Irish shine in early test against ranked opponents
Christine Mayuga | Wednesday, January 14, 2015
The No. 14 Irish cut their winter break short to fly off to sunny Rancho Santa Fe, California, to come out strong at the Morgan Run Hidden Duals hosted by San Diego last weekend.
Irish coach Ryan Sachire said the extenuating circumstances of vacation did not hinder the players.“The first day of practice was Wednesday, and the competition started Friday,” he said. “Despite that, the team came out strong.”
In the field of tough competitors, including No. 10 Texas A&M, No. 15 California and No. 32 San Diego, Notre Dame produced the best results of the four competing teams, even topping San Diego, who has won the first round of competition the last four years. The Irish finished the first day of competition going 7-4 in doubles play and 7-5 in singles competition.
In the first round, the nation’s No. 8 duo of senior Billy Pecor and junior Alex Lawson and No. 9 pair of sophomores Eddy Covalschi and Josh Hagar both came out on top, defeating California’s No. 42 duo of senior Gregory Bayane and redshirt senior Chase Melton and San Diego junior Romain Kalaydjian and sophomore Alex Araouzos, respectively. The Irish duos of juniors Quentin Monaghan and Eric Schnurrenberger, seniors Dougie Barnard and Michael Fredericka and freshmen Drew Dawson and Brendon Kempin also posted wins in the No. 3, 5 and 6 doubles slots, respectively.
In the second round, Covalschi and Hagar defeated San Diego’s Kalaydijan and sophomore Filip Vittek, while Bernard and Kempin defeated California junior Wyatt Houghton and redshirt junior Hasier Pastor.
In the singles competition, No. 37 Monaghan topped San Diego junior and No. 53 player Uros Petronijevic, while No. 82 Hagar pulled an upset, defeating No. 45 and Texas A&M junior Shane Vinsant. Irish junior Nicolas Montoya, senior Wyatt McCoy, Schnurrenberger and Fredericka also garnered individual victories.
The Irish continued to shine on the second day of competition. Standout performances included that from Hagar, who defeated San Diego’s No. 70 Vittek in his second major upset for the weekend. Hagar went undefeated for the weekend.
Despite the cancellation of the final day of competition, Sachire said he believes the weekend was a positive indicator for the rest of the season.
“Overall, it was a good trip,” he said. “We accomplished what we wanted to accomplish anyway and got some confidence for the future.”
On Saturday, Notre Dame will travel to Lexington, Kentucky, to take on the No. 18 Wildcats, a team that has gone neck-and-neck with the Irish. In the last four times Notre Dame faced Kentucky, the score came down to the final match on the court.
“We’re looking forward to getting pushed to our limits and coming out on top again,” Sachire said.