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Men’s Tennis: Irish travel to invitational

Andrew Owens | Friday, October 1, 2010

When the Irish travel to Cambridge, Mass., for the Harvard Invitational this weekend, an important week of events will be kicking off as well.

The Harvard Invitational (or Chowder Fest, as it is known in the Northeast) is a three-day tournament that will be played today, Saturday and Sunday. The tournament includes Harvard, Minnesota and South Carolina.

Last season, junior Casey Watt won the award as the top singles performer in the tournament. As a result, the junior was named the Dale Junta Tournament Champion. Watt is once again looking to leave his mark at the Harvard Invitational. As a team, the Irish went 19-7 in singles play in the 2009 event.

When it comes to this year’s tournament, assistant head coach Ryan Sachire said the Irish just need to play with confidence.

“We need to play better than the opponent and play with more confidence than them,” he said. “We’ve been trusting ourselves in practice and have had some good practices and conditioning sessions over the past couple weeks. It is safe to say that we have made some significant jumps.”

After competing in the tournament this weekend, Notre Dame’s attention will move to the ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) All-American Championships, a week-long event in Tulsa, Okla.

Three members of the Irish squad will compete in the ITA Championships — Watt, sophomore Blas Moros and senior Daniel Stahl.

“The fall season isn’t just about winning. It is also about development,” Sachire said. “We play to win, but the goal is to play good tennis to prepare for the spring dual tournaments. We need to play hard, play well and play with confidence.”

Playing with confidence is something that the talented Irish squad has not had a problem with.

“The guys are believing in themselves and have had a good start,” Sachire said. “We want to continue with that.”

They have a great opportunity to do just that with two of the fall season’s biggest events in the Harvard Invitational and ITA All-American Championships.