Jan. 19, 2018
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team cleared the first hurdle of its 2018 season Friday, defeating the Michigan State Spartans 6-1 at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
How It Happened
The doubles point went to the Irish as Notre Dame won on Courts 2 and 3 to claim the early advantage. First, freshman Richard Ciamarra and sophomore Matt Gamble defeated John Carlin and Billy Shisler 6-2 at the third slot. Then freshman William Howells and junior Alex Lebedev secured the point with a 6-2 victory over Josh Mukherjee and Michael Dube.
Notre Dame got a quick second point when sophomore Guillermo Cabrera downed Davis Wong 6-2, 6-0 at the No. 3 lineup spot. The next decisions came in succession as well, as freshman Tristan McCormick earned his first career dual singles win, 6-2, 6-4 over Josh Mukherjee at No. 4, and junior Grayson Broadus clinched the win a second later with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Alexander Kim at No. 6.
Ciamarra pushed the lead to 5-0 with his 7-6(3), 6-3 victory over Jasper Koenen, while the 45th-ranked Lebedev withstood the challenge from Brett Forman, 7-6(3), 6-4. The Spartans got their lone point of the night in the final decision as Dube defeated Gamble in three sets.
On making adjustments early…
“I think any time you’re playing your first match of the season you can have some jitters and it takes a bit of time to get comfortable on the court and you saw that with the starts being a little bit choppy in the doubles, but the guys responded well. In singles as well, it maybe took a little bit of time to get some comfort on some of the courts, but once we did, I thought we played well and we can build on this performance moving forward.”
On the performance of the freshmen in their first match…
“It was great. They did an awesome job … The first win in your college career sometimes takes a while in terms of dual match play and to get that kind of start to the season is great.”
On the veterans setting the tone…
“They did a good job. What you look at is not just game-day performance, but the mindset, practice habits and the focus they’ve come in to work with every single day. They’ve really led in a positive direction and tonight was just a carry-over from that and they did a pretty good job off to good starts and leading by example for the freshmen to follow.”
Notes To Know
- Freshmen Richard Ciamarra (singles, doubles), Tristan McCormick (singles, doubles) and William Howells (doubles) earned their first collegiate starts in a dual match.
- Ciamarra and Howells each earned doubles wins while Ciamarra and McCormick each won in singles for their first career dual match wins.
- Junior Alex Lebedev is 3-0 in his career at No. 1 singles.
- The Irish have won their season opener in each of the last nine years dating back to the 2010 season (4-3 over William & Mary)
Notre Dame 6, Michigan State 1
Jan. 19, 2018
Eck Tennis Pavilion
Notre Dame, Ind.
1. No. 45 Alex Lebedev (ND) def. Brett Forman (MSU) 7-6(3), 6-4
2. Michael Dube (MSU) def. Matt Gamble (ND) 6-3, 6-7(3), 10-6
3. Guillermo Cabrera (ND) def. Davis Wong (MSU) 6-2, 6-0
4. Tristan McCormick (ND) def. Josh Mukherjee (MSU) 6-2, 6-4
5. Richard Ciamarra (ND) def. Jasper Koenen (MSU) 7-6(3), 6-3
6. Grayson Broadus (ND) def. Alexander Kim (MSU) 6-2, 6-4
1. Brendon Kempin / Tristan McCormick (ND) vs. Brett Forman / Jasper Koenen (MSU) 3-4, unfinished
2. William Howells / Alex Lebedev (ND) def. Josh Mukherjee / Michael Dube (MSU) 6-2
3. Richard Ciamarra / Matt Gamble (ND) def. John Carlin / Billy Shisler (MSU) 6-2
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.