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Men’s Tennis

Irish head to Alabama for Crimson Tide 4-In-The Fall

| Thursday, September 21, 2017

Notre Dame is set to start its second weekend of play during the fall season when it travels to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to compete in the Crimson Tide 4-In-The-Fall tournament at the University of Alabama Tennis Stadium.

Notre Dame head coach Ryan Sachire said his players will face some tough competition this weekend against teams from the SEC, ACC and Big Ten.

“We’re taking four guys down to Alabama,” Sachire said. “Alabama will obviously be there as well as Florida State, Oklahoma, Illinois, Rice, Memphis and Mississippi State.”

Last weekend, Irish tennis players competed at both the Chowder Fest Tournament in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Napa Valley Classic in Napa Valley, California.

At Chowder Fest, freshman Richard Ciamarra and sophomore Jonathan Small recorded singles wins Friday. On Saturday, Small (4-6, 7-5, 6-0), freshman William Howells (3-6, 6-3, 6-3) and senior Drew Dawson (6-7, 6-3, 6-4) each recorded comeback wins after dropping the first sets of their matches. On Sunday, Small won his match in straight sets 6-2, 6-3. Howells dropped the first set of his match 6-1 before rebounding to win the final two sets 6-4, 6-3. Senior Brendon Kempin won his match in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, while junior Daniel Rayl won the last two sets of his match 7-5, 10-8 after dropping his first match 6-4. Sophomore Conor Somers defeated his opponent 7-5, 6-3. The doubles team of Howells/Ciamarra recorded an 8-4 win during the weekend.

At Napa Valley, sophomore Guillermo Cabrera (5-7, 6-3, 6-4) and freshman Tristian McCormick (7-6(7-4), 6-3) recorded singles wins on Friday. On Saturday, the doubles team of sophomore Matt Gamble and junior Alex Lebedev recorded two doubles wins (6-1, 7-6(7-5)), while McCormick recorded a singles victory (3-6, 6-4, 6-4). On Sunday, McCormick recorded two singles wins (6-2, 6-2, 10-5) to advance to the semifinal round before falling 10-7.

“It was a really good weekend for us,” Sachire said. “Both events were very strong and we competed against a lot of really good players and our guys played hard and played well. It was definitely a good start to the year and we’re looking forward to building upon that as the fall goes on.”

When asked which of his players impressed him with their performance over the weekend, Sachire pointed to Lebedev and some of the freshman on this year’s team.

“Alex Lebedev had a great tournament out in Napa Valley,” Sachire said. “He had an awesome summer and then really carried that same level of play and momentum into last week and did an unbelievable job playing against some really good competition. The next group of guys to single out would probably be our three freshman that played last weekend: Richard Ciamarra, William Howells and Tristian McCormick. All three of those guys had big wins and really impressed not only with their play, but also how they competed and how their presence out there that whole weekend.”

Sachire said that his team will look to improve their doubles play as well as some individual facets of his players’ games.

“We’ve got to get a lot better in doubles,” Sachire said. “Our doubles results were not very good. I’m not totally alarmed by that but it is definitely something we have to focus on and get better at. From a singles perspective, individual aspects of each guys game, but we talked a lot last year about serve and return of tennis is so important. We want to really make big strides in those areas and focus on our doubles here in the next couple of weeks.”

The Crimson Tide 4-In-The-Fall tournament begins Friday with competition going through Sunday.

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