Jan. 22, 2017
By Joanne Norell
LEXINGTON, Ky. — The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team traveled to face No. 15 Kentucky on Sunday, but while the Irish found themselves in several close matches, they fell just short of a win in a 5-2 loss to the Wildcats at the Boone Tennis Center.
How It Happened
The Irish cleared their first hurdle in doubles, winning a pair of tight matches at Nos. 1 and 2 to take an early 1-0 lead. Kentucky won the first doubles match on Court 3, but the Irish evened things on Court 2 as tenth-ranked Eddy Covalschi and Josh Hagar defeated William Bushamuka and Beck Pennington 7-6(6). The Irish clinched the point when Matt Gamble and Alex Lebedev collected a 7-5 victory over Enzo Wallart and Nils Ellefsen.
The Wildcats got the next three points, however, to take a 3-1 lead. First, Ellefsen defeated Broadus 6-3, 6-1 at No. 4 singles before Lebedev fell in a comeback bid, 6-3, 7-6(4) to Pennington at No. 3. Covalschi fell behind a set to Bushamuka at No. 2, but forced a third set before ultimately dropping a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 decision.
The Irish got one back on Court 5. Gamble forced a third set against Wallart before the Wildcat retired to give Gamble his second win of the season.
But Kentucky picked up a tight decision on Court 1 to seal the win, as 17th-ranked Ryotaro Matsumura slipped past 27th-ranked Hagar 0-6, 7-5, 7-6(0) to clinch at 4-2.
Kentucky picked up the final point as No. 110 Trey Yates defeated freshman Guillermo Cabrera 7-6 (3), 7-5.
The Irish will be back in action at 1:30 p.m. ET Friday when they face No. 9 North Carolina in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The winner of Friday’s match will face the winner of the match between Penn State and Vanderbilt. The winners of each of the 15, four-team pods of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend will be invited to play at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship hosted by the University of Virginia from February 17-20.
No. 15 Kentucky 5, Notre Dame 2
January 22, 2017
Boone Tennis Center
1 No. 17 Ryotaro Matsumura (UK) def. No. 27 Josh Hagar (ND) 0-6, 7-5, 7-6(0)
2. No. 23 William Bushamuka (UK) def. Eddy Covalschi (ND) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
3. Beck Pennington (UK) def. No. 119 Alex Lebedev (ND) 6-3, 7-6(4)
4. Nils Ellefsen (UK) def. Grayson Broadus (ND) 6-3, 6-1
5. Matt Gamble (ND) def. Enzo Wallart (UK) 3-6, 6-3, 2-0 (ret.)
6. No. 110 Trey Yates (UK) def. Guillermo Cabrera (ND) 7-6(3), 7-5
1. No. 10 Eddy Covalschi / Josh Hagar (ND) def. William Bushamuka / Beck Pennington (UK) 7-6(6)
2. Matt Gamble / Alex Lebedev (ND) def. Enzo Wallart / Nils Ellefsen (UK) 7-5
3. Trey Yates / Ryotaro Matsumura (UK) def. Grayson Broadus / Brendon Kempin (ND) 6-0
— 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.