Jan. 27, 2017
By Joanne Norell
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team fell to seventh-ranked North Carolina 4-0 on Friday in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in a non-conference matchup at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.
How It Happened
The Tar Heels won the doubles point, taking matches on Courts 1 and 2 in a tightly contested round. Notre Dame’s No. 3 pair of sophomore Grayson Broadus and junior Brendon Kempin picked up a win over Blaine Boyden and Anu Kodali, 6-4, but North Carolina’s Jack Murray and Ronnie Schneider won 6-4 over Irish freshman Matt Gamble and sophomore Alex Lebedev to even things on Court 2. The Irish and Tar Heels held serve until 5-5 on Court 1, but it was UNC’s Robert Kelly and William Blumberg who got the timely break to win 7-5 over 10th-ranked Irish seniors Josh Hagar and Eddy Covalschi.
North Carolina went up 2-0 when Kelly defeated Gamble 6-3, 6-3 at No. 4 singles, while Murray defeated Broadus 6-1, 6-4 at the No. 5 slot to give the Tar Heels a 3-0 lead.
After dropping first sets on Courts 2, 3 and 6, respectively, Covalschi, Lebedev and freshman Guillermo Cabrera each rallied to force decisive third sets. The Tar Heels picked up the next decision, however, as the 38th-ranked Schneider defeated 27th-ranked Hagar 7-6(4), 6-4 at the No. 1 spot.
The Irish will face Penn State (0-1) in Saturday’s consolation match at 3:30 p.m. ET at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center. The Nittany Lions fell to Vanderbilt 4-0 on Friday.
No. 7 North Carolina 4, Notre Dame 0
January 27, 2017
Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center
1. No. 38 Ronnie Schneider (UNC) def. No. 27 Josh Hagar (ND) 7-6(4), 6-4
2. Eddy Covalschi (ND) vs. William Blumberg (UNC) 0-6, 6-3, 4-5, unfinished 3. No. 119 Alex Lebedev (ND) vs. Simon Soendergaard (UNC) 4-6, 6-3, 4-3, unfinished 4. Robert Kelly (UNC) def. Matt Gamble (ND) 6-3, 6-3 5. Jack Murray (UNC) def. Grayson Broadus (ND) 6-1, 6-4 6. Guillermo Cabrera (ND) vs. No. 57 Josh Peck (UNC) 6-7(4), 6-1, 2-1, unfinished Doubles 1. Robert Kelly / William Blumberg (UNC) def. No. 10 Eddy Covalschi / Josh Hagar (ND), 7-5 2. No. 43 Jack Murray / Ronnie Schneider (UNC) def. Matt Gamble / Alex Lebedev (ND), 6-4 3. Grayson Broadus / Brendon Kempin (ND) def. Blaine Boyden / Anu Kodali (UNC) 6-4
— ND —
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 women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, and earned her master’s degree in sports industry management from Georgetown University in 2013.