Feb. 21, 2016
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team survived an early surge by Western Michigan on Sunday, holding off the Broncos for a 4-0 victory in the nightcap of a doubleheader at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
The match was hotly contested from the beginning as Western Michigan played back-and-forth with the top of the Irish lineup during doubles, then took one-set leads on four singles courts, but the Irish got timely contributions to clinch the sweep when they needed it.
Notre Dame snared the doubles point as they picked up wins at the Nos. 2 and 3 slots. Freshman Grayson Broadus and senior Nicolas Montoya put the Irish ahead with a 6-2 win over Jefta Kecic and Jimmy Beckwith on Court 3, but the doubles point remained in doubt until junior Josh Hagar and senior Eric Schnurrenberger got a break in the final game to defeat Matt Hamilton and Maik Steiner 6-4 on Court 2.
Points in singles were just as hard-won, as the Broncos (8-4) stormed to leads on four courts. The Irish (6-5) took the first two decisions, however, with No. 51 senior Quentin Monaghan defeating Jefta Kecic 6-2, 6-4 at the No. 1 slot, and junior Eddy Covalschi upending Matt Hamilton 6-4, 6-2 on Court 2.
Western Michigan threatened with their early leads on the remaining courts, but the Irish forced extra sets in each match while needing just one win to clinch the team victory. They got it on Court 4 as Broadus stormed back to dispatch Matej Svjetlicic 1-6, 6-1, 6-4.
With the clincher from Broadus, the remaining matches were abandoned, with Hagar and freshman Daniel Rayl holding serve on Courts 3 and 5, respectively, in the third set.
The Irish will face their final non-conference opponent at noon ET Sunday when they welcome No. 6 Ohio State to the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
No. 31 Notre Dame 4, Western Michigan 0
1. No. 51 Quentin Monaghan (ND) def. Jefta Kecic (WMU) 6-2, 6-4
2. Eddy Covalschi (ND) def. Matt Hamilton (WMU) 6-4, 6-2
3. Josh Hagar (ND) vs. Maik Steiner (WMU) 4-6, 6-3, 2-1, unfinished
4. Grayson Broadus (ND) def. Matej Svjetlicic (WMU) 1-6, 6-1, 6-4
5. Daniel Rayl (ND) vs. Ruben Greiner (WMU) 3-6, 6-4, 2-3, unfinished
6. Kenneth Sabacinski (ND) vs. Daniel Loebel (WMU) 4-6, 6-3, 0-4, unfinished
1. Eddy Covalschi / Alex Lawson (ND) vs. Ruben Greiner / Daniel Loebel (WMU) 4-3, unfinished
2. Josh Hagar / Eric Schnurrenberger (ND) def. Matt Hamilton / Maik Steiner (WMU), 6-4
3. Grayson Broadus / Nicolas Montoya (ND) def. Jefta Kecic / Jimmy Beckwith (WMU) 6-2
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.