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Men’s Tennis

ND optimistic despite losing former No. 1

| Tuesday, August 26, 2014

After finishing 13th in the country a season ago, the Irish aim to develop further in coach Ryan Sachire’s second season.

Notre Dame finished 21-10 with an appearance in the NCAA championship round of 16 last season, the farthest the team has advanced in the tournament since 2007. The finish was also one of the highest since Notre Dame finished sixth in the nation in 2007 and third in 1992.

Despite the loss of top talent, including Greg Andrews, who finished 25th in the country in singles competitions and 17th in doubles competitions with junior Alex Lawson, Notre Dame returns key contributors. Junior Eric Schnurrenberger said the adjusted roster should not be a problem as multiple players are able to fill in the hole left by Andrews’ absence.

Irish junior Alex Lawson prepares to return a shot in Notre Dame’s 6-1 victory over Florida State on April 13. Lawson paired with senior Billy Pecor to earn an 8-5 doubles win in the match.Wei Lin

Irish junior Alex Lawson prepares to return a shot in Notre Dame’s 6-1 victory over Florida State on April 13. Lawson paired with senior Billy Pecor to earn an 8-5 doubles win in the match.

“After the graduation of last year’s captain, Greg Andrews, the leadership situation has certainly changed a lot,” Schnurrenberger said. “We have many guys on our team that are able to step into Greg’s shoes and take leadership.

“There will maybe not be a single person that will be the designated leader this season, but it will be a collection of guys that will take the leadership position on our team.”

The squad returns four seniors – Dougie Barnard, Michael Fredericka, Wyatt McCoy and Billy Pecor. The quartet combined for a record of 26-22 in singles competition. Pecor also teamed up with junior Alex Lawson, half of Notre Dame’s top doubles tandem last season, to win the ITA/USTA National Summer Doubles Championship just over two weeks ago.

The Irish will bring back sophomores Eddy Covalschi and Josh Hagar, who each won more than 20 matches their freshman year, as did juniors Quentin Monaghan and Schnurrenberger.

Schnurrenberger said he believes the team will be able to take the next step into the NCAA championships.

“We had a great season last spring, and ending the year ranked 13th in the country is certainly a proof for that success,” Schnurrenberger said. “However, I am convinced that we will do even better this year. We have a very deep team that means that everybody can beat everybody on a given day. … I think once we established ourselves as a consistent top-ten team, everything is possible and even a spot in the semifinals or the final of the NCAA tournament.”

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About Manuel De Jesus

Manuel De Jesus is a junior from Chicago, Illinois. He is an American Studies major with a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. He is currently covering ND Volleyball, Men's Soccer and Men's Basketball.

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