March 5, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team will kick off its Atlantic Coast Conference slate this weekend with visits to Virginia Tech and Louisville.
The 23rd-ranked Irish will take on the No. 44 Hokies at 2 p.m. ET on Friday at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center in Blacksburg, Virginia. They will swing through Louisville on Sunday for a noon ET contest with the No. 33 Cardinals at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center.
The Irish will look to halt a two-match skid after setbacks to No. 9 Ohio State and No. 3 Illinois. Virginia Tech (8-1) has won five straight, including a 4-1 win over then-No. 22 Penn State. No. 49 Amerigo Contini and No. 74 Andreas Bjerrehus pace the Hokies in singles.
The Cardinals are 12-2 on the season with losses only to No. 2 Duke and No. 24 Drake while boasting wins over No. 27 Indiana and No. 56 Oregon. Louisville is led by the country’s No. 5 singles player, Sebastian Stiefelmeyer, as well as No. 104 Albert Wagner.
The meeting between Notre Dame and Louisville will be the first between the former BIG EAST rivals since the Irish defeated the Cardinals 4-0 in the 2013 BIG EAST Championships final. The win gave the Irish their ninth, and final, BIG EAST title and a bid to the NCAA Championships that season.
SCORING FORMAT CHANGE: The Atlantic Coast Conference has moved to re-implement the regular scoring format utilized in 2014. Earlier this season, matches were played with no-ad scoring, based on the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s recommendations for increasing pace of play. All conference matches will once again include an eight-game pro-set for the doubles point with a tiebreak at 7-7, and advantage scoring will be used. For men’s play, all doubles and singles matches will be played out unless agreed upon by both head coaches prior to the start of the match.
A SINGULAR PERFORMER: In the latest ITA singles poll, junior Quentin Monaghan jumped five spots to No. 24. Monaghan has won six straight matches since falling to Oklahoma State’s Jakob Sude in the second match of the season. His last five wins at No. 1 singles have been in straight sets.
DOUBLES DOMINANCE: Doubles partners Billy Pecor and Alex Lawson are the only ACC doubles duo to be ranked in the ITA top 10 at No. 7. With No. 19 Eddy Covalschi and Josh Hagar, the Irish join TCU as the only programs in the country with two doubles pairs in the ITA top 20. Hagar and Covalschi, winners of three straight, got their first victory over a ranked opponent last Saturday, with a 7-6(4) win over No. 14 Ross Guignon and Tim Kopinski (Illinois).
Joanne Norell, Media Relations Assistant