Irish face road test
Renee Griffin | Thursday, March 20, 2014
No. 11 Notre Dame travels to Clemson on Friday to play the No. 20 Tigers on their outdoor courts before heading to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech on Sunday for its second ACC matchup of the weekend.The Irish (11-5) are prepared for a close match Friday against Clemson (15-2), Irish coach Ryan Sachire said.
“Clemson is a really good team that’s had a great start to the season,” Sachire said. “Anytime you play a good team on the road at their home court, you know it’s going to be a challenge.”
Though the match will be hard fought, Sachire says he expects the team to do well against the Tigers given Notre Dame’s track record against high-ranked teams.
“We know that their talent level is high,” Sachire said. “Both teams are pretty balanced throughout their lineups and both teams are pretty competitive at every single spot, which is the mark of a good team. It will be a good matchup, but at the same time I think we have a chance to win every match.”
With the last two outdoor matches against top teams ending in losses for the Irish, Sachire said Notre Dame has had success improving specific aspects of its game. The team got in some outdoor practice this week, both at the Eck Tennis Pavilion and the Clemson courts.
“We’re going to be playing outside, so that’s something we’ve been focusing on,” Sachire said. “During practice we’ve really been putting emphasis on patience and shot placement, and we’ve done a good job of working on those things.”
Sachire said he expects two specific players to have the chance to make a major impact in the match Friday.
“I feel like our top two guys, [senior] Greg Andrews and [sophomore] Quentin Monaghan, have been preparing well and had a really good week of practice,” Sachire said. “I’m excited to see them get into their progressions and show what they’ve improved on.”
The Irish will face Clemson at 2:30 p.m. in Clemson, S.C., on Friday, then will hit the road again to play Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Sunday at 12 p.m.