March 17, 2016
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team will look to pick up a pair of wins on their home court this weekend as they host Atlantic Coast Conference foes Duke and Miami at the Courtney Tennis Center.
WHAT: Matches 17 & 18
WHO: Notre Dame (8-8, 2-2 ACC) vs. Duke (7-8, 1-2 ACC) | No. 38 Notre Dame vs. Miami (Fla.) (6-7, 1-2 ACC)
WHEN: 3:30 p.m. ET, March 18 | Noon ET, March 20
WHERE: Courtney Tennis Center (weather permitting) | Notre Dame, Ind.
FOLLOW: Live Stats vs. Duke | Live Stats vs. Miami | Live Stream
Below, find all you need to know ahead of this weekend’s action:
The Blue Devils struggled to start the season, losing six of their first eight matches. Since, Duke has won five of their last seven, with losses to Georgia Tech and Florida State the only blemishes in that span. Nicolas Alvarez is ranked No. 20 in the latest Oracle/ITA singles poll, with a 7-7 dual record atop Duke’s lineup. Vincent Lin and Catalin Mateas are both 9-6 in dual matches for the Blue Devils. Duke has won 21 of 28 matches in the series against the Irish, including a 5-2 win last season in Durham, N.C.
Scouting Miami (Fla.)
The Hurricanes enter the weekend on a three-match losing streak, having fallen to Middle Tennessee State, Duke and North Carolina over the past two weeks. Miami will play Boston College on Friday before heading to face the Irish on Sunday. The Hurricanes boast two ranked singles players in No. 28 Piotr Lomacki (who is 10-3 in dual matches this season) and No. 88 Christian Langmo (7-1). In doubles, Nile Clark and Lomacki are 6-1, while Jesse Flores and Langmo are 5-2 during the spring. The Irish are 10-9 all-time against Miami, including 2-0 under head coach Ryan Sachire.
With 88 career doubles wins, senior Alex Lawson has moved into a tie for third place on the all-time Irish doubles win list. His 88-48 (.647) record puts him just behind Jakub Pietrowski (95-45), Greg Andrews (93-50) and Billy Pecor (88-45) on the career register. Lawson has been ranked within the top 10 in doubles in parts of each of the last three seasons, and has qualified for the past two NCAA Doubles Championships with former partners Andrews (’14) and Pecor (’15).
Individual Rankings Summary
Seniors Quentin Monaghan and Alex Lawson ranked at No. 14 in the most recent national doubles rankings (Feb. 23) — though the pair has not played together since January 29 — while Monaghan and current partner, freshman Grayson Broadus, entered the doubles rankings at No. 71 after beating Ohio State’s No. 13 Ralf Steinbach and Martin Joyce on February 26. Monaghan is also ranked No. 42 in the latest singles poll.
Last Time Out
The Irish fell in two ACC matches last weekend, dropping a tight 4-3 match to Clemson before losing a 7-0 decision to No. 9 Wake Forest.
ITA Rules Changes
This season, the NCAA with the support of the ITA, will utilize a no-ad scoring format for the NCAA Division I men’s and women’s tennis championships. If a game reaches deuce, the next point will win the game. Additionally, eight-game pro-sets will no longer be utilized in doubles matches, with teams playing one set to six, with a tiebreak at six-all. At the individual doubles championships, matches will consist of the best-of-three sets, with a match tiebreak in lieu of a third set. The rules changes are designed to improve the pace of play in championship matches.
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.