Irish compete from coast to coast to begin fall season
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, September 19, 2017
This past weekend, the Irish began the fall season by splitting the squad to compete in two tournaments, sending one contingent to the Napa Valley Classic in California and the other to Chowder Fest in Massachusetts. Both tournaments featured particularly strong play from underclassmen on the team.
Out in California, Notre Dame finished with a combined record of 10-10 over 20 matches. Freshman Tristan McCormick led the charge, advancing all the way to the singles semifinals in the Napa Valley Classic. Along the way, McCormick took down some tough competitors, including No. 49 Billy Griffith of California in a 10-6 victory in the quarterfinals. However, No. 93 Valentin Vacherot of Texas A&M bested McCormick 10-7 in the following round.
Junior Alex Lebedev also competed in the Napa Valley Classic. There, he defeated Akos Kotorman of Baylor in his Sunday match 6-0, 4-6, 6-1, closing out the tournament with a 2-1 record to start the season.
In doubles, Lebedev and sophomore Matt Gamble won both their matches on Saturday over Oklahoma and California, after falling on Friday to the 34th-ranked pair of Griffith and J.T. Nishimura (Cal).
On the other side of the country in Cambridge, Massachusetts, although Notre Dame only won 13 of 34 matches, the Irish underclassmen enjoyed similar success. They concluded the tournament with five singles victories on Sunday, putting a bow on a solid weekend. Throughout the Chowder Fest, sophomore Johnathan Small went 3-0 in singles; further, freshman William Howells and sophomore Conor Somers both went 2-1.
Notre Dame will now travel to Tuscaloosa on Friday for the Crimson Tide 4-In-The-Fall, a weekend tournament hosted by the University of Alabama.