Champaign, IL– On Saturday night, The Irish attempted to claim its first win over the Fighting Illini since joining the ACC but fell short to the midwest rival, 5-2.
On Court 1, Axel Nefve and Tristan McCormick kicked things off with a win over No. 43 ranked Illini pair, Alex Brown/Aleks Kovacevic, 6-3. The next duo to finish up was Guillermo Cabrera and Paul Gota as they dropped the match to Lucas Horve/Zeke Clark after a tiebreaker, 7-6 (7-4). With each team securing a doubles match, it all came down to Richard Ciamarra and Matt Gamble on Court 2. It was back and forth throughout, causing a tiebreaker at 7-6. After a hard-fought battle, the Fighting Illini competitors secured the doubles point with a 7-6 (14-12) match win.
During the first singles match to finish, Connor Fu fell to No. 91 Zeke Clark 6-2, 6-2, advancing the Illini lead to 2-0. On Court 3, Tristan McCormick put the Irish on the scoreboard as he defeated No. 42 Siphosothando Montsi in two, 6-4, 6-2. Up next, Axel Nefve dropped his match to No. 78 ranked Illini, Aleksandar Kovacevic, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) to put the Illini up 3-1. Guillermo Cabrera regained hope for the Irish as he downed his competitor 6-2, 6-4 to put the Irish within one, 3-2. The Illini then moved on to claim the next match as No. 5 Richard Ciamarra dropped to No. 18 Alex Brown 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. To finish things off, Matt Gamble fell to Lucas Horve 4-6, 7-5, 11-9 after a third set nail biter, cementing Illinois’ 5-2 victory over the Irish.
The Irish return home after a month on the road for a weekend full of matchups. Irish battle Ohio State and St. Bonaventure on February 22 at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. ET before taking on Michigan on February 23 at 3 p.m. ET.
Illinois 5, Notre Dame 2
1. Alex Brown (ILL) def. RICHARD CIAMARRA (ND) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
2. Aleks Kovacevic (ILL) def. AXEL NEFVE (ND) 6-2, 7-6 (8-6)
3. TRISTAN MCCORMICK (ND) def. Siphosothando Montsi (ILL) 6-4, 6-2
4. Zeke Clark (ILL) def. CONNOR FU (ND) 6-2, 6-2
5. GUILLERMO CABRERA (ND) def. Alex Bancila (ILL) 6-2, 6-4
6. Lucas Horve (ILL) def. MATT GAMBLE (ND) 4-6, 7-5, 11-9
1. TRISTAN MCCORMICK/AXEL NEFVE (ND) def. Alex Brown/Aleks Kovacevic (ILL) 6-3
2. Gui Gomes/Siphosothando Montsi (ILL) def. RICHARD CIAMARRA/MATT GAMBLE (ND) 7-6 (14-12)
3. Lucas Horve/Zeke Clark (ILL) def. GUILLERMO CABRERA/PAUL GOTA (ND) 7-6 (7-4)
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (4,3,2,5,1,6)