Feb. 21, 2016
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — A slow start doomed the University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team Sunday morning, as the No. 31 Irish fell to No. 47 Kentucky 4-0 in the first match of a doubleheader at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
The Wildcats (6-3) claimed the doubles point and three quick singles decisions to upset the Irish (5-5) in a speedy match.
Doubles was tightly contested with each match needing completion to determine the winner. Despite holding through the first six games, senior Quentin Monaghan and freshman Grayson Broadus fell to Ryotaro Matsumura 6-4 at the No. 2 slot, but it was senior Alex Lawson and junior Eddy Covalschi who got the break on Court 1 to defeat William Bushamuka and Nils Ellefsen 6-4. On Court 3, senior Eric Schnurrenberger and junior Josh Hagar fought back from a 5-2 deficit to make it 5-4, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the hole as they fell to Gus Benson and Kevin Lai 6-4 as Kentucky claimed the point.
The Wildcats took the next three points with straight-set decisions. Trey Yates defeated Schnurrenberger at No. 5, 6-4, 6-2, followed by Matsumura’s 7-5, 6-2 victory over Lawson on Court 2. Shortly thereafter, Ellefsen clinched the match for the Wildcats with a 6-4, 6-4 decision over Covalschi at No. 3.
Monaghan, Hagar and Broadus were each either leading or tied in the second sets of their respective matches, but those were abandoned as the Wildcats claimed the match.
The Irish will return to the court at 6 p.m. this evening when they welcome Western Michigan in the nightcap of the doubleheader.
No. 47 Kentucky 4, No. 31 Notre Dame 0
1. No. 51 Quentin Monaghan (ND) vs. No. 25 William Bushamuka (UK) 4-6, 4-3, unfinished
2. Ryotaro Matsumura (UK) def. Alex Lawson (ND) 7-5, 6-2
3. Nils Ellefsen (UK) def. Eddy Covalschi (ND) 6-4, 6-4
4. Josh Hagar (ND) vs. Enzo Wallart (UK) 1-6, 5-5, unfinished
5. Trey Yates (UK) def. Eric Schnurrenberger (ND) 6-4, 6-2
6. Grayson Broadus (ND) vs. Charles Minc (UK) 6-7(5), 4-1, unfinished
1. Eddy Covalschi / Alex Lawson (ND) def. William Bushamuka / Nils Ellefsen (UK) 6-4
2. Ryotaro Matsumura / Enzo Wallart (UK) def. Grayson Broadus / Quentin Monaghan (ND) 6-4
3. Gus Benson / Kevin Lai (UK) def. Josh Hagar / Eric Schnurrenberger (ND) 6-4
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.