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Need To Know: ITA National Fall Championships & Gopher Invitational

Oct. 31, 2017

By Joanne Norell

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team will close out the fall season this weekend, splitting between three tournaments in its final competitions before spring dual play begins in January.

Junior Alex Lebedev highlights the Irish competitors this weekend, heading to the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships after an impressive summer and fall. The Island Park, New York, product won the ITA National Summer Championship before putting in strong showings at the ITA All-American Championship and regional championship tournaments this fall.

The rest of the Irish will compete at an end-of-year tournament at Minnesota.

WHAT: Oracle ITA National Fall Championships
WHERE: Indian Wells Tennis Garden & JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa | Palm Desert, Calif.
WHEN: Nov. 1-5, 2017
WHO: Alex Lebedev
TOURNAMENT INFO: Event Page | Live Scoring

WHAT: Gopher Invitational
WHERE: Baseline Tennis Center | Minneapolis, Minn.
WHEN: Nov. 3-5, 2017

National Fall Championships Lowdown

The final event of the fall championship season – replacing the ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships – gets underway Wednesday, with 64 of the nation’s top singles players and 32 top doubles teams in both men’s and women’s categories competing for the top spot. Players qualified for the championships with their performances at previous ITA national championships and during the ITA regional championships.

Irish junior Alex Lebedev qualified as an at-large singles selection after advancing to the Round of 16 at the ITA All-American Championships and the quarterfinals of the ITA Midwest Regional Championships. He was ranked No. 104 at the start of the season in the preseason Oracle/ITA Division I Men’s Singles Rankings and currently sports a 6-3 record, including 2-1 against ranked opponents.

Singles Schedule of Events
Nov. 1, 2017
11 a.m. ET – Round of 64
Nov. 2, 2017
11 a.m. ET – Round of 32 & Round of 32 Consolation
Nov. 3, 2017
Noon ET – Round of 16 & Round of 16 Consolation
Followed by – Quarterfinal & Quarterfinal Consolation
Nov. 4, 2017
1 p.m. ET – Semifinal & Semifinal Consolation
Nov. 5, 2017
1 p.m. ET – Championship & Consolation Final

Grand Slam Streak

Lebedev’s appearance in the singles main draw will mark the 15th consecutive ITA grand slam event in which the Irish have had at least one student-athlete compete in the main draw. ITA grand slam events include the All-American Championships, the National Indoor Championships (now the National Fall Championships) and the NCAA individual tournaments. The streak began with the 2013 NCAA Singles Championship when then-junior and current Irish assistant Greg Andrews advanced to the second round.

Poll Position

The Oracle/ITA preseason rankings were released Sept. 12, with senior Brendon Kempin and junior Grayson Broadus ranked No. 38 in the doubles rankings and junior Alex Lebedev coming in at No. 104 in singles.

Meet The Freshmen

The Irish welcomed four freshman at the start of the fall semester: Richard Ciamarra, Paul Gota, William Howells and Tristan McCormick. The quartet made up the No. 7 recruiting class in the country, according to the Tennis Recruiting Network, with Ciamarra and Howells rated as blue-chip prospects, McCormick as a five-star pick-up and Gota as a four-star talent.


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.