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Men’s Tennis

Lebedev, Notre Dame compete in ITA Midwest Regionals

| Thursday, October 26, 2017

Several Notre Dame players participated in the ITA Midwest Regional Championships tournament this past weekend on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

In the first round of singles play on Thursday, junior Nathan Griffin won his match in straight sets 7-6, 6-3. Freshman Paul Gota lost the first set of his match 6-3 before bouncing back to win the next two sets 6-2, 6-4. Freshman William Howells defeated his opponent in straight sets by identical 6-3, 6-3 scores. In the second round, Gota won in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 while Griffin won his match in straight sets by an almost identical 6-4, 6-3 score. Howells also won his match in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1.

In the first round of doubles play on Friday, the doubles pair of sophomore Guillermo Cabrera and freshman Tristan McCormick won their match 8-3, while the pair of freshman Richard Ciamarra and sophomore Matt Gamble defeated their opponent 8-4. Junior Alex Lebedev and Howells won their match 8-3. The doubles teams of junior Grayson Broadus and senior Brandon Kempin, junior Daniel Rayl and sophomore Conor Somers and Gota and Griffin all fell in their doubles matches. In the second round, Ciamarra/Gamble advanced to the Round of 16 with an 8-6 win, as did Lebedev/Howells who won their match 8-4. In the Round of 16, Lebedev/Howells claimed an 8-5 victory, while Ciamarra/Gamble fell 8-1.

In the first round of singles play on Saturday, Broadus won the first set of his match 6-4 before dropping the second set 6-3. In the third and deciding match, Broadus emerged victorious 6-0. Cabrera won the first match of his set 6-2 before losing a close second set 7-6(6), only to bounce back 6-4. Lebedev won his match in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 while Rayl also won in straight sets 6-1, 6-4.  Ciamarra, Gamble, Griffin, Howells, Kempin and McCormick all fell in their matches. In the second round, Lebedev won 6-3, 7-6(7), while Broadus, Cabrera and Rayl all were defeated. In doubles action on Saturday, Lebedev/Howells dropped their match 8-4.

In the Round of 16 of singles play Sunday, Lebedev dropped his first set 6-4 before winning the final two sets 6-3, 6-1. Moving on to the quarterfinals, Lebedev lost the first set of his match 6-4 before battling back to win the second set 6-3, but ultimately dropped the final set 6-3. In the qualifying consolation round, senior Drew Dawson won his first set 7-5 before dropping the second set 6-3. In the third and deciding set, Dawson claimed a 10-4 victory.

Notre Dame coach Ryan Sachire thought his team played well despite some ups and downs.

“We did pretty well,” Sachire said. “It was an individual tournament so no team score was kept or anything like that, and we had virtually every guy on our roster playing this past weekend and there were a lot of matches. Some guys did well and other guys didn’t really do as well as they wanted to, but I think on the whole overall, I think it was pretty good. Certainly we could’ve done better, but it obviously wasn’t bad either.”

Sachire said Lebedev stood out and continued his strong play during the fall season.

“Alex Lebedev did a really great job again,” Sachire said. “He has been doing really well all semester and really excited about where he is at right now and what he has been doing, so it was definitely a good event for Alex.”

Sachire said his team will look to improve their overall consistency of play during matches.

“Honestly I think the biggest thing is having a consistency from day-to-day and really point-to-point everyday of trusting ourselves and being confident in our shots,” Sachire said. “I thought there were times where we had guys maybe not feeling their best in terms of their level of play or they miss a couple of shots and we were really reactive to that and we lost confidence way too quickly.

“If we lose a couple of points or miss a couple of shots, we would stop going for our stuff and playing too conservatively and I think moving forward our message is going to be continue to play aggressive tennis and go for your shots even if it is not necessarily the best day for you. Continue to go for it and play loose and play free and not stress too much if you make a couple of mistakes.”

Notre Dame will have a busy weekend next week when they will have players participating in the Gopher Invitational at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis beginning Nov. 3, while Alex Lebedev qualified to participate in the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships in Indian Wells, California beginning Nov. 2.

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