Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Irish Fall to Illinois on Last Leg of First Road Swing

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
Singles competition
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
Doubles competition
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)
Match Notes:
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (4,3,2,5,1,6)