Irish set to host rival Wolverines
Observer Staff Report | Friday, February 12, 2016
After losing four straight road matches over two weekends, Notre Dame will look to add to it’s current two-match win streak when it welcomes Michigan to Purcell Pavilion on Saturday.
Last weekend, during their 5-2 win over Indiana, the Irish (4-4) swept the doubles portion of the match before earning victories from each of their top four singles players. In the second part of the doubleheader, they swept their way to a 7-0 victory over Ball State, winning all of their singles and doubles matches along the way.
Seniors Quentin Monaghan and Alex Lawson together are the No. 6 rated doubles team in all of college tennis, and both are important cogs in the team’s singles attack. After struggling together and individually during the team’s skid, both Monaghan and Lawson found their form last weekend. Junior Eddy Covalschi also plays an important role for the Irish, as he is often slotted either at No. 2 or No. 3 singles.
They will look to recreate their recent team success against the Wolverines (5-1), who are in the middle of their longest win streak since the 2012-2013 season. During this five-match streak, Michigan has conceded just one point as a team on its way to three consecutive shutouts, including a 7-0 victory over No. 25 Duke.
The biggest challenge for the Irish this weekend will most likely come from Wolverine junior Jathan Malik, who was named Big Ten Tennis Athlete of the Week for his defeat of then-No. 12 sophomore Nicolas Alvarez from Duke. Monaghan will likely see Malak at No. 1 singles on Saturday afternoon.
A season ago, the Irish beat Michigan 5-2 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Monaghan contributed to the team victory with wins at both No. 1 singles and No. 3 doubles, along with senior Eric Schnurrenberger. Senior Nicholas Montoya also snagged a point from the Wolverines with a win at No. 6 singles, a 6-4, 6-4 defeat of redshirt sophomore Davis Crocker.
This year’s match between Notre Dame and Michigan will begin Saturday at 4 p.m. at Eck Tennis Pavilion.