Nov. 3, 2017
By Joanne Norell
PALM DESERT, Calif. & MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – As the first day of competition got underway Friday for the University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team at the Gopher Invitational in Minneapolis, the fall season came to an end for junior Alex Lebedev at the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships at the Indian Wells Tennis Center in Palm Desert, California.
Oracle ITA National Fall Championships
After advancing to the Round of 16 for the third time in as many tournaments, Lebedev was set to face the nation’s No. 2 player in Mississippi State’s Nuno Borges. Lebedev battled back after an early break in the first set to tie it at 4-4, but Borges responded to win the next two games and go up early in the second en route to the 6-4, 6-3 decision.
Lebedev closes out the fall season with an 8-4 singles record, including a 3-2 mark against ranked opponents.
Under an interesting format at Minnesota’s Gopher Invitational, the balance of the Irish team posted a 6-7 singles record and 3-9 doubles mark on the first day of competition Friday at the Baseline Tennis Center.
Featuring a Maroon Draw with a 16-team compass draw and a Gold Draw with two round-robin flights, the Gopher Invitational features linked doubles and singles results to determine who moves on to the next round. In each round, doubles is played first for one point, with each pair breaking off to play singles for two possible points. In the Gold Draw, points accumulate to determine the fourth-round matchups for a winner on Sunday.
In the maroon draw, sophomore Guillermo Cabrera and freshman William Howells advanced to the quarterfinal after dropping their doubles match and each won their singles matches. Cabrera defeated Wisconsin’s Chase Colton 6-4, 6-4 and Howells downed Badger teammate Robert Krill 4-6, 6-4, 10-4.
In the Gold Draw, junior Daniel Rayl and Johnathan Small tallied two points in round one. Rayl and Small defeated a split squad of Denver’s Jorge Nunez and Minnesota’s Kaleb Dobbs, and Small downed Dobbs 6-4, 6-3.
Both draws sit halfway through the second round heading into Saturday, with singles to complete the round when play resumes.
Oracle ITA National Fall Championships
Indian Wells Tennis Garden & JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa
Palm Desert, California
Nov. 1-5, 2017
Singles Main Draw
Round of 64
No. 104 Alex Lebedev (ND) def.  No. 59 Johannes Ingildsen (UF) 6-1, 7-5
Round of 32
No. 104 Alex Lebedev (ND) vs. Marcus Walters (TJC) 6-4, 6-4
Round of 16
 No. 2 Nuno Borges (Miss. St) def. No. 104 Alex Lebedev (ND) 6-4, 6-3
Baseline Tennis Center
Nov. 3-5, 2017
- Chase Colton / Robert Krill (UW) def. Guillermo Cabrera / William Howells (ND) 7-5
- Grayson Broadus / Richard Ciamarra (ND) def. Vlad Lobak / Justyn Levin (UMN) 6-2
- David Horneffer / Roko Galsnovic (DART) def. Matt Gamble / Brendon Kempin (ND) 6-3
Quarterfinals (Doubles Only Friday)
- Josip Krstanovic / Eli Ogilvy (UMN) def. Guillermo Cabrera / William Howells (ND) 6-3
- Simon Stevens / Ty Gentry (OU) def. Grayson Broadus / Richard Ciamarra (ND) 6-1
Consolation Quarterfinals (Doubles Only Friday)
- Akihiro Tanaka / Ethan Young-Smith (OU) def. Nathan Griffin / Paul Gota (ND) 6-2
- Daniel Rayl / Johnathan Small (ND) def. Jorge Nunez (DEN) / Kaleb Dobbs (UMN) 6-3
- Drew Dawson / Conor Somers (ND) def. Sean Hunyh / Aaron Diemer (DEN) 6-3
Second Round (Doubles Only Friday)
- John Speicher / Gilbert Jaeger (DART) def. Drew Dawson / Conor Somers (ND) 6-4
- Sean Hyunh / Aaron Diemer (DEN) def. Daniel Rayl / Johnathan Small (ND) 6-1
- Stefan Lalovic / Pedro Platzeck (BSU) def. Nathan Griffin / Paul Gota (ND) 6-4
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.