NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The 13th-ranked Notre Dame men’s tennis team got back to their winning ways Friday afternoon as they defeated Michigan State 5-2 at home in front of a lively crowd.
The Irish men took the early lead, claiming the doubles point behind victories on courts one and two.
The No. 1 doubles pair of Howells and Nefve claimed the first win of the match, defeating the Spartan duo of Ivan Rakic and Billy Shisler, 6-2.
Matt Gamble and Alex Lebedev put the Irish on the board as they clicked the doubles point with their 7-5 victory on the second court.
The Irish tandem of Guillermo Cabrera and Grayson Broadus were left leading in the match that went unfinished, 5-4.
Four Irish men won their first singles sets to give the team an edge heading into the later part of competition.
Two first sets went to tiebreaks with the teams splitting victors in those. Grayson Broadus won the breaker 7-6(4) while Nate Griffin dropped a close on, 7-6(8) after going down 5-1 early in the set.
Axel Nefve took the first singles point with quick 6-1 and 6-2 set wins in No. 2 singles to extend the Irish lead over the Spartans to two.
Guillermo Cabrera kept the Irish run going adding a point to the board with his win in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4.
Will Howells forced a decisive third set when he swept his Spartan opponent, 6-0, in the second set while Alex Lebedev and Michigan State’s Jack Winkler split the first two before determining a victory in the third.
Broadus secured the Irish win with his second set victory of 7-5. After fighting back in the first set, winning the break point, he held out in the second to clinch the fourth point for No. 13 Notre Dame.
Howells tallied another point for the Irish to give them a four-point lead on the Spartans as he came back to claim sets two and three (4-6, 6-0, 6-3) for the victory.
The men are back on the road for a series of Atlantic Coast Conference matches in a week as they travel to Louisville for a Sunday match (March 10) before a trip to Florida where they will face Miami (March 15) and Florida State (March 17).
#13 University of Notre Dame 5, Michigan State 2
1. Jack Winkler (MSU) def. #19 Alex Lebedev (ND) 3-6, 6-4, 7-5
2. Axel Nefve (ND) def. Ivan Rakic (MSU) 6-1, 6-2
3. #111 William Howells (ND) def. John Carlin (MSU) 4-6, 6-0, 6-3
4. Guillermo Cabrera (ND) def. Anthony Pero (MSU) 6-2, 6-4
5. Grayson Broadus (ND) def. Nick Williams (MSU) 7-6 (6-4), 7-5
6. Carson Gates (MSU) def. Nathan Griffin (ND) 7-6 (10-8), 6-0
1. William Howells/Axel Nefve (ND) def. Ivan Rakic/Billy Shisler (MSU) 6-2
2. Matt Gamble/Alex Lebedev (ND) def. Jack Winkler/Nick Williams (MSU) 7-5
3. Guillermo Cabrera/Grayson Broadus (ND) vs. John Carlin/Colin Harvey (MSU) 5-4, unfinished