NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team hosted the annual Bobby Bayliss Invitational this past weekend for their first home contest of the 2018-19 season. Eight teams competed in the tournament including Illinois, Iowa, Louisville, Marquette, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame and Western Michigan. The Irish had eight members take the court at home for the first time this season.
“It was a great weekend of tennis and the level of competition was high,” assistant coach Greg Andrews said of the tournament. “Overall, we had mixed results at the Bayliss. This event showed us some areas where we need to develop and we are excited to attack those in practice this week.”
The first day of the Bobby Bayliss Invitational concluded with a strong showing from the doubles’ teams. The Irish had four doubles teams competing in eight matches, claiming all but one victory. Daniel Rayl and Paul Gota paired up to defeat a duo from Iowa (6-2) before ending their night with a sweep over Nebraska (6-0). Matt Gamble and Grayson Broadus also recorded two wins in doubles play, topping a team of two from Nebraska, 6-4, before sneaking out the win over Western Michigan 7-5.
The Irish duo of Andrew Mariados and Conor Somers also swept their opponents of Western Michigan (6-4) and Louisville (6-3). Johnathan Small and Nate Griffin won their first match over Louisville, 6-1, before dropping the final match of the day to Illinois, 6-4.
Gamble, Broadus, Gota, Rayl, Small, Mariados and Somers all competed in the singles draw, with Gamble and Small finishing with a win. Gamble defeated Smrek of Marquette in three sets, 6-3, 4-6, 1-0(4).
The second day of competition featured two flights of singles matches with Broadus winning his morning matchup over Louisville in three close sets (6-7, 7-6, 1-0(8)).
To start the afternoon session, Mariados defeated his opponent from Michigan State in three sets. The two traded a set of 6-3 wins before Mariados claimed the third, 1-0(9). Griffin, Gamble, Gota, Broadus and Rayl all came out on top during the second half of the day, completing the wins in straight sets.
After dropping his first match, early in the day, Griffin bounced back to take down Louisville, 6-1, 7-6. Gamble continued the win-streak for the Irish, finishing his second day of matches with a pair of 6-3 set wins over Louisville. Notre Dame’s final three tournament participants finished with victories in the third round of singles at the Invitational. Gota topped Michigan State (6-2, 6-3), Rayl defeated Nebraska (6-3, 6-4), while Broadus won his second match of the day with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Western Michigan.
On the final day of the Bobby Bayliss Invitational the Irish doubles team of Gamble/Broadus finished on top with a 7-5 win over a pair from Western Michigan. Over the three-day tournament, the duo went undefeated in doubles play. Rayl/Gota, Mariados/Somers and Small/Griffin concluded the Irish doubles on day three.
In the final round of singles, Griffin and Gamble both posted wins over their opponent. Griffin downed a Hawkeye from Iowa with a pair of 6-3 sets while Gamble posted a pair of 6-2 set wins over his competition from Iowa.
“Some bright spots for our squad were Nate Griffin posting three quality wins this weekend, and Matt Gamble responding after a tough first round to go 3-1 through the remainder of the tournament,” Andrews concluded.
Up Next For The Irish
A few members of the team will head to the ITF Futures Challenge in Harlingen, Texas. The Irish will then return home to host the ITA Midwest Regional Championships October 17-22. That event will be split between Eck Tennis Pavilion and Lakeland Athletic Club in Niles, Michigan.
— ND —