Oct. 20, 2017
By Joanne Norell
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A pair of University of Notre Dame men’s tennis players earned their way into the singles main draw at the ITA Midwest Regional Championships, while a top doubles pairing made its way into the quarterfinal after the second day of play at Michigan’s Varsity Tennis Center.
The day began with the final round of singles qualifying, with freshman William Howells and junior Nathan Griffin earning bids into the main draw. Howells defeated Detroit’s Luka Soskic 6-3, 7-6(4), while Griffin ousted Valparaiso’s Garrett Gardner 6-2, 6-3.
Three rounds of doubles followed, with Howells and junior Alex Lebedev sweeping through their competition. The duo defeated teams from Northern Illinois, Western Michigan and Michigan to advance to Saturday evening’s round of eight. Freshman Richard Ciamarra and sophomore Matt Gamble also advanced to the Round of 16, earning wins against Valparaiso and Michigan State before falling to 5-8 seed Martin Joyce and John McNally of Ohio State.
The singles main draw will commence at 8 a.m. ET Saturday, with 10 Irish players vying for the crown. Lebedev (5-8 seed) and sophomore Guillermo Cabrera (17-24 seed) are Notre Dame’s seeded representatives, while senior Brendon Kempin; juniors Daniel Rayl, Grayson Broadus and Griffin; sophomore Gamble; and freshmen Tristan McCormick, Howells and Ciamarra will also compete.
Saturday’s schedule features two rounds of singles, followed by the doubles quarterfinal round at 5 p.m. ET.
ITA Midwest Regional Championships
Varsity Tennis Center
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Oct. 19-23, 2017
Friday - Singles Qualifying
 William Howells (ND) def. Luka Soskic (UDM) 6-3, 7-6(4)
[17-24] Nathan Griffin (ND) def. Garrett Gardner (VALPO) 6-2, 6-3
Luke Phillips (CSU) def. [9-16] Paul Gota (ND) 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 7-5
Friday - Doubles
[9-16] William Howells / Alex Lebedev (ND) def. Louis-Philippe Hamel / Tom Hjertonsson (NIU) 8-3
[9-16] Richard Ciamarra / Matt Gamble (ND) def. Brian Pecyna / Nick Marino (VALPO) 8-4
[17-24] Guillermo Cabrera / Tristan McCormick (ND) def. Charlie Croxford / Miles McDowall (UWGB) 8-3
Davis Crocker / Carter Lin (UM) def. [3-4] No. 38 Grayson Broadus / Brendon Kempin (ND) 8-7(3)
Maik Steiner / Jannik Opitz (WMU) def. Paul Gota / Nathan Griffin (ND) 8-4
Chase Colton / Osgar O’Hoison (UW) def. Daniel Rayl / Conor Somers (ND) 8-6
[9-16] William Howells / Alex Lebedev (ND) def. Billy Heckman / Kennosuke Nouchi (WMU) 8-4
[9-16] Richard Ciamarra / Matt Gamble (ND) def. Brett Forman / Jasper Koenen (MSU) 8-6
[9-16] Kristofer Siimar / Mattias Siimar (UM) def. [17-24] Guillermo Cabrera / Tristan McCormick (ND) 8-5
Round of 16
[9-16] William Howells / Alex Lebedev (ND) def. [3-4] Myles Schalet / Gabe Tishman (UM) 8-5
[5-8] Martin Joyce / John McNally (OSU) def. [9-16] Richard Ciamarra / Matt Gamble (ND) 8-1
Thursday - Singles Qualifying
 William Howells (ND) def. Luuk Wassenaar (DEP) 6-3, 6-3
[9-16] Paul Gota (ND) def. Tom Hjertonsson (NIU) 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
[17-24] Nathan Griffin (ND) def. Billy Shisler (MSU) 7-6, 6-3
[17-24] Brett Myers (MU) def. Drew Dawson (ND) 1-6, 6-3, 6-1
 William Howells (ND) def. Chris Greve (ISU) 6-0, 6-1
[9-16] Paul Gota (ND) def. James Ling (UWGB) 6-3, 6-3
[17-24] Nathan Griffin (ND) def. [9-16] Florian Kraenzler (UWGB) 6-4, 6-3
-- 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 men's tennis, women's tennis and fencing programs, in addition to 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.