Feb. 19, 2017
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team tallied its sixth 7-0 sweep of the season Sunday, defeating the visiting Indiana Hoosiers during an afternoon match at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
How It Happened
Notre Dame won the doubles point with victories on Courts 1 and 3. Junior Brendon Kempin and sophomore Grayson Broadus gave the Irish an early advantage with a 6-1 cruising past Bennett Crane and Zac Brodney at the No. 3 spot, but the deciding doubles match was harder to come by. After the Irish and Hoosiers traded breaks on both the remaining courts, sixth-ranked seniors Eddy Covalschi and Josh Hagar clinched the point for Notre Dame with a 6-4 win over No. 31 Raheel Manji and Keivon Tabrizi.
The Irish went on to win the first set on five of six courts. Broadus was the first to finish, giving the Irish a 2-0 lead with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Antonio Cembellin at No. 3 singles. Broadus won six straight games in the first set after going down 0-3 and breezed to the straight set win in the second.
Freshman Guillermo Cabrera extended the lead with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Crane at the No. 5 spot, while classmate Johnathan Small sewed up the victory at 4-0 with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Oliver Sec. Small is now 5-0 in dual matches this season.
Hagar completed the sweep with a three-set win of his own. After losing the second set 1-6, the Austin, Texas, native faced a 3-5 third-set deficit, but rallied with four straight game wins to defeat Manji 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.
On the overall performance...
“It was a good win, a good performance. Indiana is a really good team. They had a really good start to the year and beat some NCAA tournament-level teams pretty easily and we knew this was not going to be an easy match by any stretch of the imagination. Our guys competed well. We did some things better today than we did against Illinois last Sunday and that’s what you want to see as a coach: that your team is improving and buying into the message that you’re trying to give them.”
On improving from week to week…
“Indiana, like any good team, is going to make runs. I thought our guys did a good job of not allowing a few points that went against us avalanche into five minutes where you lose three games in a row or something like that. I thought we did a good job of gathering ourselves in the midst of those runs and pushing back and not allowing ourselves to drop multiple games in a row. The quantity of times we lost three games in a row or more throughout the match was limited to maybe two or three times in total in all nine matches. That’s a good stat if we can continue to do that and show that resolve and toughness when our opponents are building some momentum, we’ll be in a position to win a lot of matches.”
On looking ahead to Friday’s match against No. 7 Northwestern…
“It’s another really good team, and we’re going to try to help each guy make one improvement this week in practice. Each guy is different and it will be specific for their games, but there’s one thing we can do a little bit better at each position and, most importantly, they will be ready to compete the same way we did tonight and if we do that, we should have a good chance to win.”
The Irish will close out their February-long homestand against T-No. 7 Northwestern at 6 p.m. ET on Friday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
Notre Dame 7, Indiana 0
February 19, 2017
Eck Tennis Pavilion
1. No. 34 Josh Hagar (ND) def. Raheel Manji (IU) 6-4, 1-6, 7-5
2. Alex Lebedev (ND) def. Keivon Tabrizi (IU) 6-4, 7-5
3. Grayson Broadus (ND) def. Antonio Cembellin (IU) 6-3, 6-2
4. Matt Gamble (ND) def. Matthew McCoy (IU) 2-6, 6-1, 6-2
5. Guillermo Cabrera (ND) def. Bennett Crane (IU) 6-3, 6-4
6. Johnathan Small (ND) def. Oliver Sec (IU) 6-3, 6-4
1. No. 6 Eddy Covalschi / Josh Hagar (ND) def. No. 31 Raheel Manji / Keivon Tabrizi (IU) 6-4
2. Matt Gamble / Alex Lebedev (ND) vs. Stefan Lugonjic / Antonio Cembellin (IU) 4-5, unfinished
3. Grayson Broadus / Brendon Kempin (ND) def. Bennett Crane / Zac Brodney (IU) 6-1
-- ND --
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 women's soccer, men's tennis, women's tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in mass communication, and earned her master's degree in sports industry management from Georgetown University in 2013.