Irish drop two to Tobacco Road opponents
Observer Sports Staff | Monday, March 31, 2014
Notre Dame dropped two home ACC matches this weekend, losing to No. 14 Duke 4-3 on Friday and No. 8 North Carolina 5-2 on Sunday.
The No. 9 Irish fell to 13-7 (3-3 in the ACC) as they enter the final leg of their 2014 spring campaign.
Friday’s match against the Blue Devils (12-5, 4-1) was decided in the final singles match when freshman Eddy Covalschi lost in the third set to sophomore Bruno Semenzato. The position is not unfamiliar territory for Covalschi, who had clinched two victories for the Irish against Kentucky earlier in the season in the No. 4 singles spot. He had no such luck against Duke, however, falling 7-5, 4-6, 6-2.
Freshman Josh Hagar and sophomore Eric Schnurrenberger took home the only singles victories for the Irish on Friday in the fifth and six spots, respectively. Senior Greg Andrews, sophomore Quentin Monaghan, senior Ryan Bandy and Covalschi dropped their singles matches against the Blue Devils in the first four spots. Of the four losses, however, two were decided by a third set.
The Irish had grabbed the early lead against the Blue Devils after winning the doubles point. Andrews and sophomore Alex Lawson, who are currently the seventh ranked doubles team in the country, won their match in the No. 1 spot. In the third slot, Covalschi and Monaghan clinched the doubles point for Notre Dame. With the point decided, senior Billy Pecor and Hagar had their match suspended with the score tied at 6-6.
Notre Dame had no such luck in doubles play against the Tarheels (18-3, 5-1) on Sunday. While they swept the doubles matches Friday, the Irish saw the reverse happen against North Carolina, and the doubles duos of Pecor and Hagar and Andrews and Lawson fell in quick succession. Covalschi and Monaghan finished their match but also lost.
The Irish were more competitive against North Carolina in doubles play on an afternoon that was warm enough for the team to play outside for the first time all season as the temperature crept above 50 degrees. Andrews and Monahan claimed individual victories for the Irish as Andrews beat the 10th-ranked individual player in the country, North Carolina freshman Brayden Schnur.
By that point the match had already been clinched, though, as Hagar fell in the fourth spot. Schnurrenberger lost the final singles match on the day, dropping both his sets in tiebreakers.
Notre Dame continues their stretch of competition against national ranked ACC opponents, as they will head east this weekend to face No. 25 Wake Forest on Friday and North Carolina State on Sunday. They are slated to return to the Eck Tennis Pavilion for their home finale for matches April 11-13.