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Men’s Tennis

Irish seniors take doubles crown

| Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Seniors Quentin Monaghan and Alex Lawson were able to hold off all challengers on their way to capturing the ITA Midwest Doubles Regional Championships on Monday.

Playing at home during the five-day tournament, the relatively new doubles tandem won all four of their matches over the weekend before closing out their victory over Valparaiso juniors Charlie Emhardt and Jeffrey Schorsch in the final, 6-1, 7-5.

Irish senior and captain Quentin Monaghan hits a forehand during Notre Dame’s 4-3 win over North Carolina State on April 18.Emily McConville | The Observer

Irish senior and captain Quentin Monaghan hits a forehand during Notre Dame’s 4-3 win over North Carolina State on April 18.

Irish head coach Ryan Sachire praised his champion doubles team, which was seeded second behind Ohio State’s duo of freshman Martin Joyce and junior Ralf Steinbach.

“[It was] certainly a great accomplishment,” Sachire said. “They’ve played a little bit of doubles together previously, but not much together before the event. For them to click as well as they did, particularly in the big moments, is a testament to their competitiveness and a testament to their ability to compete together. Hopefully this will be something they can build on as we move deeper into the season.”

Other than the doubles championship, the Irish were able to find some measure of success at singles as well over the course of the week.

Monaghan, the first overall seed in the tournament and the fifth-ranked player nationally, made it to the singles semifinals this Monday before falling to the sixth seed, No. 93 junior Herkko Pollanen from Ohio State, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

Irish junior Eddy Covalschi, meanwhile, made it to Sunday’s quarterfinal round before also falling to Pollanen, 7-6(3), 6-1.

Sachire also had high praise for his singles competitors.

“They did a good job,” Sachire said. “Our region is one of the toughest in the country. For them to each win as much as they did — Eddy won three matches and Quentin won four — is a good accomplishment. Over their careers, they’ve shown that they are capable. But it’s one thing to show capability and another to actually do it. Not to get too grandiose about it, but it’s something they can build on and hopefully improve on over the course of the season.”

Sachire said playing host to the tourney, which Notre Dame does every other year, was crucial.

“[Hosting this tournament] was awesome,” Sachire said. “We love hosting events like that. We’re consistently trying to grow our program, and part of that is hosting big championships like this one. For our guys to get to sleep in their own beds, compete in environments that are comfortable for them, is great for us.

“We consistently try to put our guys into positions where they can be successful and at the same time grow our program. This was great for us moving forward.”

With the ITA Midwest Regional Championships behind them, the Irish now only have two more tournaments remaining on their Fall slate before the Spring season kicks off.

Notre Dame has a couple weeks off before heading to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships on Nov. 12 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York. The rest of the team will travel to Georgia for the Bulldog Scramble on Nov. 13.

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