ND doubles duo advances to quarterfinals
Manuel De Jesus | Monday, November 10, 2014
Notre Dame’s doubles pairs advanced to the quarterfinals of the ITA Indoor Championships on Friday in Flushing, New York.
The sophomore duo of Eddy Covalschi and Josh Hagar started off their tournament on a bye in the doubles main draw after winning the doubles Midwest Regional title in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Oct. 20. In the round of 16 at the Indoor Championships, the sophomore tandem defeated freshman Julian Cash and sophomore Florian Lakat from Mississippi State in straight sets 7-5, 6-3. Covalschi and Hagar’s run came to an end in the quarterfinals as they lost straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, to No. 19 senior Yannick Hanfmann and senior Roberto Quiroz of USC.
“Our players performed at a pretty high level this past weekend in New York,” Irish coach Ryan Sachire said. “Obviously, for both pairs to make the quarterfinals of the event is significant, considering the tournament represented the best college players/doubles teams in the country. There are clearly some aspects of the game that each individual player and each combo together must continue to improve moving forward, but we like the foundation that each of these teams have.”
No. 27-ranked duo junior Alex Lawson and senior Billy Pecor also fell in the quarterfinals, after winning in the round of 32 and the round of 16.
They defeated Harvard’s No. 36 junior Denis Nguyen and sophomore Brian Yeung, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), in the round of 32. In the round of 16, Lawson and Pecor played another tight match against University of Southern Florida’s No. 12 junior Roberto Cid and sophomore Sasha Gozun, defeating them 7-6 (8-6), 6-2. However, the Irish duo fell to UCLA’s No. 31 sophomore Mackenzie McDonald and freshman Martin Redicki in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4.
“I don’t know that there was a great difference of how these teams played compared to the Regional Championships,” Sachire said. “The results in New York were, if anything, just further confirmation that we have some really good players and that these teams are capable of playing doubles at the highest national level. They all know that they have to improve significantly to accomplish all of the goals that they have set for themselves, but these last two events have shown them that they are on the right path.”
Notre Dame has now completed its fall season, and the Irish will return to match play in January when they travel to Rancho Santa Fe, California, to compete in the Morgan Run Hidden Duals. Coach Sachire said he has already decided his plans for the team during their break from competition. He said he wants Notre Dame to be the most improved team in the country when they get back in January.
“I’m really, really excited for these next two months because each of our players, and therefore our entire team, can make a significant jump in our level of play,” Sachire said. “This is a great period of time to emphasize, work on and improve the areas of each player’s game that needs to get better without the concern of how they will hold up in competition. Our goal for the months of November and December is very clear, and that is to be the single most improved team in the country once we start competing again in January.”