Monaghan enjoys success in Tulsa
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Irish junior Quentin Monaghan continued his torrid start to the fall season by advancing to the main draw of the ITA All-American Championships on Wednesday in Tulsa, Oklahoma.Monaghan reeled off three straight wins over two days to move past the qualifying draw, starting off the tourney with a straight-set victory over Dartmouth senior Chris Kipouras, 6-2, 6-3.
Later that day, Monaghan faced Oklahoma sophomore Alex Ghilea and emerged with the hard-fought win after both sets went to tiebreakers, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5).
The victory over Ghilea was the closest an opponent came to victory against No. 88 Monaghan, who took down No. 6 Jared Hiltzik, 6-2, 6-4, earlier this year on the Illinois senior’s home court at the Fighting Illini invitational.
Monaghan returned to the court Wednesday to face Georgia junior Nick Wood, with a spot in the final 64-player draw on the line. Wood, who was ranked in the top 100 last season, had not dropped a set all tournament heading into the match.
Monaghan got off to a strong start in the first set, taking it 6-3, then held on in the second for the win, 6-4.
With the win, Monaghan advances to face USC senior Robert Quiroz. Quiroz was part of the Trojan squad that captured the NCAA team championship last season.
The Irish and Monaghan also played USC and Quiroz in the spring of 2014 in Los Angeles. Quiroz, playing No. 3 singles for the Trojans, captured the victory while Monaghan lost at No. 2 singles as part of a 7-0 USC rout.
The two briefly faced off in doubles play, but the match was suspended after USC secured the necessary doubles point for the overall victory.
Besides Monaghan, sophomore Josh Hagar also competed at the tourney, playing in the qualifying draw. Hagar faced Wake Forest sophomore Maksim Kan and came away with the win in three sets, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Later in the day, Hagar played UNLV senior Denys Pume, with the winner advancing to the final round of the qualifying draw. Hagar was able to keep the match close and push it to three sets, but he ultimately lost, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.
While Hagar was eliminated, Monaghan will not be the only Irish player on the court Thursday. Doubles play begins, and the combination of senior Billy Pecor and junior Alex Lawson, ranked 27th in the country, will face freshman AJ Catanzariti and sophomore Max Lunkin of Texas A&M.
The two have been partners since Lawson’s freshman season, when they combined to go 17-12, including 6-3 in fall play.
Last season in spring play, they only played together three times, winning twice.
Lawson and Pecor were placed in the main draw, bypassing qualifying play and advancing to the round of 32.
The duo will play at 4 p.m. Thursday, with the possibility of playing into the weekend if they advance.
Monaghan also has the chance to play until Sunday, but must first pull off the upset against Quiroz. The pair are scheduled to square off at 10 a.m. Thursday morning.