April 16, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team will close out its regular season this weekend with matches on Friday and Saturday at the Courtney Tennis Center.
The No. 37 Fighting Irish (13-9, 5-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) will take on No. 12 Wake Forest (18-6, 8-3 ACC) at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Friday, while they end the season against No. 36 North Carolina State at 2 p.m. EDT on Saturday. The match against N.C. State will be preceded by a ceremony honoring Irish seniors Dougie Barnard, Michael Fredericka, Wyatt McCoy and Billy Pecor.
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DUELING THE DEMON DEACONS: Notre Dame and Wake Forest have met just four times in the all-time series, with the Fighting Irish boasting a 4-0 record against the Demon Deacons. The teams first met in 1956, with the Irish snagging a 9-0 win, and they didn’t meet again until 1990, when the Irish picked up another 9-0 shutout. The Irish traveled to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 2012, where they won 6-1, but they got their toughest match from the Deacs in last year’s introduction into the ACC, winning 4-3, again on the road.
This season, Wake Forest sports a No. 12 ranking to go with an 18-6 overall record and an 8-3 mark in conference. The Irish will benefit from meeting the Demon Deacons at home, as Wake Forest is just 3-4 in road matches this season. Anchoring Wake Forest will be 10th-ranked doubles duo Christian Seraphim and Skander Mansouri, while the singles lineup will feature No. 10 Romain Bogaerts, No. 17 Noah Rubin and No. 83 Jonathan Ho.
WRANGLING THE WOLFPACK: The Irish will close out the regular season on Saturday against N.C. State, against which the Irish own a 2-1 record. The Irish won the first two meetings in 1956 and 2008, but fell to the Wolfpack 4-3 last season in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Wolfpack check in at No. 36 in the latest ITA team poll and are 15-9 overall on the season, though just 4-6 in ACC play. Last weekend, N.C. State fell to Florida State, while notching wins over Miami and Charlotte. The Wolfpack will play against Bryant and Boston College on Thursday before traveling to South Bend for Saturday’s match. They are led in the rankings by No. 54 Robbie Mudge, No. 92 Austin Powell and No. 104 Simon Norenius. In doubles, they are represented by No. 24 Mudge and Ian Dempster.
SENIOR SEND-OFF: The Irish will honor its senior class on Saturday in its final appearance at home this season. Dougie Barnard, Michael Fredericka, Wyatt McCoy and Billy Pecor will be recognized for their time in the Irish tennis program during a pre-match ceremony.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Irish will close out the regular season at home with its two matches this weekend. Notre Dame started its final homestand on a strong note last Friday with a 4–3 win over Clemson. The Irish are 9-4 at home this season while they’re just 4-5 on the road.
RANKINGS UPDATE: In the latest ITA team poll (April 14) the Irish moved up one spot to No. 37.
A SINGULAR PERFORMER: In the latest ITA singles poll (April 14), junior Quentin Monaghan moved up another spot to No. 9, cracking into single digits for the first time this season. Two weeks ago at Duke and North Carolina, Monaghan notched a pair of top 15 wins, both in three sets over then-No. 11 Nicolas Alvarez (Duke) and then-No. 12 Brayden Schnur (North Carolina). He has won 11 straight matches, is 19-2 in dual matches this season and 28-5 overall. After his win over Clemson’s Hunter Harrington last Friday, Monaghan set a career high in dual-match singles wins and added to his career high in single-season singles victories.
DOUBLES DOMINANCE: Notre Dame is one of just two programs with two doubles teams ranked in the ITA top 30, joining TCU (Nos. 21 and 27). The Irish entries, No. 12 Alex Lawson and Billy Pecor and No. 30 Eddy Covalschi and Josh Hagar are a combined 17-12 on the season, with Lawson and Pecor boasting an 9-3 record atop the Irish lineup in dual play.
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.