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Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024
The Observer

Notre Dame closes out regular season with win over North Carolina State

Carrying with it a full boost of confidence and momentum after its Senior Day victory over top-ranked North Carolina, Notre Dame didn’t lift its foot of the pedal in its regular season finale, as it went on the road and cruised to a 6-1 win over conference foe North Carolina State at the J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center on Sunday.

The Irish (14-12, 6-6 ACC) closed out their regular season with a complete team effort, securing the doubles point and taking five of the six singles points from the Wolfpack (17-13, 5-7). Seniors and 16th-ranked doubles pair Alex Lawson and Quentin Monaghan started off the afternoon with a 6-2 win on court No. 1, while the duo of juniors Eddy Covalschi and Josh Hagar clinched the doubles point on court No. 2, also by a score of 6-2.

Notre Dame transitioned well to the singles portion of the match, as the Irish clinched the win at 4-0 after wins from freshman Grayson Broadus on court No. 5, Lawson on court No. 4 and Monaghan on court No. 1. The Irish tacked on two more points before the match was over, with victories from Hagar on court No. 3 and senior Kenneth Sabacinski on court No. 6. Irish head coach Ryan Sachire said he was pleased with how well his team played, especially after its big win against North Carolina.

“We played with confidence, played with poise and we’re confident and aggressive in key situations,” Sachire said. “A big key for this team has been a great mindset of not putting extra weight on one particular match, and I think it helped in our last match and it helped us in this one. We really played a complete match.”

Monaghan and Hagar are amongst the key individuals that have spurred this current stretch of great play for the Irish, he added.

“Obviously it’s been a team effort, but [Monaghan] getting back to the elite level that he’s accustomed to has been huge for us,” Sachire said. “Also, [Hagar] was out all fall with a wrist injury, and he was our No. 2 [singles player] last year, so his getting stronger has also been huge. Those two guys are getting back to their position of college tennis’ perennial players.”

Notre Dame now moves on to the ACC championships, where it has earned a No. 7 seed and will square off against No. 10 seed Duke. Winners of four straight matches, the Irish carry a lot of momentum entering the tournament, Sachire said.

“I think it gives us confidence,” Sachire said. “We don’t get extra credit for winning a few straight matches entering the tournament, but I think what it gives us is the confidence in knowing that if we play our best tennis, we can go out and beat anybody.”

The Irish will take on the Blue Devils at 1 p.m. Thursday at Cary Tennis Center in Cary, North Carolina.