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Irish Take on Kentucky Wildcats for Spring Season Opener

Notre Dame men’s tennis kicks-off the 2020 season with a Sunday afternoon matchup with Kentucky. For the second year in a row, ND has opened its spring play with the Wildcats. Last year, ND claimed the W over Kentucky, 5-2, on the road. Irish hope to do the same this go-around at home.


Axel Nefve enters the new season ranked 105th after a consistent fall season. Axel Nefve recorded the teams first victory in the fall 2019 season-opening competition as he defeated Navy’s Greg Durham, 6-7, 6-3, 6-1. In the 2019 Dick Vitale Invitational, Nefve advanced to the consolation singles finals after a major comeback from losing his first match in the main draw. He ultimately won it all in consolation after defeating Heller of Duke 6-3, 7-6(6) in the finals.

Tristan McCormick and Richard Ciamarra come in at 15th in the ITA preseason doubles ranking. The dynamic duo picked up multiple victories throughout preseason. McCormick/Ciamarra controlled their competition during the first round match of doubles main draw at the ITA All-Americans, advancing them to the quarterfinals of the championships. The duo also claimed wins in the ITA Fall National Championships.

And last but certainly not least, Richard Ciamarra is ranked 5th in the nation heading into singles spring play. Ciamarra completed one of the most impressive preseasons ND men’s tennis has seen in a while. To start off, Ciamarra recorded the second Irish victory of the fall slate as he downed Zhe Zhou from Alabama, 6-2, 6-2 in the Milwaukee Classic. Ciamarra then advanced to the finals in Milwaukee after besting Arizona State’s Tim Reuhl, 6-3, 6-1, in the semifinal match. Another notable performance occurred during ITA Fall Nationals as Ciamarra defeated the No. 2 seed, Keegan Smith of UCLA during singles play. Ciamarra ultimately advanced to the semifinals of Fall Nationals before dropping a match after a grueling battle against STM’s Damon Kesaris.


Irish look for continued success as we enter the spring season on Sunday, January 19 at 1 p.m. ET at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. In case you don’t get enough ND men’s tennis on Sunday, don’t worry, Irish are back in action the following day at home as they challenge Purdue at 4 p.m. ET.

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