March 10, 2016

By Joanne Norell

NOTRE DAME, Ind. After opening Atlantic Coast Conference play with two wins before Spring Break, the No. 38 University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team hits the road to continue league play at Clemson and Wake Forest this weekend.

WHAT: Matches 15 & 16
WHO: No. 38 Notre Dame (8-6, 2-0 ACC) @ Clemson (9-7, 0-1 ACC) | No. 38 Notre Dame vs. No. 9 Wake Forest (14-4, 1-1 ACC)
WHEN: 11 a.m. ET, March 11 | Noon ET, March 13
WHERE: Hoke Sloan Tennis Center (Clemson, S.C.) | Wake Forest Tennis Complex (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
FOLLOW: Live Stats @ Clemson |
TWITTER: @NDMensTennis

Below, find all you need to know ahead of this weekend’s action:

Scouting Clemson
The Tigers will close out a 12-match homestead when they welcome the Irish to the Hoke Sloan Tennis Center on Friday. After opening the season 1-4, Clemson has won eight of their last 11 matches. Led by Alex Favrot, who is 10-4 in dual play, including 8-3 at No. 1, the Tigers have two other players with at least nine wins in dual play – Luke Johnson (9-4) and Daffra Sanon (9-4). Favrot and Johnson also come in as the nation’s No. 77 doubles team with a record of 7-1 at the No. 1 slot. The Irish have won all three series meetings with the Tigers, including a 4-3 win last season.

Scouting Wake Forest
The Demon Deacons enter the weekend with a top 10 ranking at 14-4, including a 10-4 record over ranked opponents. Wake Forest went 2-1 last weekend playing without a pair of Davis Cup competitors, with its loss coming against No. 40 NC State at home. The Deacs are led by No. 19 Skander Mansouri, who is 9-2 in singles this season, and No. 45 Petros Chrysochos, who is also 9-2. In total, Wake Forest has five players with nine or more singles wins, including Romain Bogaerts (12-3), Christian Seraphim (12-2) and Dennis Uspensky (11-4). Additionally, they boast two ranked doubles squads in No. 19 Seraphim and Mansouri (8-5) and No. 41 Bogaerts and Maksim Kan (no dual record).

Doubles Dominance
With 87 career doubles wins, senior Alex Lawson has moved into fourth place on the all-time Irish doubles win list. His 87-47 (.649) puts him just behind Jakub Pietrowski (95-45), Greg Andrews (93-50) and Billy Pecor (88-45) on the career register. Lawson has been ranked within the top 10 in doubles in parts of each of the last three seasons, and has qualified for the past two NCAA Doubles Championships with former partners Andrews (’14) and Pecor (’15).

Rankings Summary
The Irish rose 3 spots in last week’s Oracle/ITA Men’s Team Rankings (March 1), coming in at No. 38. Seniors Quentin Monaghan and Alex Lawson ranked at No. 14 in the most recent national doubles rankings (Feb. 23) – though the pair has not played together since January 29 – while Monaghan and current partner, freshman Grayson Broadus, entered the doubles rankings at No. 71 after beating Ohio State’s No. 13 Ralf Steinbach and Martin Joyce on February 26. Monaghan is also ranked No. 42 in the latest singles poll.

Last Time Out
Notre Dame opened ACC play with a pair of wins over Boston College and Louisville last week. The Irish got a 7-0 victory over the Eagles on Thursday in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, while they cruised to a 5-2 win over Louisville on Sunday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.

ITA Rules Changes
This season, the NCAA with the support of the ITA, will utilize a no-ad scoring format for the NCAA Division I men’s and women’s tennis championships. If a game reaches deuce, the next point will win the game. Additionally, eight-game pro-sets will no longer be utilized in doubles matches, with teams playing one set to six, with a tiebreak at six-all. At the individual doubles championships, matches will consist of the best-of-three sets, with a match tiebreak in lieu of a third set. The rules changes are designed to improve the pace of play in championship matches.

For the latest on all things Irish men’s tennis, follow @NDMensTennis on Twitter and like Notre Dame Men’s Tennis on Facebook.


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.