irish senior Sheeva Parbhu and freshman David Anderson both won the first set in their respective matches before falling in three sets. In the final singles match, junior Brett Helgeson recovered from an early deficit to tie the match at a set apiece before falling 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 to Wolverine senior Matko Maravic.

Despite the setback at Ann Arbor, the Irish recovered with a 4-3 win over No. 37 Louisville Sunday in their final match before the Big East tournament.

The Irish reversed their fortunes from Saturday in the doubles point as they swept all three matches.

With momentum on their side, the Irish jumped out to a 3-0 lead behind straight sets singles wins from Helgeson and Parbhu. Nationally-ranked No. 42 Helgeson earned a 6-2, 6-2 win over No. 39 Cardinal freshman Austen Childs. In his final home match, Parbhu defeated Louisville sophomore David Simon 7-5, 6-1.

Louisville freshman Viktor Maksimcuk kept the Cardinals alive with a 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 victory over Havens. In the next match, Stahl came from behind to seal the Irish victory with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Louisville junior Robert Rotaru.

Louisville won the next two matches to make the score 4-3. Roth and Anderson both found themselves on the wrong side of hard-fought three set matches. Roth was defeated in his final home singles match by Louisville freshman Simon Childs. After winning the first set, Roth dropped the next two sets in tie-breakers. Cardinal freshman Alejandro Calligari earned Louisville’s final point with a come from behind victory over Anderson with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 win.

With the weekend split, the Irish head into the Big East tournament with a 12-10 record. The Irish will learn their Big East draw later this week.