March 22, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The No. 36 University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team notched a pair of 6-1 wins in doubleheader action against Atlantic Coast Conference foe Georgia Tech and in-state opponent IPFW on Sunday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
The Irish were dominant from top to bottom on Sunday — particularly playing their regulars against the Yellow Jackets — something the team needed following a rough stretch of matches that included a 6-1 loss on Friday to No. 9 Virginia.
“We had a stretch of matches where some spots we had guys playing really well but some matches that we lost because we were just not collectively playing the way we needed to,” senior Billy Pecor said. “Today was very important to make sure we reestablished what we needed to do as a program. I think we did a really good job of coming out in singles of stepping up and everyone having really good reactions between points, trusting we’ve done the right things and put in the work that it’s going to pay off.”
The Irish needed all three matches to decide the doubles point against Georgia Tech. Quentin Monaghan and Dougie Barnard were quickly defeated by Cole Fiegel and Nathan Rakitt, 8-3 on Court 3, but the 14th-ranked duo of Eddy Covalschi and Josh Hagar pulled Notre Dame back even with an 8-4 win over Michael Kay and Christopher Eubanks. Covalschi and Hagar had been broken on their second serve, but won five straight games after trailing 4-3 to notch the win.
On Court 1, eighth-ranked Alex Lawson and Billy Pecor went up a break early on No. 59 Carlos Benito and Eduardo Segura, then held for the majority of the set until they took a 6-5 lead. Pecor served for the next game, which the Irish won after a bit of back-and-forth at deuce, then secured their second break of the afternoon to lock up an 8-6 win.
From there, the Irish breezed en route to clinching the win, securing the next four singles matches in straight sets. Pecor, Hagar and Covalschi wrapped up their wins nearly simultaneously, with Pecor dispatching Fiegel 7-5, 6-1 at No. 4, Hagar whipping Benito 6-2, 6-4 at No. 2 and Covalschi picking up his first win over a ranked opponent with a 6-4, 6-2 win over the 84th-ranked Rakitt.
Pecor, who had lost four straight matches before missing the next three with an injury, hopes to corral the momentum from Sunday’s win to get back on the track he was on at the beginning of the season when he won five of his first six dual singles contests.
“It does help with the confidence, being able to come out and put together a match from start to finish like that and really gaining momentum as the match was going on, even though you’re playing pretty well to begin with,” Pecor said. “That’s a huge confidence booster for anybody, especially for me. I had a good stretch of matches where I hadn’t won and I started out the season where I couldn’t lose. When you start losing, your confidence kind of takes a bit of a hit, so it’s a huge confidence booster to come out here and play like that.”
Monaghan continued his dominance atop the Irish lineup, dropping No. 66 Eubanks 6-4, 7-6(4), coming back from down 5-2 in the second set to wrap up the win in the tiebreaker.
Lawson and Kenneth Sabacinski each played three-set matches on Courts 5 and 6, respectively. Lawson fell in the third-set tiebreaker to Kay, 2-6, 6-2, 7-6(6), while Sabacinski endured three tiebreaker sets to hold off Segura 7-6(4), 6-7(6), 1-0(10-7).
In the day’s second match, the Irish made quick work of the Mastodons (7-8). In doubles, Dougie Barnard and Michael Fredericka picked up a 7-5 win over Andres Cobos and Daniel Cardenas at the No. 2 slot, while Drew Dawson and Wyatt McCoy snared a tiebreaker win over Connor Andrews and Derek Romer, 7-6(6) at No. 3.
Monaghan moved to 14-2 in dual singles matches with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Gerard Guell on Court 1, and Hagar beat Cobos 6-2, 6-2 for his second win of the day. Nicolas Montoya also won easily, dispatching Carlos do Val 6-3, 6-0 at No. 3 singles.
Michael Fredericka also snagged a 6-4, 6-1 win at the fourth slot over Cardenas, and freshman Brendon Kempin worked a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Martin Muadi. On Court 6, Dawson forced a tie-breaking third set after coming back to win the second-set tiebreaker, but fell to Karl Wangensten-Oye, 7-5, 6-7(6), 1-0(10-5).
The Irish (10-7, 2-3 ACC) hit the road in ACC play next weekend when they swing through Florida to meet with Miami (6-9, 0-4 ACC) on Friday and Florida State (14-5, 3-2 ACC) on Sunday. For the latest Irish tennis updates, follow @NDMensTennis on Twitter and like Notre Dame Men’s Tennis on Facebook.
No. 36 Notre Dame 6, Georgia Tech 1
1. No. 22 Quentin Monaghan (ND) def. No. 66 Christopher Eubanks (GT), 6-4, 7-6(4)
2. Josh Hagar (ND) def. Carlos Benito (GT), 6-1, 6-4
3. Eddy Covalschi (ND) def. No. 84 Nathan Rakitt (GT), 6-4, 6-2
4. Billy Pecor (ND) def. Cole Fiegel (GT), 7-5, 6-1
5. Michael Kay (GT) def. Alex Lawson (ND), 2-6, 6-2, 7-6(6)
6. Kenneth Sabacinski (GT) def. Eduardo Segura (GT), 7-6(4), 6-7(6), 1-0(10-7)
1. No. 8 Alex Lawson / Billy Pecor (ND) def. No. 59 Carlos Benito / Eduardo Segura (GT), 8-6
2. No. 14 Eddy Covalschi / Josh Hagar def. Michael Kay / Christopher Eubanks (GT), 8-4
3. Cole Fiegel / Nathan Rakitt (GT) def. Dougie Barnard / Quentin Monaghan (GT), 8-3
No. 36 Notre Dame 6, IPFW 1
1. No. 22 Quentin Monaghan (ND) def. Gerard Guell (IPFW), 6-1, 6-2
2. Josh Hagar (ND) def. Andres Cobos (IPFW), 6-2, 6-2
3. Nicolas Montoya (ND) def. Carlos do Val (IPFW), 6-3, 6-0
4. Michael Fredericka (ND) def. Daniel Cardenas (IPFW), 6-3, 6-4
5. Brendon Kempin (ND) def. Martin Muadi (IPFW), 6-4, 6-1
6. Karl Wangensten-Oye (IPFW) def. Drew Dawson (ND), 7-5, 6-7(6), 1-0(10-5)
1. Gerard Guell / Martin Muadi (IPFW) def. Alex Lawson / Kenneth Sabacinski (ND), 6-4
2. Dougie Barnard / Michael Fredericka (ND) def. Andres Cobos / Daniel Cardenas (IPFW), 7-5
3. Drew Dawson / Wyatt McCoy (ND) def. Connor Andrews / Derek Romer (IPFW), 7-6(6)
Joanne Norell, Media Relations Assistant