Feb. 15, 2018
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team will make its first appearance at the ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship since 2014 this weekend when they travel to Seattle to compete in the event, hosted by the University of Washington.
WHAT: ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship | First Round
WHO: No. 22/16 Notre Dame (7-0, 1-0 ACC) vs. No. 3 North Carolina (7-0, 0-0 ACC)
WHERE: Nordstrom Tennis Center | Seattle, Wash.
WHEN: 3 p.m. ET Friday
INFO: Event Page | Main Draw
The ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship begins Friday with 16 teams vying for an indoor national championship, competing that the Nordstrom Tennis Center at the University of Washington and the Seattle Tennis Club. Action will run through Monday.
The Irish have competed at the ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship on 11 previous occasions, with the 12th marking the first time since 2014 the Irish have qualified for the event. They will be the No. 14 seed in the 16-team field, having earned entry to the field after winning their ITA Kick-Off Weekend pod Jan. 27-28.
Notre Dame was a No. 4 seed during the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, but defeated No. 8 Texas in the opening round and Minnesota in the final to cement their bid to Indoors. The Irish are the lone No. 4 seed to advance from the ITA Kick-Off Weekend and one of four other Atlantic Coast Conference teams (also Wake Forest, North Carolina and Duke). Notre Dame has remained undefeated this season entering the tournament, boasting a 7-0 record.
On The Tar Heels
North Carolina enters Friday’s non-conference showdown with the Irish with a matching 7-0 record and have been ranked at No. 3 for the entirety of the 2018 dual season thus far. The top-seeded Tar Heels won their Kick-Off Weekend pod with wins over Drake and now-No. 13 Michigan and have since defeated No. 10 Illinois and No. 18 TCU.
The Tar Heels boast four ranked singles players: No. 4 William Blumberg, No. 57 Benjamin Siguoin, No. 81 Robert Kelly, and No. 124 Simon Soendergaard. They also have a ranked doubles pair in No. 10 Blumberg and Kelly.
Notre Dame is 9-14 in the all-time series against North Carolina.
Last Time Out
The Irish posted a 5-1 victory over Northwestern in their most recent match last Sunday, winning at five singles spots after dropping the doubles point to the Wildcats. Alex Lebedev, Richard Ciamarra and Tristan McCormick each won their matches on Courts 1, 4 and 3, respectively, before Grayson Broadus clinched the win on Court 6. Matt Gamble also won at No. 5 before the remaining singles match was suspended.
Notes To Know
- Richard Ciamarra leads the Irish with a 7-0 dual singles record in 2018, while Grayson Broadus improved to 6-0 on the season. Alex Lebedev is 4-0 this year.
- Lebedev improved to 6-0 in his career at No. 1 singles.
- The 7-0 start is the best for an Irish men’s tennis team since 1983, when the Irish started the season 12-0.
After starting the season 7-0 and earning a bid to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship, the Irish came in at No. 22 in last week’s Oracle/ITA National Collegiate Championships (no poll this week) and No. 16 in the USTA College Rankings on Wednesday. Individually, junior Alex Lebedev climbed to No. 28 in the ITA singles poll (up from No. 45), while junior Guillermo Cabrera made his debut in the rankings at No. 118.
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.