April 3, 2015
DURHAM, N.C. — The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team saw its four-match winning streak come to an end Friday as the No. 35 Irish fell to fifth-ranked Duke 5-2 at the Ambler Tennis Stadium in Durham, North Carolina.
Duke (18-3, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) took the doubles point, snaring wins on Courts 2 and 3. Raphael Hemmeler and Josh Levine defeated No. 22 Josh Hagar and Eddy Covalschi 8-2 in the second slot to give the Blue Devils and early edge, but the Irish punched back as ninth-ranked duo Alex Lawson and Billy Pecor upended Nicolas Alvarez and Jason Tahir 8-4 at No. 1. Duke held on in the third spot, however, as Bruno Semenzato and TJ Pura squeaked out an 8-6 victory over Quentin Monaghan and Kenneth Sabacinski.
Notre Dame (12-8, 4-4 ACC) got a point back quickly as Sabacinski notched a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Levine on Court 5. But the Blue Devils regained the lead with wins on Courts 2 and 6. No. 34 Tahir defeated Hagar 6-3, 6-2 at the No. 2 slot, while Pura defeated Lawson 7-6(X), 6-4 at the sixth spot.
On Court 3, Covalschi forced a third set with No. 101 Hemmeler, but was unable to complete the win and fell 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 and the Blue Devils clinched the win.
With the remaining matches on Courts 1 and 4 knotted at a set apiece, third-set tiebreakers were used to complete the decisions. At the top of the lineup, No. 17 Monaghan continued his impressive play and extended his season-high win streak to nine matches with a 7-5, 5-7, 1-0(10-6) victory over No. 11 Alvarez. The win moved Monaghan to 17-2 in dual play this season and 26-5 overall, including 13-3 against the ITA top 25.
On Court 4, Pecor forced the decisive tiebreaker after falling in the first set, but ultimately fell to Semenzato in a well-fought 7-5, 6-7(4), 1-0(12-10) loss.
The Irish return to action at noon EDT Sunday against No. 19 North Carolina at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. For the latest Irish tennis updates, follow @NDMensTennis on Twitter and like Notre Dame Men’s Tennis on Facebook
No. 5 Duke 5, No. 35 Notre Dame 2
1. No. 17 Quentin Monaghan (ND) def. No. 11 Nicolas Alvarez (DU), 7-5, 5-7, 1-0(10-6)
2. No. 34 Jason Tahir (DU) def. Josh Hagar (ND), 6-3, 6-2
3. No. 101 Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. Eddy Covalschi (ND), 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
4. Bruno Semenzato (DU) def. Billy Pecor (ND), 7-5, 6-7(4), 1-0(12-10)
5. Kenneth Sabacinski (ND) def. Josh Levine (DU), 6-4, 6-3
6. TJ Pura (DU) def. Alex Lawson (ND), 7-6(5), 6-4
1. No. 9 Alex Lawson / Billy Pecor (ND) def. Nicolas Alvarez / Jason Tahir (DU), 8-4
2. Raphael Hemmeler / Josh Levine (DU) def. No. 22 Josh Hagar / Eddy Covalschi (ND), 8-2
3. Bruno Semenzato / TJ Pura (DU) def. Quentin Monaghan / Kenneth Sabacinski (ND), 8-6
Joanne Norell, Media Relations Assistant