McLoughlin Knocks Off Nationally-Ranked Opponent in IU Defeat
March 7, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana men's tennis team fell to No. 18 Notre Dame, 6-1, in its fourth straight match against a ranked opponent. Sophomore Dara McLoughlin highlighted the effort with his second victory over a nationally-ranked foe this season. With the victory, Notre Dame won its seventh straight match and improved to 9-4 overall, while the Hoosiers dropped to 5-6.
"We are moving in the right direction and competing harder," Indiana head coach Ken Hydinger said. "We are doing a lot of things better, but we need to keep building. We are knocking at the door of getting a win, we just need to keep going. I can tell that we have the right energy. Every match was pretty close, and we continued to fight."
After falling in the first set, 6-1, McLoughlin fought back to take the second, 6-4, over No. 60 Brett Helgeson. The Dublin, Ireland native broke Helgeson to take a 5-3 lead. The UND player returned the favor and broke back to get on serve trailing 5-4. McLoughlin would not be outdone, as he broke Helgeson for the second straight time to claim a 6-4 second-set win.
In the third and deciding set, McLoughlin was down a break early, but responded by winning four straight points to build 5-2 cushion. He served out the match for the 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory. McLoughlin evened his overall record at 11-11 and his mark against ranked opponents at 2-2. Earlier in the year, he defeated then-No. 115 Marc Spicijaric of Illinois at the ITA Midwest Regional.
"Dara did a good job," Hydinger said. "He started off slow, but kept plugging away and found a way to win. He is starting to play with more confidence, and that is his second straight win."
The Irish took the doubles point with wins at the No. 1 and No. 3 positions. The Hoosiers struck first by taking the No. 2 slot. The tandem of junior David Bubenicek and freshman Peter Antons claimed the first doubles win. The Hoosier duo broke the Irish pair of Barry King and Eric Langenkamp in the fourth game and served out the rotation with a 4-1 lead. Indiana remained up a break until Antons served out the match for an 8-5 victory. It marked the seventh win as a team for Antons and Bubenicek this season.
Notre Dame's No. 1 duo evened the doubles pairings at one with an 8-3 victory. The doubles point came down to the No. 3 positions with the match on serve through 11 games. The Irish tandem of Helgeson and Andrew Roth broke the IU team of senior Neil Kenner and sophomore Michael McCarthy to take a 7-5 cushion. The Hoosiers attempted to break back, but the UND pair closed out the match with the next point and claimed the doubles tally for the Irish.
The Irish took the first singles match to push their advantage to 2-0. Stephen Bass, who is ranked No. 17 nationally, won in straight sets over Ishtuganov, 6-4, 6-4, at the No. 1 position. The Hoosiers' top singles player trailed 5-2 in the opening set, but rallied to get back on serve at 5-4 with a break in the ninth game. The momentum was short lived, as Bass broke back to claim the first set. The Notre Dame player broke Ishtuganov to take a 4-3 lead in the second set and served out the match for the victory.
After a win at No. 6 singles made it 3-0, Notre Dame finished off the team victory as it claimed the point at the No. 2 singles position. Bubenicek played a back-and-forth first set with No. 28 Sheeva Parbhu. On serve following the 10th game, the Bubenicek broke Parbhu to take a 6-5 lead. Parbhu followed suit with a break to force a tiebreaker. Bubenicek led 2-0 in the tiebreaker, before Parbhu claimed six of the next seven points to take a 6-3 advantage. The Hoosier would draw to within 6-5, but Parbhu claimed the set, 7-6 (5). In the second set, Bubenicek and Parbhu traded breaks, before the Irish player opened up a 4-2 cushion. He went on to take the second set and claim the match with a 6-3 win.
After McLoughlin claimed IU's lone point of the day, the Irish claimed two tight victories at the No. 4 and No. 5 singles positions. At the No. 5 slot, King defeated IU's McCarthy, 7-6 (9), 7-5. In the first set tiebreaker, McCarthy trailed, 6-4, but rebounded to take a 9-8 lead. King fought back to claim the set with the final three points of the tiebreaker. McCarthy found himself on the wrong end in the second set as he trailed a break at 5-4. With King serving for the match, the Hoosier sophomore broke his serve to even it at five. King followed suite and broke back before serving out the win.
The No. 4 singles position went three sets. After UND's Ryan Keckley took the first set, 6-4, Kenner regrouped to claim the second, 6-4. Keckley broke Kenner and opened up a 5-2 lead in the third set, before serving out a 6-3 victory.
The Hoosiers will play five games in six days over spring break. Indiana will open with a pair of matches on March 13 in Daytona, Fla. IU will face North Florida and Colgate on Monday, March 13, before traveling to Tampa, Fla., to face South Florida on March 15. The Hoosiers will face Army on March 16 in Tampa and finish the week with a March 18 affair against Central Florida in Daytona.
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