Feb. 7, 2016
Photo Gallery (Indiana)
Photo Gallery (Ball State)
By Matthew D’Alonzo `19
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After losing four straight matches during a challenging road stint, the No. 36 Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s tennis team was looking for a pair of wins in Sunday’s doubleheader to bring some momentum. They earned that with a 5-2 decision against No. 53 Indiana and a 7-0 victory over Ball State at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
The day started with the Fighting Irish taking on the Indiana. Adrenaline was running high during the doubles section of the match, and the competition did not disappoint. Notre Dame’s No. 1 doubles team of junior Eddy Covalschi and senior Alex Lawson easily defeated Indiana’s Daniel Bednarczyk and Sam Monette in a 6-1 decision. Matches on Courts 2 and 3, however, stayed close throughout competition. Freshman Grayson Broadus and senior Quentin Monaghan was able to pull away in the end of the match on Court 2, claiming a decision of 6-2 over Chris Essick and Stefan Lugonjic and earning Notre Dame the doubles point.
Singles competition provided just as much action. No. 37 Monaghan started strong for the Irish in Court 1, breezing to a 6-1, 6-1 decision over No. 27 Sam Monette to give the Irish a 2-0 lead. It was Monaghan’s second win over Monette this season, as the two met during the consolation quarterfinal of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Singles Championship.
After a thrilling first set between Notre Dame’s Lawson and Indiana’s Matthew McCoy on Court 3, Lawson cleaned up the second set to get a decision of 7-5, 6-1 and Notre Dame’s second singles point.
On Court 4, junior Josh Hagar pulled out a win over Raheel Manji, with a comfortable 6-1, 6-3 decision bringing Notre Dame’s to clinch the match for the Irish at 4-0.
With the match in hand for the Irish, Indiana got its first win as Irish senior Eric Schnurrenberger fell to Antonio Cembellin. In two close set, Cembellin came out on top, with a decision of 7-6(4), 6-3.
The battle ended with two close matches on Courts 2 and 6. On Court 2, Covalschi played back and forth against Bednarczyk, but came out on top with a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 decision to secure Notre Dame’s fourth singles point. On Court 6, Broadus played an equally close match against Alfonso Salgado, but Salgado won of 7-6, 1-6, 11-9 in the match tiebreak.
In the afternoon, Notre Dame took on Ball State, and the doubles matches contained some fierce competition. The three doubles matches all stayed close throughout, but Court 1 doubles team of Covalschi and Lawson and the Court 3 doubles team of Brendon Kempin and Drew Dawson each took down their opponents to win the point with matching 6-4 decisions.
The singles competition against Ball State went much more smoothly for Notre Dame, with the decisions coming quickly. The first came from Court 2, with Lawson taking down Andrew Stutz 6-2, 6-0. This was followed by senior Kenneth Sabacinski’s win on Court 5, blanking Cardinal Conner Andersen 6-0, 6-0.
Over on Court 3, freshman Grayson Broadus showed up strong against Ball State’s Nemanja Guzina, only dropping one set to earn the decision 6-0, 6-1. Almost immediately after, on Court 6, senior Nicolas Montoya beat Collin Rigney 6-1, 6-2 to earn Notre Dame’s fifth point. After a competitive match, Monaghan took down Lucas Andersen on Court 1 in a 6-2, 6-4 decision. And for the final match, freshman Daniel Rayl took out Marko Guzina on Court 4 with a 7-5, 6-1 decision.
On the doubleheader and the team’s position in general, head coach Ryan Sachire said, “We’ve had a tough string of matches, but we’ve been playing really high quality teams. But, I feel like we’re getting better as a team, we’re getting healthier. Every week is a better week, and that translates into matches. It feels good to get a couple wins.”
On Monaghan and his win against No. 27 Sam Monette of Indiana, “It’s huge. Quentin was a little banged up early in the year. So, for him to compete the way he did, he was an animal today. This has to prove to him that he’s playing the level he needs to play at to be successful at No. 1.”
“We’re seeing opportunities [to play well] every weekend coming up,” Sachire said of Notre Dame’s remaining non-conference games. “We’re playing really great teams [Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio State]. If we continue to do the right things, we put ourselves in a position to be successful.”
The Fighting Irish will return to the court at 4 p.m. ET next Saturday, February 13, to face No. 54 Michigan at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
No. 36 Notre Dame 5, No. 53 Indiana 2
1. No. 37 Quentin Monaghan (ND) def. No. 27 Sam Monette (IU) 6-1, 6-1
2. Eddy Covalschi (ND) def. Daniel Bednarczyk (IU) 3-6, 6-1, 6-4
3. Alex Lawson (ND) def. Matthew McCoy (IU) 7-5, 6-1
4. Josh Hagar (ND) def. Raheel Manji (IU) 6-1, 6-3
5. Antonio Cembellin (IU) def. Eric Schnurrenberger (ND) 7-6, 6-3
6. Alfonso Salgado (IU) def. Grayson Broadus (ND) 7-6, 1-6, 11-9
1. Eddy Covalschi / Alex Lawson (ND) def. Daniel Bednarczyk / Sam Monette (IU), 6-1
2. Grayson Broadus / Quentin Monaghan (ND) def. Chris Essick /Stefan Lugonjic (IU), 6-2
3. Josh Hagar / Brendon Kempin (ND) vs. Raheel Manji / Afonso Salgado, 3-4, unfinished
No. 36 Notre Dame 7, Ball State 0
1. Quentin Monaghan (ND) def. Lucas Andersen (BSU) 6-2, 6-4
2. Alex Lawson (ND) def. Andrew Stutz (BSU) 6-2, 6-0
3. Grayson Broadus (ND) def. Nemanja Guzina (BSU) 6-0, 6-1
4. Daniel Rayl (ND) def. Marko Guzina (BSU) 7-5, 6-1
5. Kenneth Sabacinski (ND) def. Conner Andersen (BSU) 6-0, 6-0
6. Nicolas Montoya (ND) def. Collin Rigney (BSU) 6-1, 6-2
1. Eddy Covalschi / Alex Lawson (ND) def. Lucas Andersen / Andrew Stutz (BSU) 6-4
2. Nathan Griffin / Nicolas Montoya (ND) vs. Conner Andersen / Collin Rigney (BSU) 4-4, unfinished
3. Brendon Kempin / Drew Dawson (ND) def. Matt Helm / Patrick Downs (BSU) 6-4
Matthew D’Alonzo is a freshman student assistant for Fighting Irish Media, working with Athletics Communications Directors for Cross Country, Track and Field, Basketball, and Tennis. A Computer Engineering/PLS Major, Matthew is from Mobile, Alabama.