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Need To Know: Michigan, Ohio State & Toledo

Feb. 22, 2018

By Joanne Norell

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 17th-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team will look to bounce back into the win column this weekend against top competition, welcoming No. 12 Michigan to the Eck Tennis Pavilion on Friday and No. 3 Ohio State and Toledo on Sunday.

Match 11
WHO: No. 17/20 Notre Dame (7-3) vs. No. 12/16 Michigan (7-2)
WHERE: Eck Tennis Pavilion | Notre Dame, Ind.
WHEN: 5 p.m. ET Friday

Match 12
WHO: No. 17/20 Notre Dame vs. No. 3/3 Ohio State (10-1)
WHERE: Eck Tennis Pavilion | Notre Dame, Ind.
WHEN: Noon ET Sunday

Match 13
WHO: No. 17/20 Notre Dame vs. Toledo (1-7)*
WHERE: Eck Tennis Pavilion | Notre Dame, Ind.
WHEN: 5 p.m. ET Sunday
*record entering Friday’s match

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Last Time Out

The Irish were one of 16 teams to advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships last weekend, traveling to the University of Washington to take on the nation’s top teams. Though the Irish went 0-3 on the weekend – their first losses of the season – they competed well in 4-3 losses to No. 11 Florida and No. 20 Duke. It was Notre Dame’s first appearance in the tournament since 2014 and 11th appearance overall.

On The Wolverines

Michigan enters the weekend with a 7-2 record, having lost just to No. 3 North Carolina and No. 11 Florida on the season, and have won in its last four matches. Among the Wolverines’ seven wins are victories over No. 20 South Carolina and No. 23 California.

The Wolverines are led by fifth-ranked Alex Knight, who is 3-1 in dual matches this season and 15-3 overall. Court two player Runhao Hua is ranked 33rd and owns a 5-3 mark, while No. 122 Myles Schalet is 5-2 playing on courts three and four. In doubles, Knight and Hua rank eighth with a 4-2 mark at No. 1.

Notre Dame is 32-45 in the all-time series against Michigan, but 2-0 under Callaghan Family Head Men’s Tennis Coach Ryan Sachire.

On The Buckeyes

Ohio State was one of the 16 teams to advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships last weekend, putting in a 2-1 mark with wins over No. 20 Duke and No. 3 North Carolina. After beating the Blue Devils in the opening round, the Buckeyes fell to No. 7 UCLA in the quarterfinals for their lone loss of the season. They bounced back to defeat the Tar Heels in a consolation match to wrap the weekend. Ohio State also boasts ranked wins over Texas, Texas A&M and Florida so far this season.

The Buckeyes are led by second-ranked Mikael Torpegaard, who is 7-1 between 1 and 2 singles, while No. 30 Kyle Seelig (5-1), No. 49 John McNally (4-1) and No. 55 JJ Wolf (5-2) round out the team’s ranked singles contingent. They also boast 10th-rated Torpegaard and Martin Joyce, who are 5-1 in doubles.

Notre Dame is 26-34 in the all-time series against Ohio State, and 0-4 under Sachire.

On The Rockets

Toledo enters the weekend at 1-7 and will face Wayne State on Friday before closing out the weekend at Notre Dame. The Rockets’ lone win came against Wright State on Jan. 21.

Notre Dame is 28-2 in the all-time series against Toledo, including 1-0 under Sachire.

Rankings Rundown

The Irish came in at No. 17 in this week’s Oracle/ITA Division I Men’s National Team Rankings, up five spots after last week’s appearance at ITA Indoors. The team also dropped four spots in the USTA Collegiate Rankings to No. 20.

Junior Alex Lebedev remained in the top 40 in the Oracle/ITA singles rankings, coming in at No. 35 this week, while freshman Richard Ciamarra made his ranking debut at No. 125 after starting the season 9-1. Senior-freshman duo of Brendon Kempin and Tristan McCormick also entered the doubles rankings, polling at No. 28 after going 2-1 at ITAs and defeating Florida’s No. 5 McClain Kessler and Duarte Vale.

Freshmen Figuring In

The Irish have seen three of their four freshmen earn starting spots so far this season, with Tristan McCormick and Richard Ciamarra playing regularly in both singles and doubles and William Howells seeing regular time in the doubles lineup. The 125th-ranked Ciamarra leads the team with a 9-1 dual singles record, while also posting a 6-2 mark in doubles with sophomore partner Matt Gamble. McCormick is 4-5 in singles and 3-4 at No. 1 doubles, ranking at No. 28 with senior partner Brendon Kempin. Howells and junior partner Alex Lebedev are 3-3 in doubles on the season.

For the latest on all things Irish men’s tennis, follow @NDMensTennis on Twitter and ndmenstennis on Instagram and like Notre Dame Men’s Tennis on Facebook.


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 and fencing programs, in addition to assisting with football communications and 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.