Jan. 28, 2018
By Joanne Norell
AUSTIN, Texas – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team is off to its best start in four seasons, and the Irish punctuated their fast start with a 4-1 victory over Minnesota on Sunday to win their ITA Kick-Off Weekend regional at the Texas Tennis Center at the University of Texas.
How It Happened
The doubles point came down to tiebreakers on Courts 1 and 3 after Minnesota won the first match on Court 2. The Irish third doubles pair evened the plane when freshman Richard Ciamarra and sophomore Matt Gamble defeated Stefan Milicevic and Marino Alpeza 7-6(3), and senior captain Brendon Kempin and freshman partner Tristan McCormick shut the door with a 7-6(4) win over 26th-ranked Matic Spec and Felix Corwin on Court 1.
Ciamarra gave Notre Dame a 2-0 lead with his 6-2, 6-0 win over Eli Ogilvy at No. 5 singles. The win was the freshman’s fifth of the year, and he remains undefeated in dual play. McCormick extended the Irish lead with a quick win of his own, defeating Jackson Allen 6-1, 6-1 to put the team up 3-0.
Minnesota got a point back at third singles as the 73rd-ranked Spec defeated Gamble 6-2, 6-1. But the Irish put a stop to any Gopher rallies as junior Grayson Broadus retired Justyn Levin 7-6(3), 6-2 for the clincher.
The win gives the Irish a bid to the 2018 ITA National Team Indoor Championship, hosted by the University of Washington from February 16-19 at the Seattle Tennis Club.
Notes To Know
- Richard Ciamarra leads the Irish with a 5-0 dual singles record in 2018, while Grayson Broadus improved to 4-0 on the season. Alex Lebedev remains 3-0 on the year.
- Junior Alex Lebedev is 5-0 in his career at No. 1 singles.
- Notre Dame’s 5-0 start is its best since opening the 2014 season 6-0.
- Notre Dame earned its first bid to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships since the 2014 season. The Irish lost in their first-round match that season, but went on to win their consolation bracket.
- The Irish improved to 16-12 in the all-time series against the Golden Gophers, including 2-0 under Callaghan Family Head Men’s Tennis Coach Ryan Sachire.
Notre Dame will open the Atlantic Coast Conference slate at noon ET Saturday as the team heads east to face Boston College at the Dedham Health & Athletic Complex.
Notre Dame 4, Minnesota 1
ITA Kick-Off Weekend – Championship
Texas Tennis Center
Jan. 28, 2018
1. No. 45 Alex Lebedev (ND) vs. No. 35 Stefan Milicevic (UM) 4-6, 4-4 unfinished
2. Guillermo Cabrera (ND) vs. Felix Corwin (UM) 5-7, 1-4 unfinished
3. No. 73 Matic Spec (UM) def. Matt Gamble (ND) 6-2, 6-1
4. Tristan McCormick (ND) def. Jackson Allen (UM) 6-1, 6-1
5. Richard Ciamarra (ND) def. Eli Ogilvy (UM) 6-2, 6-0
6. Grayson Broadus (ND) def. Justyn Levin (UM) 7-6(3), 6-2
1. Brendon Kempin / Tristan McCormick (ND) def. No. 26 Matic Spec / Felix Corwin (UM) 7-6(4)
2. Justyn Levin / Josip Krstanovic (UM) def. William Howells / Alex Lebedev (ND) 6-4
3. Richard Ciamarra / Matt Gamble (ND) def. Stefan Milicevic / Marino Alpeza (UM) 7-6(3)
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 men’s tennis and fencing programs, in addition to assisting with football communications and overseeing production of the football Gameday Magazine. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University and earned her master’s degree from Georgetown University in 2013.