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)

Irish Find Success On Day Three Of ITA Regionals

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Notre Dame men’s tennis team concluded day three of the ITA Midwest Regionals with 10 members competing in the main draw of singles competition.

The morning began with William Howells defeating Kweisi Kenyatte of Valparaiso, 6-3 and 6-4 to advance to the second round. Qualifying through three match wins in the first stage of competition earlier this week, Daniel Rayl moved past opponent Matej Svjetlicic of Western Michigan in a long three sets.Dropping the first set 6-7(4), Rayl bounced back to overcome the Bronco, 6-4, 7-5, to advance to the round of 32.

Tristan McCormick and Richard Ciamarra also advanced at the Eck Tennis Pavilion on day three, with McCormick winning the tie-breaker in the first set, 7-6(0) before taking set two, 6-3. Ciamarra topped his Michigan State opposition in two sets, claiming the 6-3 and 6-1 victories.

Axel Nefve and Grayson Broadus also competed in the main draw at home this morning.

The Irish squad was split between two venues today, with the other four participants competing at Lakeland Athletic Club in Niles, Michigan. There, both Matt Gamble and Guillermo Cabrera advanced to the round of 32. Gamble defeated Eric Marbach (Northern Illinois), 6-2, 6-3, while Cabrera forced a decisive third set after falling 1-6 in the first. He finished the round of 64 with a 1-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) victory over Brandon Ancona of Valparaiso.

Nathan Griffin took his opposition to three sets after a 6-1 victory in the second. Ultimately, his competition advanced though. Johnathan Small was also in action down the road in Niles, falling to his opponent 3-6, 2-6.

The round of 32 saw much success for the Irish, as five have advanced to tomorrow’s third round matches.

Howells took down his opponent, Wisconsin’s Osgar O’Hoisin in a pair of 6-4 wins, while McCormick came out on top in a tight 7-5, 7-6(2) contest. Ciamarra went to three sets with Simen Bratholm of Northwestern, trading a pair of 6-4 victories before a convincing 6-2 third set win. The final Irish competitor in Indiana, Rayl, fell just short of the third round with a 2-6, 4-6 loss to Michigan.

In Niles, Gamble and Cabrera also advance to tomorrow’s round of 16, following 7-6(2), 6-3 and 6-2, 6-2 wins, respectively.

The third day concluded with Ciamarra and McCormick showing a dominating performance in doubles, defeating their Michigan opponents 8-2, advancing to the semifinals tomorrow afternoon. Jumping up 5-0, the duo allowed just two points through the next five to move forward in the competition.

“Today was a great day for tennis all around,” head coach Ryan Sachire said. “Our guys played well through the two rounds of singles today and I’m excited to see what they bring to the court tomorrow.

“I’m extremely proud of how all our guys played today. Ciamarra and McCormick have been a great pair through the tournament and their performance today showed just how well the two work together,” he added. “It has been an honor to host the tournament and we look forward to the final two days of competition here.”

The main draw of singles will continue Sunday starting at 9 a.m., as the six of the Irish look for a spot in the quarterfinal round. Following tomorrow’s round of 16 and quarterfinal singles, the semifinals of doubles are set to take place.