Irish to play Hoosiers in weekend match
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, January 29, 2020
After splitting a pair of matches and grabbing the ITA Kickoff Weekend consolation title last weekend, the Notre Dame men’s tennis team will travel to Bloomington, Indiana, this weekend to take on in-state rival Indiana University (2-2). The Irish (2-2) will be entering into the match with a sense of confidence after taking care of business against Florida Atlantic, sweeping the Owls (2-5) 4-0. They reached the consolation round after losing to Arizona 4-2 in the first round, starting strong by taking the doubles point before falling in singles.
The Irish will once again look to keep their doubles play in a groove, having won the doubles point in the last three matches they played by a combined score of 36-17. The No. 1 doubles team for the Irish in junior Tristan McCormick and sophomore Axel Nefve as well as the No. 2 doubles team in junior Richard Ciamarra and senior Matt Gamble have done well for their team, winning six of their last eight matchups.
In singles, Ciamarra, the No. 5-ranked ITA singles player, will look to get back into the win column after suffering two defeats against both Purdue (2-3) and Arizona (5-1). He will likely match up against another ranked opponent in Saturday’s contest.
Indiana senior Bennett Crane holds the No. 66 spot in the ITA singles rankings. No. 102-ranked Nefve will also look to build off of a strong showing at the ITA Kickoff weekend, where he split a pair of matches, winning 7-5, 6-1 against junior Maxime Lapraille of FAU and playing close against Arizona’s (5-1) junior No. 36 Filip Malbasic, losing 6-4, 6-4.
Notre Dame’s opponent, Indiana, also took part in the ITA Kickoff weekend, playing against both No. 1 Texas (4-0) and Vanderbilt (3-1). While the Hoosiers were swept by the Longhorns, they did put out a solid doubles performance against Vanderbilt, winning two matches to take the doubles point before dropping four matches in singles. The Irish will need to continue to play well in order to extend their doubles winning streak and secure the critical opening point of the match.
The in-state matchup is set to begin at 3 p.m. with doubles play followed by singles at the Indiana University Tennis Center.