Monaghan, Lawson head to Indoor Championships
Hunter McDaniel | Thursday, November 12, 2015
Notre Dame heads into its final weekend of the fall schedule with two tournaments on the docket. A pair of Irish players, seniors Quentin Monaghan and Alex Lawson, will head to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships, while the rest of the team will travel to Georgia for the Bulldog Scramble.
The USTA/ITA championship is the biggest tournament on the fall slate for Notre Dame every year, as it draws the top players in the country. Since players need to qualify for it, only a couple Irish players will be competing.
In the 32-person singles portion of the tournament, Monaghan is the lone Irish competitor, and is not among the eight seeded players — though he is ranked fifth nationally in the Oracle/ITA Division I singles rankings heading into the spring season.
On the doubles side, Monaghan and Lawson will be taking part in the 20-team doubles draw at nationals as a result of their win at the ITA Midwest Regional Doubles Championships, hosted by Notre Dame at the Eck Tennis Pavilion late last month.
Irish head coach Ryan Sachire explained how the two players were selected for the tournament.
“The national indoors is a qualifying tournament based on the regional championships,” Sachire said. “Quentin Monaghan qualified for singles. It’s a really competitive tournament, as only 32 of the best players will be competing, and then Quentin and Alex Lawson will be in the doubles portion of the tournament as well because they won regionals here.”
Though the rest of the team did not qualify to participate at nationals, they will get one last tune-up before heading into the much more rigorous spring portion of their season as they head to the Bulldog Scramble at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia.
Other than Notre Dame and host Georgia, the three-day Bulldog Scramble will include representatives from Georgia Tech, Harvard and Oklahoma.
Regardless of where each member of the Irish will compete this weekend, however, Sachire made it clear that expectations do not change.
“The guys need to play their best and compete their best,” Sachire said. “It’s been a pretty darn good week of training after a good showing in regionals. We’ve worked hard over the two weeks following regionals to put ourselves in a good position to win. We’re just looking at this as another opportunity for us to improve and to show that we belong with the some good competition, both in Georgia and at nationals.
“We want to represent Notre Dame as best we can and compete as best we can as well.”
The team will close the first half of its season this coming weekend. Monaghan and Lawson begin their run at a pair of national championships on Thursday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in New York, while the rest of the Irish will head down to Georgia for the Bulldog Scramble starting Friday. Both tournaments will conclude Sunday.