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Men’s Tennis

Monaghan falls at championships

| Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Irish wrapped up individual play at the Saint Francis Health System ITA All-American Championships over the weekend, with senior Quentin Monaghan falling in the round of 32.

The tournament, which began with pre-qualifying on Oct. 3 and concluded this past Sunday took place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and featured four Irish representatives. Monaghan, the nation’s fifth-ranked singles player, was automatically in the main draw.

In addition to Monaghan, the Irish also sent senior Alex Lawson, junior Eddy Covalschi and freshman Alex Lebedev. Both Lawson and Lebedev fell in the round of 256 while Covalschi made it through but fell in the round of 128 to Wake Forest junior Sam Bloom, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

On Thursday, Monaghan defeated Alabama sophomore Korey Lovett (5-7, 6-4, 6-3), the No. 96 singles player in the nation who beat Monaghan only two weeks earlier at the Crimson Tide Four-in-the-Fall Tournament at Alabama. Monaghan, however, was struck down by Auburn junior No. 76 Marko Krickovic (1-6, 7-5, 7-5) in the round of 32 on Friday.

Though the Irish only picked up a pair of wins throughout the whole of the tournament, head coach Ryan Sachire said the team met its goals throughout the week.

“Any time you play a tournament and you don’t win, you’re probably a little disappointed,” Sachire said. “But that wasn’t the focal point of the tournament. Our focus was to do well and to do the things we needed to do to get better. All four did well, maybe not to the level of their own expectations.

“I was happy with it, but just echoing their feelings I think they felt like they left some things on the table. But that’s part of tennis. Exposing yourself to a high level of competition, figuring out what you need to do to improve, and hopefully doing those things before we host regionals here during fall break.”

Notre Dame now has more than a week off before hosting the ITA Midwest Regional Championships at Eck Tennis Pavilion beginning Oct. 22, one of the biggest tournaments of the fall semester for the Irish.

“We’re preparing like we normally do, being really specific with our practices, putting guys in positions to work on some of the vulnerabilities in their games,” Sachire said. “We’re playing a lot and also working on individual drills so that each guy can improve moving forward.”

Participants in the Midwest Regional Championships will be announced soon, but last year’s tournament in Ann Arbor, Michigan, included Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Toledo, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Detroit, Valparaiso and a number of other teams. A year ago, Covalschi and current junior Josh Hagar upset the field to claim the doubles championship.

With the tournament now being held at Notre Dame, Sachire laid out similar expectations to the ones he set a year ago.

“Our expectation is to have a great tournament,” Sachire said. “We’re hosting it here and we feel like we’re preparing like we need to in order to have a great tournament, so we’re excited for it and we’re hoping that we play some good tennis.”

The ITA Midwest Regional Championships will kick off Oct. 22, and will conclude Oct. 26. All matches will take place at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

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