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Saturday, May 25, 2024
The Observer

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Irish sweep No. 46 Louisville ahead of regular-season finale

Notre Dame controls the Cardinals, moves within a win of .500

After narrowly missing out on a top-50 win over Georgia Tech on Sunday, Notre Dame men's tennis put the hammer down in its final home match of the regular season. The Irish swept No. 46 Louisville out of South Bend with a 4-0 win, returning to .500 overall at 12-12 and 3-8 in ACC play. 

Notre Dame's sweep on Wednesday afternoon proved unexpectedly lengthy, requiring three hours to complete as Louisville played closer than the final count would indicate. The battle opened with stiff competition in doubles play, where Notre Dame's No. 2 team of graduate student Nil Giraldez and freshman Chase Thompson claimed a 6-4 win. Louisville then pushed back with a 6-4 defeat of its own in No. 1 doubles, as the 11th-ranked Cardinal combination of Etienne Donnet and Natan Rodrigues bested the 12th-ranked Irish pair of sophomore Sebastian Dominko and senior Jean-Marc Malkowski.

In the decisive No. 3 doubles match, Notre Dame earned the day's first point. Sophomore Evan Lee and junior Yu Zhang got the job done, winning 6-3 to start the transition to singles action.

Singles play also featured a host of close sets, beginning with the No. 5 match that finished first. Freshman Kryan Magimay of Notre Dame claimed a first-set win of 6-1 against Louisville's Will Mayew, but the second set proved much tighter. Ultimately, Magimay won the set 7-6 (4), expanding Notre Dame's lead to 2-0.

No. 3 singles was the second match to finish, with Thompson delivering a come-from-behind victory against fifth-year Matthew Fung. In the first set, Fung edged out the Irish freshman 7-5, but Thompson released an avalanche from there. His closing set wins of 6-1 and 6-0 moved Notre Dame within a point of overall victory.

The headliner matchup of Dominko and Donnet in No. 1 singles pushed the Irish over the finish line, but not without fight. Donnet, the 68th-ranked singles player in the nation, claimed another first-set Cardinal win, downing 39th-ranked Dominko 6-4. Dominko gutted out a 7-6 (5) win in the second set and never looked back from there, taking a 6-1 triumph in the third and final set.

Notre Dame now looks ahead to a favorable matchup for its final regular season contest. The Irish will visit Boston College, a team they have defeated in 10 consecutive meetings since joining the ACC in 2013-14.

The Eagles have had a tough season overall, and their recent schedule has done them no favors down the stretch. Boston College currently stands at 5-13 overall and remains winless in all 10 ACC matchups. In three of their last four games, the Eagles faced conference opponents ranked inside the nation's top 20, most recently losing 6-1 to No. 58 Virginia Tech and 7-0 to No. 2 Virginia last weekend.

Friday's match against Notre Dame is the penultimate contest on Boston College's regular-season schedule. Boston College will face Louisville at home on Sunday after their matchup with Notre Dame.

Notre Dame and Boston College will begin play at 3 p.m. on Friday at the Weymouth Club.