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Men’s Tennis: Irish compete in Regional Championships

Brian Hartnett | Thursday, October 17, 2013

 

Fall break will be anything but restful for Notre Dame, as members of the Irish team will play in three tournaments over the next week-and-a-half. 

Several top-ranked members of the team will play in the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Championships at the Varsity Tennis Center in Columbus, Ohio, which begins today and runs through Monday. 

Notre Dame senior Greg Andrews has the No. 2 seed and sophomore Quentin Monaghan has the No. 5 seed in the 64-player singles main draw. The winner of the singles main draw will receive an automatic berth in the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships, which will be held in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., from Nov. 7 to 10.

Irish coach Ryan Sachire said Andrews’ and Monaghan’s performances against tough competition at the ITA All-American Championships held earlier this month prepared them well for regional competition. 

“I think that guys that played the All-American know they can compete with the best players in the country,” Sachire said. “Certainly having seen the high level of play at the All-American, they’re not going to see anything in Columbus that they haven’t seen before.”

Senior Ryan Bandy, sophomore Alex Lawson and freshmen Eddy Covalschi and Josh Hagar will also compete in the singles main draw in Columbus. 

Covalschi and Hagar will attempt to replicate their strong performances from the Bobby Bayliss Invitational, which was held at the Eck Tennis Pavilion earlier this month. The two freshmen each finished the tournament with a 3-1 record in singles play, and Hagar took home the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after recording a 2-1 record in doubles.

“Josh and Eddy both have done an outstanding job,” Sachire said. “The guys on the team have really embraced them as teammates. They have both done a great job of acclimating to Notre Dame as students and as tennis players. Do I believe these two guys can do very well this weekend? Absolutely. Is it one of those things where it’s going to be a damper on the fall if they don’t? No, because we’ve been talking a lot about the day-to-day process, and they’ve both bought into that.”

The Irish will also look to take home several doubles victories against the regional competition. The duo of Lawson and Andrews is the No. 4 seed in the doubles main draw, while the team of senior Matt Dooley and sophomore Eric Schnurrenberger has the No. 13 seed. Four other Irish duos will compete in the doubles main draw.

After the Midwest Regional Championships, Notre Dame will split up over the weekend of Oct. 25-27 to play in the USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational in Orlando, Fla., and the UT Invitational in Austin, Texas. Sachire said the clay courts at the USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational would provide a unique challenge to the team.

“Obviously, being on clay is a little bit of a different surface,” Sachire said. “Just going from an indoor hard court to an outdoor clay court will be a challenge because it’s pretty significantly different. When we made the schedule, we wanted to prepare our team for some of the challenges they may face in the spring, when we may be playing outdoor down at Clemson or Georgia Tech in March and then come here and play indoors because it’s not quite warm enough here.”

Notre Dame will start play at the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Championships today at 8 a.m. at the Varsity Tennis Center in Columbus, Ohio.

Contact Brian Hartnett at bhartnet@nd.edu