March 31, 2016
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team will see action in three matches this weekend as the Irish welcome No. 22 Florida State on Friday and Virginia Tech and Chicago State for a split doubleheader on Sunday.
WHAT: Matches 21, 22 & 23
WHO: Notre Dame (10-10, 4-4 ACC) vs. No. 22 Florida State (13-6, 5-3 ACC) | Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech (12-5, 4-3 ACC) | Notre Dame vs. Chicago State (2-13, 0-2 Western Athletic Conference)
WHEN: 3:30 p.m. ET, April 1 | 12 p.m. ET, April 3 | 7 p.m. ET April 3
WHERE: Courtney Tennis Center or Eck Tennis Pavilion | Notre Dame, Ind.
FOLLOW: | | | WatchND Live Stream
Below, find all you need to know ahead of this weekend’s action:
Scouting Florida State
The Seminoles boast two ranked singles players and three ranked doubles pairs. They are led by No. 12 Benjamin Lock, who is 10-6 at the No. 1 singles spot, while No. 60 Marco Nunez is also 10-6 on the spring. In addition, Aziz Dougaz has posted an 11-6 record, while Terrance Whitehurst is 10-6 on the year. In doubles, Lock and Nunez come in at No. 11, sporting an 11-3 record, while No. 59 Dougaz and Michael Rinaldi are 11-5 on the season. Florida State also boasts the No. 56 duo of Jose Gracia and Nunez, though the pair have not played since the fall. The Irish are 8-2 in the all-time series with the Seminoles, including 2-0 under Callaghan Family Head Men’s Tennis Coach Ryan Sachire.
Scouting Virginia Tech
Three ranked singles players and a ranked doubles tandem highlight the Hokies’ roster No. 21 Joao Monteiro is 10-4 on the year, while No. 72 Edoardo Tessaro is 8-4 and No. 74 Andreas Bjerrehus is 11-2. Two more Hokies players boast at least 10 wins, with Amerigo Contini at 10-4 and Jai Corbett at 10-3. In doubles, Bjerrehus and Monteiro rank at No. 7 with a 10-2 mark on the spring. Corbett and Mitch Harper are 10-3 on the spring, but remain unranked. The Irish are 6-3 all-time against the Hokies.
Scouting Chicago State
The Cougars are 2-13 on the season. Gonzalo Martinez owns the best singles record on the roster at 6-8, while Christian Gonzalez is 5-10. Gonzalez and Gabriel Niculescu are 5-6 in doubles atop the doubles lineup. Sunday will be the first meeting in the series between Notre Dame and Chicago State.
The Irish men’s and women’s tennis teams are scheduled to take on Florida State in simultaneous matches at 3:30 p.m. ET Friday at the Courtney Tennis Center. If current forecasts hold, those matches will move inside to the Eck Tennis Pavilion, with the women’s match taking priority. In that case, the Irish women will take on the Seminoles at the originally scheduled time, while the men’s match will take place at the conclusion of the women’s (approx. 6:30 p.m.).
With 88 career doubles wins, senior Alex Lawson has moved into a tie for third place on the all-time Irish doubles win list. His 88-51 (.633) record 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).
Individual Rankings Summary
Seniors Quentin Monaghan and Alex Lawson ranked at No. 14 in the most recent national doubles rankings (March 22) – though the pair has not played together since January 29 – while Monaghan rose nine spots to No. 33 in the latest singles poll.
Last Time Out
The Irish fell in two road matches last weekend, 6-1 at Virginia and 5-2 at Georgia Tech.
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.
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.