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Men’s Tennis: Freshmen impress at Bobby Bayliss Invitational

Greg Hadley | Monday, October 7, 2013

After a long weekend of competition, three Irish players, including two freshmen, ended the Bobby Bayliss Invitational undefeated in singles play, a result Irish coach Ryan Sachire said he sees as an important mark in the team’s development.
“Like any fall tournament, there are so many matches that are played and so many guys competing that there’s always going to be some positives and things you wished you had done better as a team,” Sachire said. “Overall, there were a lot of good things that happened over the weekend.”
In particular, freshmen Josh Hagar and Eddy Covalschiexcelled, both winning all four of their singles matches. Covalschi and Hagar separately added a doubles victory each, paired with senior Billy Pecor and junior Dougie Barnard, respectively. Sachire said he was very impressed with his young players’ performance.
“Both of them played very well all weekend,” Sachire said. “It’s always good when your freshmen play that well.”
Besides Hagar and Covalschi, sophomore Alex Lawson also went 4-0 in his singles matches. Throughout the weekend, Lawson did not lose a single set in any of his matches either.
Sachire also praised junior Wyatt McCoy. McCoy finished with a 3-1 record in singles play, with his only loss coming at the hands of Michigan State senior Aaron Pfister.
“Pfister was their top player last year, and presumably he’ll be the same this year, so there’s no shame in losing to a player like that,” Sachire said. “Those four guys [Hagar, Covalschi, Lawson and McCoy] were probably the highlight of the meet for us.”
No overall team score was kept for the invitational, which was just what Sachire said he wanted.
“These are individual tournaments and I don’t think that it’s a crucial thing for the team to place well,” Sachire said. “Certainly you want everyone to do as well as possible and get better, but we’re strictly looking at the fall as a developmental period for our players. We’ll be better as a team because our individual players got better over the weekend.
After two days of full play in warm and humid conditions, Sunday play was dampened by occasional rain. Doubles play had to be cancelled, but singles play finished unhindered.
The tournament, a staple on the fall schedule for the Irish, was recently renamed in honor of Notre Dame’s former coach, Bobby Bayliss. Coach Sachire said it was a fitting honor for the man who gave so much to the team
“Coach Bayliss, words can’t describe what he did for our program and for the University in general,” Sachire said. “It’s the least we could do to recognize that and recognize him. It’s definitely something we’re going to continue to have every year and hopefully we’ll build on it and make it stronger each year.”

Contact Greg Hadley at ghadley@nd.edu