The University of Notre Dame competes against the University of North Carolina in the first round of the ITA Division I National Men’s Team Indoor Championship hosted by the University of Washington at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle on February 16, 2018. (Photography by Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures)

#17 Irish Advance to ITA Kickoff Final

Box Score (PDF)

NORMAN, Okla. –  The No. 17 Notre Dame men’s tennis team advanced to the ITA Kickoff championship match with a quick 4-0 shutout over Vanderbilt on Saturday afternoon. After claiming the doubles point, the Irish utilized singles victories from Richard Ciamarra, Guillermo Cabrera and William Howells.
Alex Lebedev and Axel Nefve set the tone at the start of the match on court two, rolling to a quick 6-1 finish over Christiaan Worst and Panu Virtanen. Yet Vanderbilt immediately answered with a 6-2 victory on court three.
Over on court one, Richard Ciamarra and Tristan McCormick were deadlocked at three-all with the No. 11 nationally ranked pair of Maxwell Freeman and Cameron Klinger. That’s when the Irish duo won three straight games to clinch the doubles point at 6-3.
The Irish carried their momentum into singles where they claimed the first set on all six courts, which included two tiebreakers. No. 63 Ciamarra continued to roll, finishing first with a 6-4, 6-4, victory over Freeman on court two.
Cabrera was the next to finish, dispatching Marcus Ferreira, 6-4, 6-3, on court six. Meanwhile, over on court five, No. 49 William Howells was up 6-4, 5-3, on Virtanen and on the verge of completing the sweep. However, Virtanen rallied to go up 6-5 in the second set before Howells forced a tiebreak. There, Howells prevailed 7-5, sealing the team match.  
Up Next
No. 17 Notre Dame will now challenge the host school, No. 13 Oklahoma, on Sunday, for the right to advance to the ITA National Indoor Championships (held Feb. 15-18 in Chicago). In the earlier matchup on Saturday, the Sooners shutout Drake, 4-0, to advance. Sunday’s match time is set for 2 p.m. EST, as fans can follow both a live stream and stats feed of the championship contest.
Notre Dame Results
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1
1. Ciamarra/McCormick (ND) def. #11 Freeman/Klinger (VANDY), 6-3
2. Lebedev/Nefve (ND) def. Worst/Virtanen (VANDY), 6-1
3. Rowe/Harwell (VANDY) def. #49 Gamble/Broadus (ND), 6-2
Order of Finish: 2, 6, 5
1. #16 Alex Lebedev (ND) vs. Cameron Klinger (VANDY), 6-3, 3-6, 1-2, unfinished
2. #63 Richard Ciamarra (ND) def. Maxwell Freeman (VANDY), 6-4, 6-4
3. Axel Nefve (ND) vs. George Harwell (VANDY), 7-6(2), 3-6, 1-0, unfinished
4. Tristan McCormick (ND) vs. #62 Billy Rowe (VANDY), 7-6(3), 5-4, unfinished
5. #49 William Howells (ND) vs. Panu Virtanen (VANDY), 6-4, 7-6 (5)
6. Guillermo Cabrera (ND) def. Marcus Ferreira (VANDY), 6-4, 6-3
– ND –