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Men’s Tennis

Pair of ACC matchups await Irish in Florida

| Thursday, April 6, 2017

Notre Dame is set to take on Florida State and Miami in two crucial ACC road showdowns this weekend. The matches will take place on Friday at Speicher Tennis Center in Tallahassee, Florida, and at Neil Schiff Tennis Center in Coral Gables, Florida, on Sunday.

Irish head coach Ryan Sachire said his team has been honed in on preparing for a tough Florida State team.

“We’re preparing hard,” Sachire said. “That obviously is going to be a really fun trip down to Florida and the opportunity to play a really great Florida State team Friday night in front of what we think will be a big crowd. We’re looking forward to the trip and we’re going to recover early in the week, rest up and have a good day of practice, probably Wednesday, and then travel down and practice there on Thursday and go to battle on Friday. There’s not a ton of time, but we’re going to be very focused during our practices and try to get as much out of them as we can.”

Irish freshman Matt Gamble follows through on a backhand during Notre Dame’s 4-1 victory over Northwestern at Eck Tennis Pavilion.Michelle Mehelas

Irish freshman Matt Gamble follows through on a backhand during Notre Dame’s 4-1 victory over Northwestern at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

Sachire said he expects a close match on Friday.

“They’re a really talented team,” Sachire said. “We’ve played them the last several years and all of our matches with Florida State are really close. They’re a pretty aggressive team up and down the lineup, and so we expect them to come at us hard and we have to be ready to answer the bell and play our best tennis.”

The Irish (11-8, 2-4 ACC) are coming off of a three-match weekend in which they went 1-2. After two close 4-3 losses against North Carolina State and Georgia Tech, the Irish rebounded with a 7-0 victory against IUPUI.

Sachire said his team is trying to turn the page from last weekend.

“I think the biggest thing is kind of flushing [the losses] out of the brain a little the next day or so, and moving on and valuing the recovery and rest early this week,” Sachire said. “Then once we get back on the court practicing, we need to be as focused and locked in on improvement as we can be, so when we walk onto the court on Friday, we feel like we improved since yesterday. And confidence helps when you’re playing such quality opponents match in and match out.”

Sachire said the team’s mentality in practice this week will be especially crucial, especially with a limited amount of practice time due to travel.

“I think confidence comes from the entire week,” Sachire said. “I don’t think a pregame speech gives confidence. That has to be done during the week of practice so that the practices leading up to the match have purpose. When they do, you get better and improve and because you’re improving, that’s where confidence comes from. The knowledge that you’ve improved and are better and prepared to succeed.”

The squad’s first match of the weekend begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday against the Seminoles.

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