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Irish Fare Well On Day 1 At Alabama

Sept. 22, 2017

By Joanne Norell

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Four members of the University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team completed the first day of competition at the Alabama’s Four-In-The-Fall tournament on Friday at the University of Alabama Tennis Stadium, with each taking home wins in either singles, doubles or both.

Junior Nathan Griffin won his first-round singles match against Rice’s Jacob Eskeland 6-3, 6-2, while junior Daniel Rayl, freshman Paul Gota and sophomore Conor Somers each earned wins on the consolation side of the singles bracket in their second matches of the day.

Rayl downed Caleb Chakravarthi of Illinois; Gota defeated Florida State’s Chase Wood,and Somers upended Sam Fischer of Alabama.

Rayl and Somers won their Friday doubles match, defeating Rice’s Mohamed Abdel-Aziz and Eric Rutledge 8-2.

Crimson Tide 4-In-The-Fall

University of Alabama Tennis Stadium

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Sept. 22-24


Crimson Singles Flight

First Round

Jose Gracia (FSU) def. Daniel Rayl (ND) 6-1, 6-2

Florian Broska (MSU) def. Paul Gota (ND) 6-3, 7-6(5)

Consolation Second Round

Daniel Rayl (ND) def. Caleb Chakravarthi (UI) 6-3, 5-7, 6-3

Paul Gota (ND) def. Chase Wood (FSU) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1

Houndstooth Singles Flight

First Round

Nathan Griffin (ND) def. Jacob Eskeland (RICE) 6-3, 6-2

Jake Van Emburgh (OU) def. Conor Somers (ND) 6-2, 6-3

Second Round

Edson Ortiz (ALA) def. Nathan Griffin (ND) 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4

Consolation Second Round

Conor Somers (ND) def. Sam Fischer (ALA) 6-3, 6-4

Crimson Doubles Flight

First Round

Lemke/Story (MEM) def. Paul Gota / Nathan Griffin (ND) 8-2

Houndstooth Doubles Flight

First Round

Daniel Rayl / Conor Somers (ND) def. Mohamed Abdel-Aziz / Eric Rutledge (RICE) 8-2

Lawson Captures First Pro Title

Former Irish All-American Alex Lawson (’16) snared his first professional tennis title on Friday, winning the ITF F20 Futures Tournoi de la ville de Plaisir doubles tournament at the Tennis Club de Plaisir in Plaisir, France.

Lawson, who is currently ranked No. 230 in the ATP world doubles rankings, partnered with Nathaniel Lammons (SMU ’16), holding the No. 2 seed entering the tournament’s first round on Monday. After straight-set victories in the first and second rounds, Lawson and Lammons clutched a three-set win in Thursday’s semifinal before defeating No. 1-seeded Antoine Hoang and Gregoire Jacq of France in Friday’s championship squeaker, 4-6, 7-6(7), 10-4.

Since his graduation from Notre Dame, Lawson has steadily climbed the world rankings, having reached a career high of 229 in doubles with a 60-44 career doubles record.


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, women’s tennis and fencing programs, in addition to 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.