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Men’s Tennis

Irish bring hot start down to Texas

| Thursday, January 25, 2018

On Saturday, Notre Dame will travel to Austin to compete against No. 8 Texas. This matchup will follow Notre Dame’s undefeated 3-0 start to the spring season, as it has already accumulated victories over Michigan State, Kentucky and Cleveland State.

Michelle Mehelas | The Observer

Irish junior captain Alex Lebedev prepares for a return during Notre Dame’s 4-3 win over Kentucky on Jan. 21 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

The hot start is the team’s best since 2014 and was enough to score the team a number of ACC honors. Junior Alex Lebedev was named ACC Player of the Week after going undefeated in his singles matches against the Spartans and Wildcats, while he also came home with ACC Doubles Team of the Week with freshman William Howells, as the duo competed and won in all three matches over the weekend to help the Irish secure the doubles point — which made the difference in their 4-3 win over Kentucky on Sunday.

These matches in Austin are part of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, which will begin Friday at 30 different sites across the country. As the No. 4 seed, the Irish first will face No. 1 seed and host Texas. The outcome of this matchup sets the stage for Notre Dame to see either No. 2 seed Minnesota or No. 3 seed Tennessee on Sunday.

Matches will occur outdoors at the Texas Tennis Center, presenting a potential challenge for Notre Dame. Adjustments from indoor tennis to outdoor tennis must be made, particularly with regards to pace of play. The Irish will head down to Austin on Wednesday and have the opportunity to practice both Thursday and Friday outdoors in anticipation of the weekend.

Play at the Texas Tennis Center will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday.

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