Feb. 10, 2018
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team will return to the court for the first time in a eight days Sunday when the Irish travel to Evanston, Illinois, to take on non-conference rival Northwestern.
The 6-0 Irish are off to their best start since the 2014 season, when they also began 6-0. Another win will give Notre Dame its best season start since 1983, when the Irish started the season 12-0.
WHO: No. 22/17 Notre Dame (6-0, 1-0 ACC) vs. Northwestern (2-3)
WHERE: Combe Tennis Center | Evanston, Ill.
WHEN: 1 p.m. ET Sunday
WATCH: Live Stream
On The Wildcats
Northwestern enters the weekend with a 2-3 record and will face No. 9 Oklahoma State on the road Friday before returning home to host the Irish on Sunday. The Wildcats boast wins over Boise State and Georgia Tech, but have fallen to North Carolina State, Oklahoma and Duke in non-conference play. Northwestern is led in the rankings by No. 92 Antonioni Fasano, who is 1-3 in dual matches, but 6-6 overall. Nick Brooks leads the Wildcats with a 4-1 dual record playing at the No. 3 and No. 4 spots. The Irish are 48-36-1 all time against Northwestern, including 2-1 under Callaghan Family Head Men’s Tennis Coach Ryan Sachire.
Last Time Out
The Irish opened their Atlantic Coast Conference season with a 4-3 victory over Boston College last Saturday in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. After losing the doubles point, the Irish got wins at singles slots 3-6 for the win. Freshman Richard Ciamarra remained undefeated, improving to 6-0 on the season, while junior Grayson Broadus improved to 5-0. Freshman William Howells earned his first collegiate dual singles win at No. 5, while junior Nathan Griffin clinched the win at No. 6 singles.
After starting the season 6-0 and earning a bit to the ITA National Indoor Team Championships, the Irish came in at No. 22 in this week’s Oracle/ITA National Collegiate Championships and No. 17 in the USTA College Rankings. Individually, junior Alex Lebedev climbed to No. 28 in the singles poll (up from No. 45), while junior Guillermo Cabrera made his debut in the rankings at No. 118.
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.