Feb. 23, 2018
By Chris Wittig
NOTRE DAME, Indiana -- The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team was defeated by rival Michigan on Friday, 4-3, at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
How It Happened
The No. 17 Irish (7-4) started up a point to the No. 12 Wolverines (8-2), winning the highly- contested doubles point in comeback fashion. After a quick 6-2 victory on court three by the Irish’s Guillermo Cabrera and Alex Lebedev, the Wolverines responded on court one, where Runhao Hua and Mattias Siimar defeated 28th-ranked Brendon Kempin and Tristan McCormick (ND), leaving the point to be decided by Richard Ciamarra and Matt Gamble (ND) on court two. Despite being down triple-match point in a decisive tiebreaking game, Gamble and Ciamarra rattled off five straight points to defeat Alex Knight and Connor Johnston (UM) by a score of 7-6 (6), earning the opening point for the Irish.
In singles, the Irish could not carry over the momentum they built in doubles play, dropping five of their respective six opening sets. The Wolverines began by defeating the Irish in two straight-set matches, as Carter Lin (UM) beat McCormick, 6-3, 6-4, and Davis Crocker (UM) beat Gamble, 7-6, 6-3. Notre Dame would battle back, as Ciamarra and William Howells (ND) reclaimed the lead for the Irish, defeating brothers Mattias and Kristofer Siimar, respectively, in three-set matches. The score leveled again when the 33rd-ranked Hua (UM) came back from a third-set deficit to defeat Cabrera, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(4), sending the competition to one singles to break the 3-3 tie.
After splitting the first two sets, an energetic crowd focused in on the decisive duel between No. 35 Lebedev and No. 5 Knight (UM). The match culminated in yet another dramatic tiebreaker, where Knight emerged victorious, taking the clinching match, 7-6(9), 6-7(10), 7-6(8), and the competition, 4-3, for the Wolverines.
The 17th ranked Irish continue their home stand this weekend, facing Ohio State (12pm) and Toledo (5pm) in a doubleheader Sunday.
No. 12 Michigan 4, No. 17 Notre Dame 3
February 23, 2018
Eck Tennis Pavillion
Notre Dame, Ind.
1. No. 5 Alex Knight (UM) def No. 35 Alex Lebedev (ND) 7-6(9), 6-7(10), 7-6(8)
2. No. 33 Runhao Hua (UM) def. Guillermo Cabrera (ND) 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(4)
3. Richard Ciamarra (ND) def. Mattias Siimar (UM) 6-3, 3-6, 6-0
4. Carter Lin (UM) def. Tristan McCormick (ND) 6-3,6- 4
5. Davis Crocker (UM) def. Matt Gamble (ND) 7-6, 6-3
6. William Howells (ND) def. Kristofer Siimar (UM) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
1. Runhao Hua/Mattias Siimar (UM) def. No. 28 Brendon Kempin/Tristan McCormick (ND) 6-3
2. Richard Ciamarra/Matt Gamble (ND) def. Alex Knight/Connor Johnston (UM) 7-6 (8-6)
3. Guillermo Cabrera/Alex Lebedev (ND) def. Harrison Brown/Davis Crocker (UM) 6-2
Order of Finish
Doubles: 3,1,2; Singles: 4,5,3,6,2,1
-- ND --
Chris Wittig is a sophomore journalist for Fighting Irish Media, and is currently in his second year covering both the men’s and women’s tennis teams.