March 10, 2018
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The 19th-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team was all business in its final set of matches before hitting the road on the Spring Break, snatching a pair of important wins Saturday against Louisville and DePaul at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
The Irish (10-6, 2-0 ACC) won four singles matches to dispatch Atlantic Coast Conference foe Louisville 4-3 in the early session, remaining undefeated in conference play. In the nightcap, the Irish downed the Blue Demons 6-1 to move into double-digits in the win column.
How It Happened
The doubles point went to the Cardinals (9-4, 1-1 ACC), who won on Courts 1 and 2 to snare the advantage. At the top spot, No. 22 Parker Wynn and Christopher Morin-Kougoucheff defeated No. 55 senior-freshman pair Brendon Kempin and Tristan McCormick 6-3, but a decision did not come so easily on the remaining courts. After each going down a break, Notre Dame’s duos at Nos. 2 and 3 each broke back late, ultimately each going up 6-5. At the second spot, however, Louisville’s Federico Gomez and Brandon Lancaster held against sophomore Matt Gamble and freshman Richard Ciamarra and pulled away in the tiebreaker, 7-6(3).
Louisville took a 2-0 lead when Gomez defeated Gamble 6-4, 6-2 at No. 4 singles, but the Irish won the next three matches to go ahead for the first time. McCormick defeated Lancaster 6-4, 6-2 at No. 5, followed by a 6-2, 6-2 win for Cabrera over Nicolas Rouanet at the No. 3 spot. At No. 1, 33rd-ranked junior Alex Lebedev gave Notre Dame the 3-2 edge with a 6-1, 1-6, 6-1 victory over No. 90 Wynn.
The final two matches went to third sets just as Lebedev gave the Irish the lead. Though Ciamarra took a 4-1 advantage over Morin-Kougoucheff on Court 2, it was junior Grayson Broadus — a late addition to the lineup after freshman William Howells was scratched due to illness — who would come through for the Irish. After Ciamarra faltered and fell 4-6, 7-6(1), 6-4, Broadus — holding at 3-3 in the third set at the time — secured a break at deuce point and held on to win 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 over George Hedley.
With the win, Broadus improved to 8-2 on the season, including 2-0 in ACC matches.
The Irish won the doubles point, though the Blue Demons gave them a test with tight matches on Courts 1 and 2. While the Irish duo of Broadus and junior Nathan Griffin easily defeated Christopher Casati and Tamas Zador 6-2 on Court 3, DePaul held serve with Notre Dame for long stretches in the remaining matches. At No. 2, Tripp Tuff and Conor O’Meara went up a break at 6-5 to serve for the match, but the Irish had other plans at No 1. There, Kempin and McCormick got their break in the final game, winning 6-4 over Alex Galoustian and Boris Spanjaard to clinch the early lead.
Sophomore Johnathan Small made it 2-0 in Notre Dame’s favor, picking up his first dual win of the season with a 6-0, 6-4 decision over Fran Tonejc on Court 6. He was followed by Gamble, who defeated Tuff 6-2, 6-3 on Court 4, and Cabrera, who clinched the match with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Spanjaard on Court 2.
McCormick made it 5-0 with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Tamas Zador at No. 3, while the Blue Demons got a point at No. 5 singles with Casati’s 6-4, 6-3 win over freshman Paul Gota. Ciamarra closed the match, winning 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 at the No. 1 spot.
Coach Ryan Sachire Says
On seeing positive results after a tough stretch of six losses in seven matches…
“It feels good to win and I think our guys have done a really good job of understanding that our level that we’ve been playing at has been really good throughout the season, despite not getting the results that we’ve maybe wanted recently. At the same time, it’s great having that positive reinforcement through results. It was a good day and I’m really proud of our guys muscling through a tough match against Louisville and coming out and playing darn good against a pretty good DePaul team as well.”
On the performance of Grayson Broadus in clinching the match against Louisville…
“I couldn’t be happier for him. It’s a tough situation when you’re the No. 7 guy (in the lineup) because you’re an injury or illness away from being in there, yet playing time isn’t necessarily guaranteed. He’s done a remarkable job over the last couple of weeks while not being in the lineup of continuing to develop, grow his game and stay engaged and it showed today. He didn’t know until today that he was playing when William woke up sick and for him to be able to click into a gear that allowed him to beat a good player was awesome. I told our team after the match, I don’t think you can script a better way to close out a match than the way Grayson did. In the 4-3 game and the 5-4 game on his serve, he just stepped up to the line with total confidence and executed what he was capable of doing and didn’t give (Hedley) a chance to break him. I’m so proud of that kid and hopefully we can continue to build on that.”
The Irish will hit the road over Spring Break, first heading southwest to face Texas A&M on Thursday before wrapping the week at ACC rival Virginia on Sunday.
- The Irish own a 13-11 series edge against the Cardinals, including 2-3 under Callaghan Family Head Men’s Tennis Coach Ryan Sachire.
- The Irish are 29-0 in the all-time series against DePaul, and 2-0 under Sachire.
- Sophomore Johnathan Small picked up his first dual win of the season with his Court 6 win against DePaul.
No. 19 Notre Dame 4, Louisville 3
March 10, 2018
Eck Tennis Pavilion
Notre Dame, Ind.
1. No. 33 Alex Lebedev (ND) def. No. 90 Parker Wynn (UL) 6-1, 1-6, 6-1
2. Christopher Morin-Kougoucheff (UL) def. Richard Ciamarra (ND) 4-6, 7-6(1), 6-4
3. Guillermo Cabrera (ND) def. Nicolas Rouanet (UL) 6-2, 6-2
4. Federico Gomez (UL) def. Matt Gamble (ND) 6-3, 6-1
5. Tristan McCormick (ND) def. Brandon Lancaster (UL) 6-4, 6-2
6. Grayson Broadus (ND) def. George Hedley (UL) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
1. No. 22 Parker Wynn / Christropher Morin-Kougoucheff (UL) def. No. 55 Brendon Kempin / Tristan McCormick (ND) 6-3
2. Federico Gomez / Brandon Lancaster (UL) def. Richard Ciamarra / Matt Gamble (ND) 7-6(3)
3. Guillermo Cabrera / Alex Lebedev (ND) vs. George Hedley / Ciro Lampasas (UL) 6-5, unfinished
No. 19 Notre Dame 6, DePaul 1
March 10, 2018
Eck Tennis Pavilion
Notre Dame, Ind.
1. Richard Ciamarra (ND) def. Alex Galoustian (DEP) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
2. Guillermo Cabrera (ND) def. Boris Spanjaard (DEP) 6-4, 6-2
3. Tristan McCormick (ND) def. Tamas Zador (DEP) 6-4, 6-4
4. Matt Gamble (ND) def. Tripp Tuff (DEP) 6-2, 6-3
5. Christopher Casati (DEP) def. Paul Gota (ND) 6-4, 6-3
6. Johnathan Small (ND) def. Fran Tonejc (DEP) 6-0, 6-4
1. No. 55 Brendon Kempin / Tristan McCormick (ND) def. Alex Galoustian / Boris Spanjaard (DEP) 6-4
2. Richard Ciamarra / Matt Gamble (ND) vs. Tripp Tuff / Conor O’Meara (DEP) 5-6, unfinished
3. Grayson Broadus / Nathan Griffin (ND) def. Christopher Casati / Tamas Zador (DEP) 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.