March 19, 2015
| Friday, 3:30 p.m. EDT
| Sunday, Noon EDT
Live stats — IPFW | Sunday, 6 p.m. EDT
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team will host a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference foes on Friday and Sunday when they welcome No. 9 Virginia and Georgia Tech to the Eck Tennis Pavilion. They will cap the weekend with a non-conference meeting with IPFW Sunday evening.
First serve between the No. 36 Irish (8-6, 1-2 ACC) and Cavaliers (10-3, 3-0 ACC) will be at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, when the Irish will look for their first win over a ranked opponent since beating then-No. 47 Michigan 5-2 on February 14. The Irish will take on the Yellow Jackets (9-4, 2-1 ACC) at noon EDT on Sunday and host the Mastodons (7-6) at 6 p.m. EDT.
CAVALIER OUTLOOK: With a 10-3 record, including a 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference mark, Virginia has lost only to No. 3 Baylor (twice) and No. 1 Oklahoma. The Cavliers boast five singles players in the ITA top 125, including No. 3 Ryan Shane, No. 6 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski and No. 27 Mitchell Frank. No. 19 Luca Corinteli and Shane and No. 52 Mac Styslinger and Kwiatkowski highlight the Cavs’ doubles lineup.
CORRALLING THE CAVS: Notre Dame is 1-11 all-time against Virginia. Amazingly, the Irish saw the Cavaliers in four dual meetings last season: at the ITA National Indoor Championships, during the regular Atlantic Coast Conference season, in the ACC Championships second round and in the Round of 16 at the NCAA Championships. The Irish fell in all four matches. Notre Dame last defeated Virginia on March 16, 2000, at the Blue-Gray National Classic in Montgomery, Alabama. The No. 36 Irish defeated the No. 26 Cavaliers 4-2.
SIZING UP GT: Notre Dame had never met Georgia Tech until last season’s introduction into the ACC. The Irish defeated the Yellow Jackets 6-1 in their only meeting of the season in Atlanta. Georgia Tech is 9-4 on the year and sports a 2-1 conference record, but dropped out of the ITA top 75 after a loss to No. 24 Florida State on March 15. The Yellow Jackets’ biggest win of the season came in a 5-2 victory over No. 64 Clemson on March 6. In singles, Georgia Tech boasts No. 66 Christopher Eubanks and No. 84 Nathan Rakitt, while Carlos Benito and Eduardo Segura rank 59th in the doubles poll.
ADDING IPFW:The Mastodons were a last-minute addition to the schedule for the Irish. It will be the first meeting ever between Notre Dame and IPFW (7-6).
IRISH AT HOME: Notre Dame is 6-3 at home this season, with all three losses coming in 4-3 decisions to ranked opponents, then-No. 16 Columbia (current No. 29), then-No. 3 Illinois (current No. 2) and No. 24 Texas Tech. The Irish welcome another highly ranked opponent in No. 9 Virginia on Friday.
RANKINGS UPDATE: In the latest ITA team poll (March 17) the Irish stayed put at No. 36 after cruising to wins over Boston College and Detroit. The Irish fell to No. 24 Texas Tech 4-3 on Tuesday.
A SINGULAR PERFORMER: In the latest ITA singles poll (March 10), junior Quentin Monaghan jumped two spots to No. 22. Monaghan won seven straight matches at No. 1 singles from Jan. 31 to March 8, when he fell to current No. 1 Seb Steifelmeyer of Louisville, and has won 10 of his last 11. Monaghan is now 11-2 in dual matches this season, and 20-5 overall. Monaghan needs just two wins to match both his overall and dual win total from a year ago, when he went 22-12 overall and 13-8 in dual matches.
DOUBLES DOMINANCE: Doubles partners Billy Pecor and Alex Lawson make up the only ACC duo to be ranked in the ITA top 10 at No. 8. With Eddy Covalschi and Josh Hagar at No. 14, the Irish are the only team in the country with two doubles pairs in the ITA top 20. Covalschi and Hagar have won four of their last five matches after starting the season 3-3, with a brief stint at No. 1 doubles sparking the run.
SCORING FORMAT CHANGE: The Atlantic Coast Conference has moved to re-implement the regular scoring format utilized in 2014. Earlier this season, matches were played with no-ad scoring, based on the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s recommendations for increasing pace of play. All conference matches will once again include an eight-game pro-set for the doubles point with a tiebreak at 7-7, and advantage scoring will be used. For men’s play, all doubles and singles matches will be played out unless agreed upon by both head coaches prior to the start of the match.
Joanne Norell, Media Relations Assistan