Oct. 8, 2015
TULSA, Okla. – After a first-set setback against a familiar foe put University of Notre Dame men’s tennis senior Quentin Monaghan in a hole, the Irish standout rallied to pull out a three-set victory in the first round of the Saint Francis Health System ITA Men’s All-American Championships on Thursday at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center at the University of Oklahoma.
The tournament’s top seed, the fifth-ranked Monaghan faced Alabama’s Korey Lovett less than two weeks ago, dropping another three-set match at the Crimson Tide Four In The Fall tournament. Thursday, Monaghan erased that memory, rebounding to defeat the 96th-ranked Lovett 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.
Monaghan showed mental toughness after watching his 5-2 lead in the first set disappear. He regrouped after that first-set loss, and handily won the next two sets, including winning the final three games of the decisive set.
“He definitely raised his level and at the same time, I got a little defensive,” Monaghan said. “I didn’t go after him as much and let him back into the set. After that, I had compete harder and raise my level after he raised his level.
“Every single player here is really good. I’m sure most of the matches (Thursday) were close and my match was close. Anyone can beat anyone, so it’s just about who is the tougher guy that day. Being the one seed doesn’t matter, I just have to prove how good I am every match.”
Monaghan is the first Irish player to take a top seed in a national collegiate event since head coach Ryan Sachire did so at both the ITA Clay Court Championships and All-American Championships as a senior in 1999-2000 season.
Monaghan will advance to play Auburn’s Marko Krickovic on Friday. Match times will be determined later this evening.
Saint Francis Health System ITA Men’s All-American Championships
October 3-12, 2015
Michael D. Case Tennis Center
Singles Main Draw
No. 5 Quentin Monaghan (ND) def. No. T-96 Korey Lovett (ALA), 5-7, 6-4, 6-3
Round of 256
Eddy Covalschi (ND) def. Gianni Mancini (TCU), 6-1, 6-0
Dante Saleh (Auburn) def. Alex Lebedev (ND), 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-6(4)
Jordi Arconada (TAMU) def. Alex Lawson (ND), 6-2, 6-3
Round of 128
Sam Bloom (WF) def. Eddy Covalschi (ND), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
– Joanne Norell, Athletics Communications Assistant