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Sports

Notre Dame men’s and women’s tennis fall to Florida State in ACC tournament

| Friday, April 22, 2022

Notre Dame men’s (16-12, 5-7 ACC) and women’s (13-11, 5-8 ACC) tennis both fell in the ACC tournament to Florida State Thursday night, losing to the Seminoles 3-4 and 0-4 respectively in Rome, Georgia.

The Irish got off to a strong start in men’s doubles play. After falling in the first match 6-3, Notre Dame battled back. Junior Matthew Che and senior Axel Nefve notched a 6-3 victory of their own to even the score. In the rubber match, graduate student Peter Conklin and junior Connor Fu overcame Florida States’ Alex Bulte and Youcef Rihane 6-4. Thanks to Conklin and Fu’s win, the Irish took a 1-0 lead in the match heading into singles play.

Florida State then got on the board first in singles through Sebastian Arcila, who defeated Fu 6-3, 6-2. Notre Dame responded well, with Jean-Marc Malkowski grabbing a quick 6-3, 6-3 win over Rihane to put the Irish up 2-0. Che then responded for the Irish, taking down Richard Thongoana 6-3, 6-2 to give Notre Dame a 3-1 lead.

That 3-1 lead would be where Irish fortunes changed. Following Thongoana’s loss, J. Dous Karpensschif took down Conklin 7-6, (7-2), 6-1 in the flight six matchup. Then Andreja Petrovic beat Aditya Vashistha 6-4, 6-3 setting up flight one matchup to be a winner-take-all affair. With the match tied 3-3, it was Florida State’s Loris Pourroy who got the better of Nefve in a 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 showdown. In his first match in weeks after recovering from an ankle injury, Nefve put up a strong effort. He dominated the second set. But ultimately, he was unable to stop Pourroy from pulling away late in the match and completing the Seminoles’ comeback for a 4-3 win.

The women’s match proved a more thorough showing of Florida State’s dominance. Freshmen Carrie Beckman and Nibedita Ghosh overcame Lesedi Jacobs and Olympe Lancelot 6-1 in the first matchup. But the Seminoles then began to take over, winning the next two doubles matchups to take a 1-0 lead. First, the duo of Petra Hule and Anna Arkadianou defeated Notre Dame junior Page Freeman and freshman Maria Olivia Castedo 6-4. Then Vic Allen and Kianah Motosono secured another Seminole win over sophomores Julia Andreach and Yashna Yellayi by the same scoreline.

Kate Naessens
Nibedita Ghosh jumps up to hit the ball during the game between Notre Dame and Oakland University at Eck Tennis Pavilion on April 10, 2022. The Fighting Irish defeated Grizzlies, 6-1.

Florida State carried their momentum from doubles into singles matches. In flight one, Hule overcame Freeman 6-3, 6-4. Then, in flight three, Vic Allen took down Yellayi 6-3, 6-2. And to cap off the match, Jacobs grabbed a third consecutive singles straight set victory for the Seminoles by taking down Beckman 6-4, 6-2. Despite Irish leads elsewhere on the courts, after Florida State secured the match deciding fourth point through Jacobs. The matchups in flights two, five and six were left unfinished.

Having been eliminated from ACC tournament contention, both the Notre Dame men’s and women’s teams will now await their fate. That will be decided May 2, Selection Sunday, which will determine NCAA Tournament matchups. The selection show will reveal if the Irish qualify and where they will play in the national tournament. The NCAA tournament will open the weekend of May 6 to 8, and will continue through May 19 to 22.

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