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Men’s Tennis

Notre Dame splits weekend competitions

| Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Notre Dame took two wins and a loss in a three-match weekend, falling at No. 12 Illinois on Friday, 5-2, and defeating Indiana, 5-2, and Ball State, 7-0, on Sunday at home.

Friday’s trip was the second one to Champaign, Illinois, of the season for the Irish (4-4), who fell earlier in the season in a 4-0 decision to the Fighting Illini (5-1) on Jan. 22 at the ITA Kickoff Weekend.

Irish sophomore Brendon Kempin gets ready to hit a serve during a 5-2 win over Indiana at Eck Tennis Pavilion.Becki Jeren | The Observer

Irish sophomore Brendon Kempin gets ready to hit a serve during a 5-2 win over Indiana at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

Senior Alex Lawson and junior Eddy Covalschi put Notre Dame ahead early with a 6-1 win at No. 1 doubles, but the Illini rallied to take the Nos. 2 and 3 flights, 6-2 and 6-3 respectively, to secure the doubles point and take a 1-0 lead into the singles matches.

There, Notre Dame continued its slow start, dropping the first two singles matches to finish. Senior Quentin Monaghan lost 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 singles to Illini sophomore Aleks Vukic, while Lawson fell 6-1, 6-4 in his match at No. 2 singles.

Junior Josh Hagar got the Irish on the board with a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 5 singles, but by the time freshman Grayson Broadus won a 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 1-0 (10-8) decision at No. 6 singles, the Irish had already fallen to Illinois for the second time this year.

Sunday’s action was kinder to Notre Dame, as the Irish raced out winners in both of their contests.

The early match saw Notre Dame go up against another Big Ten foe, topping Indiana (4-3) by a 5-2 margin with wins at the top flights.

Covalschi and Lawson won again 6-1 at No. 1 doubles, while Broadus and Monaghan grabbed a 6-2 win at the No. 2 spot to seal the doubles point.

Monaghan rebounded from his double-bagel loss Friday to win 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 singles before Lawson won 7-5, 6-1 at No. 3 and Hagar took a 6-1, 6-3 decision to seal a Notre Dame win over the Hoosiers.

Ball State (2-3) proved to be an even more straightforward task for Notre Dame en route to a 2-1 day.

Covalschi and Lawson took their third win of the weekend at No. 1 doubles, 6-4, while the Irish rotated some players to get sophomores Brendon Kempin and Drew Dawson a shot at No. 3 doubles, which they took 6-4 to win the doubles point.

Lawson got Notre Dame off to a quick start with a 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 2 singles before senior Kenneth Sabacinski won 6-0, 6-0 at the No. 5 flight to put the Irish ahead, 3-0. Broadus secured the win with a 6-0, 6-1 match at the No. 3 court before wins by senior Nicolas Montoya, Monaghan and freshman Daniel Rayl finished off the sweep of the visiting Cardinals.

Back to .500, Notre Dame will return to action Saturday, when it hosts Michigan at 4 p.m. at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

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