Quentin Monaghan, Alex Lawson and the Irish face a tough challenge against the No. 18 Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday.

No. 14 Irish Head South To Face No. 18 Kentucky

Jan. 16, 2015

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team will face a tough challenge from the season’s get-go when the 14th-ranked Irish visit No. 18 Kentucky on Saturday in Lexington.

The last four meetings between the Irish and Wildcats have been decided by one point, making for a bit of a rivalry between the programs. Notre Dame clinched both of last season’s matches, first in the final of the ITA Kickoff Weekend at Kentucky and then again at home a week later. Kentucky won the other two matches in 2013 and 2012.

“I don’t anticipate this match being any different than the last several have been in this series,” head coach Ryan Sachire said. “It’s two good teams who are going to have some new faces in the lineup; they lost two of their starters, we lost two of our starters (in Greg Andrews and Ryan Bandy). But they’ve got a great program and so do we and we’re looking forward to a great match.”

The Wildcats (2-0) entered the season having compiled a 23-10 record in 2013-14. They qualified for the NCAA Sweet 16 before losing to Oklahoma. Last weekend, they defeated Dayton (7-0) and Eastern Kentucky (8-0) to open the season.

This is the first time in five seasons the Irish have entered the matchup as the higher-ranked squad. The match will also pit ranked individuals, with Kentucky’s Beck Pennington sporting a No. 92 ranking by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The Irish boast No. 37 Quentin Monaghan and No. 82 Josh Hagar in the singles ranks, as well as No. 8 Billy Pecor and Alex Lawson, and No. 9 Eddy Covalschi and Hagar in the doubles poll.

Notre Dame and Kentucky will face off at 1 p.m. ET Saturday at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Live results will be available. For the most up-to-date information on Irish men’s tennis, be sure to visit UND.com, like the Irish on Facebook and follow along on Twitter (@NDMensTennis).

By Joanne Norell, Media Relations Assistant