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Men’s Tennis

Barnard wins singles title at invite

| Monday, September 29, 2014

Senior Dougie Barnard led the way for Notre Dame over the weekend at the Vredevelt Invitational in Kalamazoo, Michigan, winning the Flight D singles title, while other Notre Dame players competed in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Barnard, senior Michael Fredericka and sophomore Eddy Covalschi teamed up to earn two doubles wins at the Vredevelt Invitational on Friday. Covalschi and Fredericka started the day with an 8-6 victory over Xavier’s doubles group. Barnard and Fredericka next fell short against Cleveland State’s pairing, 8-4. In the third-place match, Barnard and Fredericka paired up to win the contest against Western Michigan’s tandem.

Barnard dominated the next two days in the singles tournament. He won his first matchup 6-2, 6-1 over Valparaiso sophomore Kyle Dunn before moving on to rally against Michigan State freshman Jasper Koenen 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Barnard finished his run to the singles title by defeating Xavier freshman Gabriel Chaves Araujo on Sunday.

“Winning the singles Flight D title this weekend was another step in the process of getting better,” Barnard said. “It was an affirmation to me that we have one of the best coaching staffs in the country. This past week, I spent time with the coaches working on a few particular areas of my game, and it paid off this weekend.”

Though Barnard took the Vredevelt singles title, he said he plans to continue to improve on the finer details of his game in order to elevate his play in the upcoming tournaments.

“I believe competition is the most trusted witness of our strengths and weaknesses,” Barnard said. “This weekend taught me that I want to improve my first serve targets, add depth and spin to my backhand and use more loading on my forehand side. I hope to build off of my success this weekend by unpacking the feeling of restlessness I have for improvement.”

Fredericka also played for his bracket’s singles title Sunday but lost to Western Michigan sophomore Matt Hamilton, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. Covalschi and junior Alex Lawson won both of their matches in the consolation bracket. Senior Billy Pecor went 1-2 on the weekend, losing his lone match Sunday.

“The overall team play at Vredevelt was lower than we would have like it to be,” Barnard said. “Nevertheless, we took each round as an opportunity to continue building confidence in our patterns. Obviously you would like everyone to begin the tournament playing their best tennis and continue performing at a high level throughout. We didn’t come out playing our best but responded in the succeeding rounds by focusing on individual areas in our game that needed improvement.”

Four Irish players also saw action at the Crimson Tide Four-in-the-Fall in Tuscaloosa. Juniors Eric Schnurrenberger and Nicolas Montoya led Notre Dame and advanced to the quarterfinals, where they both lost. Schnurrenberger finished seventh at the tournament while Montoya took in sixth. Irish freshmen Drew Dawson and Brendon Kempin finished 1-2 and 1-3 on the weekend, respectively.

Competing on his own, Irish junior Kenneth Sabacinski traveled to Tulsa on Saturday to compete in the ITA All-American Championships Pre-Qualifier. In his first matchup, Sabacinski defeated Indiana junior Chris Essick in three sets, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. In his second match of the day, Sabacinski was not able to advance past Penn State sophomore Alex Fennell. In another three-set match, Sabacinski lost, 5-7, 6-4, 4-6.

Notre Dame’s next challenge takes place when it competes in the Midwest Regional Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Oct. 16.

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About Manuel De Jesus

Manuel De Jesus is a junior from Chicago, Illinois. He is an American Studies major with a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. He is currently covering ND Volleyball, Men's Soccer and Men's Basketball.

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