Jan. 19, 2017
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team will kick off its season this weekend, splitting time at home and on the road. The Irish will welcome Ball State to the Eck Tennis Pavilion on Friday before taking on their first ranked opponent of the season when they travel to No. 15 Kentucky on Sunday.
WHO: Notre Dame vs. Ball State
WHERE: Eck Tennis Pavilion | Notre Dame, Ind.
WHEN: 3:30 p.m. ET Friday |
WHO: Notre Dame @ No. 15 Kentucky
WHERE: Boone Tennis Center | Lexington, Kentucky
WHEN: Noon ET Sunday
RESULTS: Live Stats
On The Cardinals
Both Notre Dame and Ball State will be playing in their first dual match of the season when they meet on Friday. The Cardinals went 13-12 last season and are led by senior Lucas Andersen, who was named to the Mid-American Conference First Team last season and won the top singles flight at the MAC Indoor Championships to close out the fall season. Notre Dame is 41-5 in the all-time series against Ball State, including 3-0 under Sachire.
On The Wildcats
Kentucky enters Sunday’s match ranked 15th in the country and began the season 2-0 with wins over Eastern Kentucky and Dayton. The Wildcats will play No. 25 Duke at home on Friday before hosting the Irish on Sunday. They are led by three ranked singles players – No. 17 Ryotaro Matsamura, No. 23 William Bushamuka and No. 110 Trey Yates – and a ranked doubles grouping in No. 23 Beck Pennington and Enzo Wallart.
Notre Dame and Kentucky hold a deadlock in the all-time series at 16-16-1, though Sachire is 3-1 against the Wildcats as Irish head coach. The Irish defeated the Wildcats twice in 2014 and again in their 2015 meeting, though Kentucky claimed last season’s meeting.
The Irish boast three players in the Oracle/ITA Division I Men’s Tennis Rankings. Seniors Josh Hagar and Eddy Covalschi rank 10th in the national doubles rankings, having gone 10-3 during the fall and making an appearance at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. Hagar ranks 27th in the singles poll after the best fall season of his career where he went 9-4 and advanced to the main draw of the ITA All-American Championships. Sophomore Alex Lebedev is also ranked in singles, coming in at No. 119.
Keeping Up With The Irish
Live scoring will be available for all home tennis matches at UND.com, with links for each match available on the men’s tennis schedule page. Live match updates will also be shared on the team’s Twitter account, @NDMensTennis.
Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant director 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, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, and earned her master’s degree in sports industry management from Georgetown University in 2013.