July 22, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. --- Nearly 200 athletes competed at the Courtney Tennis Center this weekend, as Notre Dame hosted one of the Midwest stops on the USTA/ITA Summer Circuit. The Irish were well represented—Notre Dame players went head to head in the finals of both the men’s singles and doubles draws.
“I am really proud of the effort and competitiveness of our guys this past weekend,” said Notre Dame head coach and tournament director Ryan Sachire. “They have worked hard on the court and in the gym since our season ended six weeks ago, and it was great to see that hard work show itself in competition so soon. The momentum in our program continues to build and we are really excited to get the school year rolling in August.”
In the singles draw, rising junior Quentin Monaghan and rising sophomore Josh Hagar were seeded first and second respectively. To get to the final match, Hagar faced off against Jon Ho of Wake Forest in the semifinals. In the 2013-14 season, Hagar lost to Ho 6-2, 6-4, but in Monday’s match, Hagar handily defeated his opponent, 6-2, 6-2. Monaghan’s strongest victory leading up to the finals was a 4-6, 7-6, 10-5 victory over Fedor Baev, who played No. 1 for Northwestern during the 2013-14 season.
Monaghan and Hagar, who finished the season playing third and fourth in the Notre Dame lineup, went up against each other in the tournament final. Monaghan got up 4-0 in the first set, and although Hagar battled back, the junior won it, 6-3. Hagar turned things around in the second set, going up 3-0 on Monaghan, and the teammates split sets, 3-6, 6-3. Hagar won the match tiebreaker, 10-4, making him the men’s tournament champion.
“Even in the offseason, as tennis players, you are always working on things in your game, and to be able to test that out in competitive matches in the summer is great,” Hagar said after the match. “I was pleased with my performance this weekend and happy to see how some of the things I’ve been working on have paid off. These kinds of events give me confidence progressing forward. As nice as it is to win, it’s also a good motivator to improve for the fall and spring seasons.”
Monaghan agreed that the weekend was a chance to see how far he and his teammates have come since the end of the season.
“The ability to compete exposes areas of weakness that need improvement, because you’re giving everything you have, every point,” Monaghan said. “Coach Sachire hosted a great tournament with so many good players, which made every match a great opportunity to grow as a player. I obviously would have liked to win the tournament, but Josh played a great final and I’m proud of myself for getting that far within a great field of players.”
On the doubles side of things, the Irish fared just as well. Rising senior Wyatt McCoy and rising junior Kenneth Sabacinski paired up to face off with senior Billy Pecor and rising junior Nicolas Montoya. Pecor and Montoya claimed victory, 8-2, winning the tournament.
“We played well for the most part,” Pecor said. “We did a great job of really focusing and locking in our games toward the end of matches to get the job done.”
With the 2014-15 academic year starting in just a little over a month, the Irish have plenty to look forward to as they build off this successful weekend.
--Lauren Chval, Media Relations Assistant