April 16, 2016
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Hoping to ride the momentum from last week’s win over No. 1 North Carolina, the University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team will close out the regular season on the road Sunday against NC State.
WHAT: Match 26
WHO: Notre Dame (13-12, 5-6 ACC) vs. North Carolina State (17-12, 5-6 ACC)
WHERE: J.W. Isenhour Tennis Complex | Raleigh, N.C.
WHEN: Noon ET, April 17
FOLLOW: Live Stats | Live Stream
Below, find all you need to know ahead of this weekend’s action:
Scouting NC State
The Wolfpack enter Sunday’s matchup fresh off a 7-0 loss to Florida State, but have won five of their last seven matches, including three 4-3 decisions. NC State is led by No. 49 Simon Norenius, who is 10-5 at No. 1 singles and 17-7 in dual matches overall. No. 89 Thomas Weigel is 21-6 on the spring, while No. 95 Nick Horton is 15-6. In doubles, Norenius and Weigel come in ranked 54th nationally, with a 9-3 overall dual record. The Irish are 3-1 all time against the Wolfpack, including last season’s 4-3 victory on Senior Day to close out the season at the Courtney Tennis Center.
With 89 career doubles wins, senior Alex Lawson has moved into sole possession of third place on the all-time Irish doubles win list. His 89-53 (.627) record puts him just behind Jakub Pietrowski (95-45) and Greg Andrews (93-50) and just ahead of 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. 16 in the most recent national doubles rankings, while juniors Eddy Covalschi and Josh Hagar moved up 40 spots to No. 39 in their second week in the rankings after beating then-No. 17 Brayden Schnur and Jack Murray of North Carolina last Friday. In singles, Monaghan moved down a spot to No. 32 despite his win over No. 29 Schnur last week.
Last Time Out
Last Friday, the Irish became the first team ranked outside the ITA top 50 to beat a No. 1-ranked team when they took down North Carolina 5-2 on Senior Night at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Notre Dame won the doubles point as Eddy Covlaschi and Josh Hagar defeated No. 17 Brayden Schnur and Jack Murray on Court 2, while senior Nicolas Montoya and freshman Grayson Broadus scored a win on Court 3 over Ronnie Schneider and Anudeep Kodali. The Irish then got four three-set wins in singles, including three from seniors Quentin Monaghan, Alex Lawson and Kenneth Sabacinski. Lawson clinched the match in a tight 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(6) victory over No. 80 Robert Kelly on Court 4.
ACC Player of the Week
Senior Alex Lawson was named the ACC Co-Player of the Week on Tuesday (with Florida State’s Benjamin Lock) after he clinched Notre Dame’s victory over the top-ranked Tar Heels. Lawson has won four of his last five singles matches, with Friday’s win marking his first over a ranked opponent this season. It was the first conference Player of the Week honor of Lawson’s career.
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 director 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.