Sept. 27, 2014
The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team on Saturday continued play at multiple events throughout the country. Four Fighting Irish student-athletes were competing at the Crimson Tide Four-in-the-Fall in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, while five others took to the court in Kalamazoo, Michigan at the Vredevelt Invitational and one competed at the ITA All-American Championships Pre-Qualifier in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Tulsa, Oklahoma — In his first-round match at the 2014 Saint Francis Health System ITA All-American Championships Pre-Qualifier held at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center on the University of Tulsa campus, Irish junior Kenneth Sabacinski (Plantation, Florida) won a hard-fought three-set decision, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, to Chris Essick of Indiana on Saturday morning.
Playing his second-round match in the afternoon, Sabacinski dropped a tough three-set decision to 11th-ranked Alex Fennell of Penn State. After Fennell captured the first set 7-5, Sabacinski rallied to even the match at one set apiece with a 6-4 win in the second set. Sabacinski, however, could not maintain the momentum of taking that second set as Fennell prevailed 6-4 in the final set to earn the victory and advance into the third round of the tournament.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama — Saturday marked the second day of the Crimson Tide Four-in-the-Fall, which is hosted by the University of Alabama. In Flight 1 singles action, Notre Dame junior Eric Schnurrenberger (Zug, Switzerland) dropped his quarterfinal match to Princeton’s Josh Yablon, 6-1, 6-4. Schnurrenberger fell to Alabama’s Sean Donohue, 7-5, 6-1, later in the day.
Fighting Irish freshman Brendon Kempin (Sandy, Utah) topped Illinois’ Brian Page, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(8), in a consolation encounter in Flight 2 singles. Tulane’s Ian Van Cott rallied to defeat Kempin, 0-6, 6-3, 6-2, later in the afternoon. Kempin will finish play Sunday morning against Princeton’s Alex Day.
Fellow Irish freshman Drew Dawson (Irvine, California) fell to UAB’s Donovan McSeveney, 6-4, 6-3, in their consolation match in Flight 2 singles. Dartmouth’s George Wall withdrew from his afternoon matchup with Dawson, who will face Illinois’ Page Sunday morning.
Rice’s Jamie Malik upended Notre Dame junior Nicolas Montoya (Scottsdale, Arizona), 6-4, 6-2, in a quarterfinal showdown in Flight 3 singles. Montoya bounced back to best Dartmouth’s Max Schmidt, 6-3, 7-6(7) later in the day to set up a Sunday showdown with South Alabama’s Gerhard Gruindelingh.
In Flight 1 doubles competition, Dawson and Schnurrenberger finished in third place after besting the pair of Tom Coluatti and Josh Yablon of Princeton, 8-7(3).
Montoya and Kempin fell to Princeton’s Alex Day and Kial Kaiser, 8-5, in their consolation doubles match in Flight 3.
Kalamazoo, Michigan — Following doubles play on Friday, singles action was held Saturday at the Vredevelt Invitational hosted by Western Michigan University.
Notre Dame senior Michael Fredericka (Warren, Ohio) will face Western Michigan’s Matt Hamilton in Sunday’s Flight C championship match. Fredericka began Saturday’s competition with a 7-6(4), 7-6(4) win over Green Bay’s Joey Leto before disposing of Western Michigan’s Pablo Mora, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
Fellow Fighting Irish senior Dougie Barnard (Indianapolis, Indiana) also will be vying for a title on Sunday when he squares off against Xavier’s Gabriel Chaves Araujo in the Flight D final. Barnard opened Saturday with a 6-2, 6-1 triumph over Valparaiso’s Kyle Dunn and he then rallied past Michigan State’s Jasper Koenen, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Fighting Irish sophomore Eddy Covalschi (Shelby Township, Michigan) fell in his first-round Flight A match to Illinois State’s Urh Domiter, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. Covalschi responded to top Xavier’s Zach Mueck, 6-4, 7-5 and he will face Jorg Van Der Vloet from Cleveland State Sunday morning.
Notre Dame junior Alex Lawson (Tempe, Arizona) also competed in Flight A singles and he opened the competition with a 6-3, 6-4 setback to Michigan State’s Gijs Linders, but bounced back to topple Van Der Vloet, 6-4, 7-6(5). Lawson will face Mueck on Sunday.
In Flight B singles, Irish senior Billy Pecor (Houston, Texas) fell to Michigan State’s Mac Roy, 6-4, 6-4, in the opening round. Pecor regrouped to down Cleveland State’s Mirko Radosevic, 6-1, 6-1, and he will face Joe VanMeter from Cleveland State Sunday in the consolation final.