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Men’s Tennis

Notre Dame set to commence fall campaign

| Friday, September 21, 2018

Notre Dame is set to kick off its 2018 fall campaign this weekend at three separate locations this Friday: the WMU/Vredevelt Invitational in Kalamazoo, Mich., the UVA Masters in Charlottesville, Va. and the Milwaukee Classic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The fall season is chock-full of important qualifiers, individual tournaments and even championship opportunities for the Irish. Star individuals such as senior Alex Lebedev will compete at the qualifiers for the All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla. from Sep. 29 through Oct. 5. The Irish will then host the annual Bobby Bayliss Invitational at the Eck Tennis Pavilion on Oct. 5. Notre Dame will return to its home court two weeks later when it hosts the ITA Midwest Regional Championship on Oct. 18. After a string of individual invitationals, Notre Dame will travel to Surprise, Arizona for the ITA Fall National Championships on Nov. 7 — the competition that will effectively signal the close of the squad’s fall season.

Ann Curtis | The Observer

Irish senior Alex Lebedev extends his body to reach for a return shot during Notre Dame’s 6-1 loss to North Carolina on March 23 at Eck Tennis Pavilion. Lebedev forced No. 2 William Blumberg of UNC to a third set.

Notre Dame will therefore have many opportunities this upcoming season to grow as a team coming off a summer of individual accomplishment. Freshman Alex Nefve, who ranks 166th in the world for his age, made it all the way to the final of the US Juniors Open in doubles before barely falling to the European team of Adrian Andreev (Bulgaria) and Anton Matusevich (Great Britain).

As far as senior leadership and talent go, the Irish will have plenty of both. Lebedev, who qualified for the NCAA Championship last season and is ranked 19th in the Oracle ITA Preseason rankings, will be joined by fellow seniors Grayson Broadus, Daniel Rayl and Nathan Griffin. The Irish will again be led by head coach Ryan Sachire, who is entering his sixth year at the helm and twelfth year with the program.

In other rankings, sophomore combo Tristan McCormick and William Howells are ranked 58th in men’s doubles by the Oracle ITA, while fellow sophomore Richard Ciamarra is ranked 88th in men’s singles.

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