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Men’s Tennis: Irish compete in All-American preliminaries

Greg Hadley | Monday, September 30, 2013

When Irish coach Ryan Sachire entered senior Ryan Bandy and sophomore Eric Schnurrenberger in the prequalifying draw at the ITA All-American Championships, he just wanted to give them a chance to face elite competition.

“For Eric and Ryan, we saw this as an extra event,” Sachire said. “We thought these two guys were the ones who would most benefit from the extra matches this early in the fall.”

By the end of the weekend, Sachire thought that each gained valuable experience and proved that they were capable of competing against high level opponents. Schnurrenberger defeated Texas A&M freshman Francisco Colunga, 6-4, 6-3, before falling to Virginia Tech sophomore Joao Monterio. Meanwhile, Bandy rolled through his first two matches, beating Oklahoma State senior Brady Bohrnstedt, 6-2, 6-2, and blanking Winthrop freshman Juan Pablo Boada 6-0, 6-0, before falling to Oklahoma sophomore Austin Siegel, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 in the third round.   

“Eric lost today, but his opponent was a very good player,” Sachire said. “[Monterio] was No. 3 for them last year and had a very good season, so it wasn’t a bad loss. And it was also Ryan’s second match of the day. In general we’re hoping that they use this opportunity to continue to develop as players.”

Overall, Sachire said he was pleased with how Bandy and Schnurrenberger stepped up and played.

“It was great to see how Ryan and Eric got off to a good start in the event, and how they used each match as an opportunity to develop their skills,” Sachire said. “It was especially important to see them start off with wins over opponents from some really high quality Big 12 programs like Texas A&M and Oklahoma State.”

The Irish still have two more players that have yet to take the court.  

The qualifying draw begins Monday, and Irish sophomore Quentin Monaghan’s first match of the tournament will be against Texas sophomore Nick Naumann. As a freshman, Naumann defeated two ranked opponents and compiled a 10-5 record at the No. 5 spot for the Longhorns. As part of the qualifying draw, Naumann and Monaghan are among 128 players fighting for eight spots in the main draw. If Monaghan advances that far, he will join senior Greg Andrews, who automatically qualifies due to his No. 31 national ranking.

“This is a tournament with some of the best players in the country,” Sachire said. “Every top program sends people to this event. Quentin is a really great player and we want him to take on as many quality opponents who can challenge his level of play so he’ll be even higher in January.”

The ITA All-American Championships continue to the qualifying round Monday, before beginning the main draw on Thursday.

Contact Greg Hadley at [email protected]