Lebedev, McCormick, Nefve to play at ITF Futures Event
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, October 10, 2018
This weekend, most of the Notre Dame men’s tennis team will be taking the weekend off after back-to-back weeks of competition, but three of its members will be heading to Harlingen, Texas, where they will participate in the ITF Futures event.
This past weekend, the Irish took part in a pair of competitions, those being the All-American Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the Bobby Bayliss Invitational hosted at Notre Dame. Overall, the team saw great success, starting with seven members of the team taking part in pre-qualifying at All-Americans. Among them were senior Grayson Broadus; juniors Guillermo Cabrera, Matt Gamble and Jonathan Small; sophomores William Howells and Tristan McCormick; and freshman Axel Nefve. Having particularly strong tournaments were Howells and McCormick, who won all of their matches in this stage of the tournament to join the qualifying round along with sophomore Richard Ciamarra and senior Alex Lebedev.
For Lebedev, it proved to be a very successful weekend — the senior was able to get as far as the quarterfinals while facing the top competition in the country and qualified for the ITA Fall National Championships, which are played in early November in Surprise, Arizona. Howells had a strong showing as well, winning a total of six matches throughout the tournament before finally falling to an opponent who, along with Lebedev, made it into the final eight.
In the Bobby Bayliss Invitational, participating members of the team put together solid performances, starting with doubles on day one of the tournament, where the team finished 6-1 with a pair of wins each from the pairings of senior Daniel Rayl and sophomore Paul Gota; Broadus and Gamble; and junior Conor Somers and Small. The Irish were equally successful in singles, with wins coming from Broadus, Gamble and senior Nathan Griffin on day two of action, while the final day saw Broadus and Gamble complete an undefeated weekend with another win in doubles. Griffin also picked up another victory in singles.
While the team is certainly pleased with their performance this past week and largely over the course of the past two weeks, there is still much to be seen over the next few tournaments, starting with the aforementioned ITF Futures event this weekend. Team members McCormick, Nefve and Lebedev will all be taking part in the tournament, which will allow them to all face pro-style competition. This is especially important for these three, as they all have aspirations of playing professional tennis after their careers at Notre Dame. As such, while the event will not count toward collegiate rankings, it does offer excellent experience to see and play tennis at the professional level.
Looking beyond the Futures event, Notre Dame will next be in action Oct. 18, when it hosts the ITA Midwest Regional Championship. The team receives a bit of a reprieve the next weekend before heading to three separate tournaments in the first weekend of November, as players will be heading to the Dick Vitale Clay Court Invitational in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, the Red Bird Invitational hosted by Indiana University and the Gopher Invitational hosted by University of Minnesota. The Irish will look to keep the momentum of the past two weekends going as they move forward into a busy fall schedule.