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Men’s Tennis

Irish quartet heads to New York

| Thursday, October 1, 2015

Following a successful showing at Alabama’s Four in the Fall over the weekend, the Irish look to begin their run at ITA All-American Championships with pre-qualifying Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The All-American Championships are a different kind of tournament for Notre Dame, which now only has one more team invitational left on its Fall slate.

According to head coach Ryan Sachire, this tournament is unique in its format.

“It’s a three-tiered tournament where the premise of it is that anyone in the country can win it,” Sachire said. “There’s a pre-qualifying event that starts on Saturday. Depending on how many people end up playing, you usually have to win three or four rounds of pre-qualifying. [If you get through that,] qualifying starts on Monday. If you win three matches [in qualifying], you get into the main draw, which starts on Thursday and goes through the following Sunday. So you could end up playing around 12 matches if you keep winning.”

The entire team will not be participating in this tournament, as the Irish won’t be sending the full roster to Oklahoma, according to Sachire.

“We’re only sending four players in total,” Sachire said. “Three this Saturday: [senior] Alex Lawson, [junior] Eddy Covalschi and [freshman] Alex Lebedev. [Senior] Quentin Monaghan is automatically in the main draw, which means he starts [next] Thursday.”

Irish senior Quentin Monaghan goes down after a forehand shot during Notre Dame’s 4-3 win over North Carolina State on April 18 at Courtney Tennis Center.Emily McConville | The Observer

Irish senior Quentin Monaghan goes down after a forehand shot during Notre Dame’s 4-3 win over North Carolina State on April 18 at Courtney Tennis Center.

Monaghan, coming off an appearance in the semifinals of the NCAA singles championship last spring, has as good a shot of winning as anybody over the coming week, Sachire said.

“[This tournament is] a great opportunity,” Sachire said. “That’s the great thing about this championship: you go until you lose. With Eddy and the two Alexs, they all have potential to make a run in this tournament. Quentin is obviously capable of playing with anyone in this country. I think to set expectations at number of wins wouldn’t be fair just because the level of competition is so high, but we see this as an opportunity for everyone to make a deep run and show that they can compete at a high level. “

With Lawson, Covalschi and Lebedev kicking off action Saturday and Monaghan the following Thursday, this tournament is one of the biggest opportunities for the Irish to improve during the fall semester and to prove that they can hang with anyone individually in the country, Sachire said.

Following the conclusion of the All-American Championships on Sunday, Oct. 11, the Irish only have three more tournaments left in the fall: the Midwest Regional Championships, which Notre Dame is hosting in late October, then the National Indoor Championships in Flushing, New York, and the Georgia’s Bulldog Scramble, both of which take place in November.

Lawson, Covalschi and Lebedev will begin their searches for All-American Championships on Saturday at Michael Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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