Josh Hagar and Eddy Covalschi beat the top two seeds to win the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Doubles Championship on Monday. They will head to the ITA Indoor National Championships in two weeks

Irish Doubles Squad Completes Upset Weekend To Claim USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Crown

Oct. 20, 2014 Complete Results

Main Doubles Draw Results

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Given the gauntlet laid before them, one could be forgiven for dismissing University of Notre Dame men’s tennis doubles pair Eddy Covalschi and Josh Hagar’s chances in favor of older, more highly ranked teammates.

But the sophomore tandem weren’t surprised at all to find themselves in the championship of the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional at the Varsity Tennis Center at the University of Michigan. And in winning, they were merely meeting the expectations they set for themselves.

Covalschi and Hagar defeated Ohio State’s top duo, No. 16 Ralf Steinbach and Kevin Metka on Monday, overcoming some early nerves to seize a 7-6, 4-6, 12-10 victory. The championship marks first for an Irish doubles team since Ryan Keckley and Sheeva Parbhu grabbed the crown in 2006.

“We have an amazing amount of respect for Ohio State and [Steinbach and Metka are] both very good doubles players. But, we still had the confidence that if we trusted each other and trusted the process, we would be the better team,” assistant coach Adam Schaechterle said. “Josh and Eddy did an unreal job of battling through nerves and through OSU’s good play, and still trusting. The confidence they showed is reflective of our program — our culture continues to get better and better and better. This is just more confirmation for our program that we are heading in the right direction.”

Nerves reigned early as Covalschi and Hagar both noticed tightness in their service game. But the pair battled back to pull even in the set, which gave them momentum into the tiebreaker. From there, the tightness dissipated and Schaechterle could see their “level [of play] on the court got higher and higher.”

“It’s a really good feeling,” said Hagar. “That said, it definitely wouldn’t be possible without the group of guys we have. That is a great accomplishment, for sure, but we have bigger dreams than that and we want to try to push beyond that.”

In their final two matches of the weekend, Covalschi and Hagar had to defeat the tournament’s top two seeds, including second-seeded teammates Alex Lawson and Billy Pecor. Schaechterle noted the difficulty for both squads to compete in that situation, but “thought both teams did an unbelievable job of respecting each other and battling.”

“It’s always weird and uncomfortable playing your teammates and friends from other schools,” Covalschi said. “You just have to treat it as if you’re playing anyone else from another school.

“[Josh and I] know we’re great doubles players and we respect having the opportunities to win big matches and we had the mindset to be confident.”

Covalschi and Hagar will compete in the ITA National Indoor Championships, which kick off in Flushing, New York, on November 6.

Monday Matches
Doubles Main Draw

Eddy Covalschi / Josh Hagar def. No. 16 Ralf Steinbach / Kevin Metka (Ohio State), 7-6, 4-6, 12-10

Sunday Matches

Singles Main Draw


No. 6 Jared Hiltzik (Illinois) def. Eric Schnurrenberger, 6-3, 6-4

Doubles Main Draw


Eddy Covalschi / Josh Hagar def. Alex Lawson / Billy Pecor, 4-6, 7-5, 10-6


Jeffrey Schorsch / Charlie Emhardt (Valparaiso) def. Drew Dawson / Eric Schnurrenberger, 8-1

Eddy Covalschi / Josh Hagar def. Alex Petrone / Runhao Hua (Michigan), 8-0

Alex Lawson / Billy Pecor def. Kyle Johnson / Sten Leusink (DePaul), 8-2

Saturday Matches

Singles Main Draw

Second Round

No. 6 Jared Hiltzik (Illinois) d. Alex Lawson, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2

Eric Schnurrenberger d. No. 92 Herkko Pollanen (OSU), 6-3, 6-3

Josh Hagar d. Brett Forman (MSU), 6-3, 7-6

Eddy Covalschi d. Mihir Kumar (NU), 7-6, 6-3

Round of 16

Eric Schnurrenberger d. Stjepan Sisko (Toledo), 6-3, 2-6, 6-3

Alex Petrone (Michigan) d. Josh Hagar, 6-4, 6-4

John Patrick Mullane (Michigan State) d. Eddy Covalschi, 6-0, 6-3

Consolation Matches
Joseph Dodridge (Wisconsin) d. Kenneth Sabacinski, 6-2, 6-1
Alex Pasareanu (Northwestern) d. Wyatt McCoy, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3)

Doubles Main Draw

Second Round (followed by Round of 16)

Steinbach / Metka (Ohio State) d. Wyatt McCoy / Kenneth Sabacinski, 8-5

Drew Dawson / Eric Schnurrenberger d. Baev / Shropshire (Northwestern), 8-7 (7-5)

Eddy Covalschi / Josh Hagar d. Sisko / Meza (Toledo), 8-2

Alex Lawson / Billy Pecor d. Fernandez / Tehrani (Marquette), 8-3

Round of 16

Drew Dawson / Eric Schnurrenberger d. Lloveras / Theodor (UIC), 8-1

Eddy Covalschi / Josh Hagar d. Dube / Roy (Michigan State), 8-7 (7-5)

Alex Lawson / Bully Pecor d. Galoustian / de Veer (Cleveland State), 8-3

Friday Matches

Singles Qualifying Draw


Patryk Koscielski (Detroit), def. Billy Pecor, 6-4, 6-4

Singles Main Draw

Alex Lawson def. Joe VanMeter (Cleveland State), 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 7-5

Eric Schnurrenberger def. Toshiki Matsuya (Illinois), 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 6-4

Josh Hagar def. Brian Page (Illinois), 7-6 (7-2), 6-4

Runhao Hua (Michigan) def. Kenneth Sabacinski, 6-2, 6-0

Eddy Covalschi def. Mark Singnil (Toledo), 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)

Doubles Main Draw

First Round

Wyatt McCoy / Kenneth Sabacinski def. Andres Cobos / Daniel Cardenas (IPFW), 8-4

Teofanovic / Dykema (Marquette) def. Dougie Barnard / Brendon Kempin, 8-5

Drew Dawson / Eric Schnurrenberger def. Alexander Kim / Doug Zade (MSU), 8-3

Johnson / Leusink (DePaul) def. Michael Fredericka / Nicolas Montoya, 8-4

Eddy Covalschi / Josh Hagar def. Gleb Sklyr / Scott Christian (Marquette), 8-3

No. 27 Alex Lawson / Billy Pecor def. Patryck Kocielski / Chance Conley (Detroit), 8-4

Thursday Matches

Singles Qualifying Draw

First Round

Brendon Kempin def. Rafael Orantes (Detroit), 1-6, 6-4, 6-4

Wyatt McCoy def. Andres Cabos (IPFW), 6-4, 6-3

Billy Pecor def. Michael Savaglio (Valparaiso), 6-1, 6-1

Alp Horoz (NU) def. Michael Fredericka, 6-3, 6-4

Charlie Ernhardt (Valparaiso) def. Drew Dawson, 6-3, 6-2

Second Round

Alberto Zanotti (NU) def. Brendon Kempin, 6-0, 6-1

Billy Pecor def. Daniel Cardenas (IPFW), 6-1, 6-2

Michael Sinha (Wisconsin) def. Wyatt McCoy, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4

by Joanne Norell, Media Relations Assistant