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Men’s Tennis

Notre Dame seeks key wins against ACC foes

| Friday, March 18, 2016

As Notre Dame enters the heart of its ACC schedule, it will look to secure a pair of wins against Duke and Miami this weekend.

“We are really excited about the opportunities this weekend,” Irish head coach Ryan Sachire said. “Both Duke and Miami are great programs with really talented players, and we are looking forward to the challenges that we will face.”

The Blue Devils (7-8, 1-2 ACC) had a rough start to their season, winning only two out of their first eight matches. However, they have been on an upswing, winning five out of their last seven games. Duke is 21-28 in the all-time series against the Irish (8-8, 2-2 ACC). Miami (6-6, 1-1 ACC), on the other hand, is coming into its match against Notre Dame after a string of three losses. The Hurricanes will face Boston College before playing the Irish on Sunday. The Irish are 2-0 against the Hurricanes under Sachire. Against two conference opponents, Sachire said the team will look to improve offensively after working on doubles play over the break.

“We have been working hard on our offensive plays and our ability to attack our opponents,” Sachire said. “In addition, we have spent some time getting our doubles back up to the level we were playing at prior to spring break.”

Notre Dame’s season has been inconsistent thus far, containing a three-game winning streak and a four-game losing streak. Accordingly, another aspect of Notre Dame’s game Sachire said the team has been working to improve is its mental toughness.

Irish senior Quentin Monaghan fires a forehand during Notre Dame’s 7-0 win over Ball State on Feb. 7 at Eck Tennis Pavilion. Becki Jeren | The Observer

Irish senior Quentin Monaghan fires a forehand during Notre Dame’s 7-0 win over Ball State on Feb. 7 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

“One of the main goals that we have is to have our players be able to maintain focus on their tactics and game plan during the most pressure-packed situations in a match, and ultimately, not allow their focus to drift away from what it takes to be successful in the key moments of a match,” Sachire said.

Senior Alex Lawson looks to factor big in Notre Dame’s upcoming ACC matches. Lawson has been climbing up the all-time Irish doubles win list, and is now tied at 3rd place with 88 total wins. Ahead of Lawson on the all-time wins list are former players Jakub Pietrowski with 95 wins and Greg Andrews with 93.

If the weather allows it, Notre Dame will play in the Courtney Tennis Center against Duke at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, and against Miami at noon Sunday.

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