Apr 8, 2013, 2:16 PM EDT
I sat down with freshmen Quentin Monaghan and Alex Lawson of the nationally-ranked Notre Dame men’s tennis team for a Q&A. Monaghan is from Chatham, NJ and currently plays the No. 2 Singles spot. Lawson is from Tempe, AZ and primarily plays the No. 2 Doubles spot along with partner junior Billy Pecor. (Junior Ryan Bandy decided to sit in on the interview as well, and provided some of his own commentary.) Here’s your brief look into one of the funniest and most talented teams at Notre Dame.
What is the team’s warm-up playlist?
Alex: That’s actually a big topic of debate on our team, because the warm-up CD for our home matches was done by junior captain Greg Andrews. There’s a lot of, uh–People didn’t like it. The Fab5 didn’t like it, so we made a different one, and we used that for two matches, which we had pretty good results at, and then they complained about it, so I think we’re going to make a third one. I don’t know who’s making it though. But what was on it?
Quentin: I mean, yours was a lot of rap, like Kanye…
Alex: A lot of Kanye West, a lot of Jay-Z…A lot of rap.
What were the two matches you used the Fab5 playlist for?
Alex: Illinois was the debut of the Fab5 playlist, and that was a big win for our program. And then the USC match was another one—not as good. We lost that one, but, I don’t think it was because of the warm-up playlist.
Do you have pre-game routines?
Quentin: Uh…yeah, I mean a lot of it is based on warming up. Hitting, and then we’ll go in for a half-hour like 2-2.5 hours before a match and get something to eat like within an hour and a half…and then we leave an hour going right into the match for the hits so we’re pretty fresh. And then individually, I don’t know. I’m sure certain guys listen to music or do [other] little things.
Alex: I like to arm-wrestle with Kenny [Sabacinski] before a match. That gets me nice and pumped up.
Who usually wins the arm-wrestles?
Alex: Oh, I’ve never lost to him. It’s also a confidence-booster.
How long have you two, Quentin and Alex, known each other?
Quentin: Actually, like a long time!
Alex: 7 years?
Quentin: We actually met when we were like 11 at this academy in Texas. We were just playing in like training during the summer when we were really young. I don’t think we roomed together but we became friends there, and I would say saw each other in tournaments [over the last] 7 or 8 years.
If you weren’t playing tennis, what sport would you play?
Q: Probably soccer. Yeah. That’s what I’d play.
A: I would say either basketball for me or ultimate Frisbee, because I mean basketball—that would be mine, but I’m not like…I’m tall within our friends, but I’m not tall as a basketball player at all*, so I would go with Ultimate Frisbee. I like that sport.
*Lawson is 6’3″ according to his profile on the roster.
Do you have any hobbies/hidden talents outside of sports?
(After a long, thoughtful pause full of “hmm”s…)
A: I play drums.
Q: Yeah, I play the piano.
A: We were thinking about starting a band, but…oh, wait! And Eric [Shnurrenberger] can sing!
(Clearly, they’re talented at building foam-roller towers, as well.)
On the team, who is the funniest?
Q: This guy (points at Alex) is definitely up there. Probably Alex.
Q: I think the funny thing about our team is that everyone’s pretty unique. For example, there’s a kid, Wyatt McCoy, who doesn’t necessarily try to be funny, but the little things he does are just hilarious. Or [Alex] is always joking around. I don’t think he’s ever serious.
A: Spencer! It’s Spencer. Or Blas Moros.
Q: Alex. By far. I mean, he’s the loudest on the court. Yeah. He definitely shows the most spirit.
A: Or Spencer again.
A: This one (pointing at Quentin). Nah! It’s this one!
Ryan Bandy: Greg, hands down.
A: What?! With who? You’re not in this! I would say Quentin, but Greg is also very serious.
Both, simultaneously: Eric! Eric Schnurrenberger.
A: He’s got the Euro-style.
Q: Oh, he’s loves the, uh—what are those?
A: He’s got these tight red—are they jeans? I don’t even know.
Q: They’re like khaki’s, but–
A: Well, they’re not khaki’s—just tight, red pants.
Q: What about—oh! He loves the cashmere sweaters.
A: Yeah! He’s got a lot of turtlenecks—are they like velvet or something? Like, I don’t know what they are.
Q: Yeah, or Billy Pecor.
A: Or Billy! Haha! Yeah!
Q: Uh, yeah. Nico’s up there. Another Fab5 member.
A: No, I’d say Billy.
Q: Yeah, I’d say Billy. He just wears sweats pretty much.
What are the nicknames you guys have for everyone on the team?
A: Q [for Quentin]. I don’t know if I have one.
Q: Lawson, Slaw…
Ryan Bandy: Alexander Salamander!
A: Alexander Salamander, sometimes.
Q: This guy (Bandy) is “Noodle.” Noodler. Our captain, Blas, is like “Blaze.”
A: Spencer Talmadge is “Papa Bear.” Greg is “G.”
Q: Wyatt is “Shady.”
A: Shady McCoy!
Q: Shady character.
A: He’s a shady guy.
Q: Kenny is “Little Bear.”
A: Billy Pecor is “Billy Knees.”
Q: He’s got knee issues. Eric Schnurrenberger is “Schnurr,” uh…Dooley is–
A: No, “The Hamburgler,” too. He’s got like 5 nicknames! The Hamburgler, the Burger, Shnurry…uh, is that it? Yeah. I think that is.
Q: Yeah, I think that is. “Dumbbell Dooley.”
Both: Dougie Fresh!
A: Blas is also “Snake” or “Smelly”. Sometimes we call him “Smelly.” Who have we left out?
Who was the toughest opponent this season so far?
Q: USC. I mean, yeah. They’ve won four straight national championships. They’re like #2 in the country. They came here, and we played about as—I mean we played really good in singles. He—Ryan Bandy—won. (Bandy fist-pumps.) It was a good match, yeah.
If any two guys on the team could play each other, who would make the best matchup?
A: Like most intense matchup?
A: Quentin and Wyatt McCoy.
Q: No. No, no. I’d say like…
A: Oh! No, wait! I’m changing. I’m changing. Hold on. Let me think.
Bandy: Billy Pecor and Quentin Monaghan.
Q: Heh! I don’t know about that. Billy Pecor and G.
A: Oh yeah! Today got intense. We had a North-Quad half of the team versus the South-Quad half of the team matchup today as like a scrimmage, and it got pretty heated.
Me: Who ended up winning?
A: South quad got the victory! I would say…Spencer and Mick? No?
Q: I don’t know.
A: I would say Quentin and Wyatt, because earlier in the year they had a big rivalry too. Isn’t that true?
A: And they had some battles, but…Quentin did sort of emerge as the…he did win most of those, but they were very intense.
What was it like having your first college tournament in Ireland?
Q: It was pretty fun. It wasn’t much of a tournament because it was like an exhibition, but we were about as lucky as we could have gotten. It was a blast. They treated us great.
A: It was kind of crazy to have our first-ever traveling-with-the-team experience as going to Ireland, because I guess it didn’t really prepare us for what the rest of them were going to be like, because that’s totally different from all the other travel matches we’ve had, but it was really cool though.
Which do you prefer: Singles or doubles?
A: Doubles. By default.
Headband or hat?
A: I go with the headband if we’re indoors. If we’re outdoors, I go with the hat. A pink hat. Breast cancer awareness.
Q: Yeah, I just don’t like accessories.
Indoor or outdoor tennis?
Bandy: Pfft! C’mon. Indoor!
A: You’re not in this!
Bandy: I know. Just saying.
Forehand or backhand?
Q: Uh…probably forehand.
A: Yeah. Forehand.
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