March 27, 2016
By Joanne Norell
ATLANTA, Ga. – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team struggled early in an Atlantic Coast Conference match against Georgia Tech on Sunday, with the Irish falling to the Yellow Jackets 5-2 at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
The Yellow Jackets (12-5, 5-2 ACC) seized the doubles point, getting identical 6-2 wins on Courts 1 and 3. No. 54 Casey Kay and Michael Kay of Georgia Tech defeated the 14th-ranked senior duo of Alex Lawson and Quentin Monaghan at the top slot, and Nathan Rakitt and Andrew Li upended senior Kenneth Sabacinski and Eddy Covalschi at No. 3.
Georgia Tech took a 2-0 lead when No. 11 Christopher Eubanks downed the 33rd-ranked Monaghan 6-1, 6-2 on Court 1, but junior Josh Hagar pulled the Irish within 2-1 with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Cole Fiegel on Court 3.
The Yellow Jackets stretched the lead as Rakitt bested Sabacinski on Court 6, 6-2, 6-4. On Court 5, freshman Grayson Broadus looked to force a third set against Li, but fell in the second-set tiebreaker 6-4, 7-6(7) as Georgia Tech clinched at 4-1.
Covalschi forced a third set on Court 2 against Carlos Benito, but his comeback bid fell short in a 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 loss. Lawson, meanwhile, rebounded from a second-set tiebreaker loss to defeat Daniel Yun 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(2) to wrap up the day, making it 5-2.
The Irish (10-10, 4-4 ACC) return home next weekend to face Florida State, Virginia Tech and Chicago State. The Irish and Seminoles will face off at 3:30 p.m. ET Friday, while the Irish will host the Hokies and Cougars in a doubleheader at noon and 7 p.m. ET, respectively, on Sunday. All three matches are slated to take place at the Courtney Tennis Center
Georgia Tech 5, Notre Dame 2
1. No. 11 Christopher Eubanks (GT) def. No. 33 Quentin Monaghan (ND) 6-1, 6-2
2. Carlos Benito (GT) def. Eddy Covalschi (ND) 7-5, 4-6, 6-4
3. Josh Hagar (ND) def. Cole Fiegel (GT) 6-1, 6-2
4. Alex Lawson (ND) def. Daniel Yun (GT) 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(2)
5. Andrew Li (GT) def. Grayson Broadus (ND) 6-4, 7-6(7)
6. Nathan Rakitt (GT) def. Kenneth Sabacinski (ND) 6-2, 6-4
1. No. 54 Casey Kay / Michael Kay (GT) def. No. 14 Alex Lawson / Quentin Monaghan (ND) 6-2
2. Grayson Broadus / Josh Hagar (ND) vs. Carlos Benito / Christopher Eubanks (GT) 3-5, unfinished
3. Nathan Rakitt / Andrew Li (GT) def. Eddy Covalschi / Kenneth Sabacinski (ND) 6-2
Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2014 and coordinates communications efforts for the Notre Dame women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University and earned her master’s degree from Georgetown University in 2013.