COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Irish opened NCAA play with a first round match against the Vanderbilt Commodores on Friday, dropping a hard fought match, 4-3. The doubles point proved the deciding factor as the No. 26 Notre Dame fell in a close match to No. 35 Vanderbilt Friday afternoon in the first round of the NCAA Championship tournament.
Dropping the first court, 6-4, the Irish got one back with a win on court two as Matt Gamble and Tristan McCormick combined to post a 7-5 victory.
The Irish lost the doubles point in a tight 5-7 loss on court three looking to recover in singles.
The two teams split a series of first sets, winning three a piece before Matt Gamble and Axel Nefve tallied Irish points through two to give the Irish their first lead of the match.
The Commodores quickly tied it up at two, where we stayed until William Howells overcame a first set loss to tack on the third point of the afternoon (4-6, 7-5, 6-2).
Alex Lebedev made his first appearance in the lineup since suffering injury in early March and put up a battle on the top court. It came down to his court as Notre Dame and Vanderbilt were knotted up again at three points all. Making a stellar comeback in the first set after being down 1-5, Lebedev looked to do the same in the second but came up just shy as his Commodores opponent, No. 88 Klinger took a 6-4 win to force a third set.
Although the team competition is over for the year, the Irish have three who have qualified for the NCAA Individual Championship tournament later this month. No. 35 Alex Lebedev earned a spot in the singles bracket while No. 27 duo Richard Ciamarra and Tristan McCormick will play in the doubles competition.
#35 Vanderbilt 4, #26 Notre Dame 3
1. #88 Cameron Klinger (VANDY) def. #35 Alex Lebedev (ND) 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
2. Axel Nefve (ND) def. George Harwell (VANDY) 6-3, 6-4
3. Billy Rowe (VANDY) def. #92 Richard Ciamarra (ND) 6-4, 7-6 (9-7)
4. Macsen Sisam (VANDY) def. Guillermo Cabrera (ND) 7-5, 6-4
5. Matt Gamble (ND) def. Max Freeman (VANDY) 6-2, 6-3
6. William Howells (ND) def. Panu Virtanen (VANDY) 4-6, 7-5, 6-2
1. #7 Billy Rowe/Cameron Klinger (VANDY) def. Axel Nefve/Richard Ciamarra (ND) 6-4
2. Tristan McCormick/Matt Gamble (ND) def. Macsen Sisam/Panu Virtanen (VANDY) 7-5
3. George Harwell/Max Freeman (VANDY) def. Guillermo Cabrera/William Howells (ND) 7-5
Vanderbilt 16-11; National ranking #35
Notre Dame 17-15; National ranking #26
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (5,2,4,6,3,1)
NCAA Tennis Championship First Round
Official: Mark Anderson T-3:00 A-65