Nittany Lion Tennis Edged by No. 9 Notre Dame, 4-2, on Day Two of ITA National Indoor Championships
Feb. 16, 2008
SEATTLE, Wash. - The 38th-ranked Penn State men's tennis team (3-4) jumped out to a 1-0 lead after claiming the doubles point against No. 9 Notre Dame (8-3), but the Irish managed four victories in singles to score a tight 4-2 victory over the Lions on Saturday in the consolation draw of the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships at the Seattle Tennis Club.
After scoring the doubles victory, the Lions' momentum was quickly halted when freshman Eddie Bourchier (Hobart, Australia) retired during the first game in his singles bout with an ankle injury, which gave the Irish the No. 4 point. From there, Notre Dame scored a pair of wins at the top of the lineup to oust Penn State.
The Nittany Lions will close out the program's first visit to the ITA National Indoor Championships with a match against No. 4 Baylor at 8 a.m. PT at the Seattle Tennis Club. Baylor suffered a 4-3 setback against North Carolina on Saturday.
The Nittany lions got off to a quick start in doubles action. In the No. 1 bout featuring junior Adam Slagter (Austin, Texas) and Bourchier, the Lion duo knocked off Notre Dame's Sheeva Parbhu and Brett Helgeson by score of 8-5. Lynch and Bourchier improve to 5-2 in doubles matches this spring.
Senior Michael James (Clifton, Va.) and Brendan Lynch (North Potomac, Md.) clinched the coveted doubles point with an 8-4 triumph over the Irish team of Santiago Montoya and Tyler Davis. James and Lynch cruised to a 5-0 lead before downing the Irish team of Montoya and Davis. The Lion duo remain perfect (4-0) on the year as a doubles team.
With the doubles point clinched, freshman Jake Toole (Sharon Mass.) and sophomore Ryan Gormley (Las Vegas, Nev.) trailed Notre Dame's Andrew Roth and Stephen Havens by a score of 7-5 in the No. 2 match.
After the Nittany Lions grabbed a 1-0 lead, the matched moved to singles action. The Irish quickly knotted the score at 1-1 after Bourchier retired during the first game in the No. 4 match with Havens.
In the No. 6 match, Notre Dame's Dan Stahl ousted Toole in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, to give the Irish their second point on the afternoon, which set the score at 2-1. The Nittany Lion freshman falls to 5-6 on the year after the loss.
At No. 1, Helgeson marched to a one-set lead over James, 6-1. Just as was the case in South Bend in January, 11th-ranked Helgeson used the one-set lead to his advantage, as he cruised past the Lion senior in the second, 6-4 to snag the No. 1 point for Notre Dame, handing them a 3-1 lead in the match.
Nonetheless, Lynch rebounded for Penn State to secure the point up for grabs in the No. 3 match. The Nittany Lion junior cruised to a one-set lead over Roth with a 6-2 victory in the first. Lynch slammed the door in the second with a 6-3 triumph to give Penn State its second point of the match. He is now 6-1 on the season in dual matches.
Slagter and Parbhu found themselves in a battle at No. 2. Parbhu notched the first, 6-4, but Lion southpaw came right back in the second. He squared the match at one set apiece with a 6-4. In the decisive third, former All American Parbhu outlasted Slagter, 6-3, to clinch the match for Notre Dame.
With the match decided, the No. 5 bout between Gormley and David Anderson was halted in the third set. Anderson took the first (6-3), with Gormley rallying in the second (7-5). The Lion sophomore was leading 3-2 in the third when the match was clinched.
Final Score: #9 Notre Dame 4, #38 Penn State 2