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    Fighting Irish Come From Behind to Stun Illini, 5-2
    Junior Ryan Rowe notches second consecutive victory in Illinois' loss to Notre Dame, 5-2.

    Junior Ryan Rowe notches second consecutive victory in Illinois' loss to Notre Dame, 5-2.

    April 1, 2007


    NOTRE DAME, Ind.  ­- The No. 8 Illinois men's tennis team could not pull out an upset win over No. 5 Notre Dame today, falling 5-2 despite clinching the doubles point to open the contest. With an all-business attitude in doubles, Illinois took a 1-0 lead, but went on to drop five-of-six singles matches to fall to 11-5 on the season, while Notre Dame improved to 18-3 overall with the victory.


    "I give a lot of credit to Notre Dame today, who came out tough in singles after being down in doubles," head coach Brad Dancer said. "They played really strong in all of their singles matches. On the other-hand, I felt that we put ourselves in position to win some matches in singles, but we didn't do a good job of finishing. We didn't seize the match after taking the first set and were not able to take control once we got ahead to close out the match."


    The defending national champion duo of juniors Kevin Anderson and Ryan Rowe (ILL) made quick work of the seventh-ranked tandem from Notre Dame, Ryan Keckley and Sheeva Parbhu, 8-4, to open doubles action. Senior GD Jones and sophomore Marc Spicijaric wrapped up the point for Illinois as they disposed of Brett Helgeson and Barry King, 8-4.


    Heading into singles with a 1-0 lead and the momentum behind them, Illinois jumped out to first set victories in three of the six matches on court. Seemingly with the dual win in sight, Illinois began to stumble as Notre Dame took the lead after sealing victories at No. 6 and 5 singles.


     From there, the tides continued to turn as the Fighting Irish went on to claim eight of the remaining 10 sets en route to the dual victory.


    No. 12 Rowe clinched the sole singles win for Illinois in the loss on court three, dropping the opening set to No. 103 Helgeson , 6-4, before taking control f the match to win the final two sets by scores of 6-4, 7-5.


    Notre Dame clinched the dual victory when Barry King (ND) rebounded after losing the first set to Spicijaric (Ill) 7-6(5), before going on to relinquish only three more games to the Illini sophomore in the final two sets, 6-1, 6-2.


    Illinois has a quick turnaround to get ready for its next match on Wednesday, April 4, when it hosts Kentucky for a 3 p.m. start at the Atkins Tennis Center. The contest marks the final non-conference opponent for the Illini in the regular season.





    #5 NOTRE DAME 5, #8 ILLINOIS 2


    Singles competition

    1. #8 Stephen Bass (ND) def. #6 Kevin Anderson (ILL) 4-6, 6-2, 7-5

    2. #54 Sheeva Parbhu (ND) def. GD Jones (ILL) 2-6, 6-2, 6-3

    3. #12 Ryan Rowe (ILL) def. #103 Brett Helgeson (ND) 4-6, 6-4, 7-5

    4. Barry King (ND) def. Marc Spicijaric (ILL) 6-7 (5-7), 6-1, 6-2

    5. Ryan Keckley (ND) def. Brandon Davis (ILL) 6-4, 6-4

    6. Andrew Roth (ND) def. Jordan Knue (ILL) 6-1, 6-2


    Doubles competition

    1. Kevin Anderson/Ryan Rowe (ILL) def. #7 Ryan Keckley/Sheeva Parbhu (ND) 8-4

    2. Marc Spicijaric/GD Jones (ILL) def. Brett Helgeson/Barry King (ND) 8-4

    3. Stephen Bass/Andrew Roth (ND) def. Brandon Davis/Jordan Knue (ILL) 8-7 (7-3)


    Match Notes:

    Illinois 11-5, 4-0 Big Ten; National ranking #8

    Order of finish: Doubles (1, 2, 3); Singles (6, 5, 2, 4, 1, 3)                                                       



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