Feb. 5, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. --- The University of Notre Dame men's tennis team suffered a hard loss on the road to the University of Illinois, their first loss of the season. Though the Irish went up early by claiming the doubles point, the squad ultimately lost to the Fighting Illini, 5-2.
Senior Ryan Bandy and sophomore Eric Schnurrenberger made quick work of their match at No. 3, beating Alex Jesse and Jared Hiltzik, 6-1, and giving the Irish an early leg up. Sophomore Alex Lawson and senior Greg Andrews fell in a tough match at No. 1 to Tim Kopinski and Ross Guignon, the fourth-ranked doubles team in the country, 6-2.
The doubles point came down once again to the match on court two, where senior Billy Pecor and freshman Josh Hagar battled to give Notre Dame the edge. The pair beat 27th-ranked Farris Gosea and Blake Bazarnik, 6-4.
In doubles, the Notre Dame team looked and sounded like a group backed by the confidence of a 6-0 record. But the Irish would go on to be rattled by a series of tough singles matches.
Though he started up in the first set, Andrews fell to Hiltzik (No. 4 in the country) at No. 1 singles, 6-5 (1), 6-2. Bandy was next off the court at No. 2, falling to Gosea, 6-3, 6-1.
At No. 6, Lawson lost his first set in a tiebreaker and then never got back in the groove against Guignon, losing, 6-5 (5), 6-0. The 46th-ranked Kopinski defeated Hagar at No. 4, 6-4, 6-3, clinching the match for the Illini.
Freshman Eddy Covalschi took his first set definitively, dropping only a single game, but fell in the second. He lost the match to Bazarnik, 1-6, 6-3, (10-8).
Schnurrenberger pulled out a win at No. 5 despite losing his first set to Brian Page. He brought in the second point for the Irish, winning, 5(4)-6, 6-4, (10-5).
"We felt like we had a lot of momentum coming off of doubles, but Illinois made some adjustments and competed and we didn't react as well as we could have," said head coach Ryan Sachire. "We will get back on the court and use this to improve as a team."
Notre Dame gets back in the action Tuesday, Feb. 11 in Evanston, Ill., against Northwestern at 6:00 p.m. (ET).
1. Jared Hiltzik (ILL) def. Greg Andrews (ND), 6-5 (1), 6-2
2. Farris Gosea (ILL) def. Ryan Bandy (ND), 6-3, 6-1
3. Tim Kopinski (ILL) def. Josh Hagar (ND), 6-4, 6-3
4. Blake Bazarnik (ILL) def. Eddy Covalschi (ND), 1-6, 6-3, (10-8)
5. Eric Schnurrenberger (ND) def. Brian Page (ILL), 5(4)-6, 6-4, (10-5)
6. Ross Guignon (ILL) def. Alex Lawson (ND), 6-5 (5), 6-0
1. Tim Kopinski/Ross Guignon (ILL) def. Greg Andrews/Alex Lawson (ND), 6-2
2. Billy Pecor/Josh Hagar (ND) def. Farris Gosea/Blake Bazarnik (ILL), 6-4
3. Eric Schnurrenberger/Ryan Bandy (ND) def. Alex Jesse/Jared Hiltzik (ILL), 6-1
--Lauren Chval, Media Relations Assistant