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Men’s Tennis

Irish find doubles success in Alabama

| Monday, September 25, 2017

Four Notre Dame players competed in the Crimson Tide 4-In-The-Fall Tournament at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, this past weekend.

Among the notable results for the Irish include the doubles pair of junior Daniel Rayl and sophomore Conor Somers, who recorded two wins out of the three doubles matches they played over the weekend. The doubles team of freshman Paul Gota and junior Nathan Griffin also recorded a doubles win on Saturday. Rayl, Somers, Gota and Griffin all recorded singles wins during the weekend.

Irish junior Alex Lebedev follows through on a serve during Notre Dame's 4-1 win over Northwestern on Feb. 24 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.Michelle Mehelas | The Observer

Irish junior Alex Lebedev follows through on a serve during Notre Dame’s 4-1 win over Northwestern on Feb. 24 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

Irish head coach Ryan Sachire said he was pleased with the performances of his players.

“As a whole, I thought we did OK,” Sachire said. “It wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but there were certainly some good spots and I think everybody can take some confidence from certain aspects and certain matches we played this weekend. Now we have to build on them and try to do better in a couple of weeks when all of these guys play again in our next tournament.”

“ … We brought four guys down to this tournament. I was really excited about the doubles level from Danny Rayl and especially in Conor Somers as well. They did a really good job in the doubles portion had two good wins, so that was a positive from the event from those guys. The other two guys who were here were Paul Goda, who is a freshman, and he played at a really high level especially for a freshman to come down here. He played in the top draw with all the best players and he did well. He won two matches and played really well actually in all four of his matches. Then Nathan Griffin was the fourth guy who came down on the trip and he also played really well. He had two good wins and lost a heartbreaker to a very good player from Alabama on Friday. But he can still take confidence from that match and obviously to win two rounds in pretty easy fashion against this level of competition was a good thing too.

“ … So like I said, all four guys had strong moments and good things they accomplished, yet all four are probably going back to campus with some things they want to work on and address from now until they compete again next.”

Sachire said he liked the improvement he saw in the doubles portion of the competition, but said his team will still work to improve in that area of their game.

“It’s tough because these are four different guys than the ones I was with out in California, so this was a different group of guys, but we definitely worked on doubles in practice over the last week and I think our guys reflected a little bit of that this weekend and it is still definitely going to be a point of emphasis here in the next couple of weeks,” Sachire said. “Again, it is a long time until we start our dual match season in January, so we will have plenty of time to address it, but it is definitely still a concern and definitely something we want to keep working on.”

“I was just really proud of the way all of our guys competed and fought to this point in the fall and we just have to keep getting better and keep being the best that we can be.”

Sachire also said another portion of the game his team will work to improve in is their second serve.

“I think a big thing honestly for a lot of our guys is working on their second serve,” Sachire said. “In tennis, to be a really good player, you’ve got to have a very reliable second serve, and I thought we double faulted a little too much this week down here, so I think in particular these guys will be doing a lot of second serve points and addressing that part of their game. You need to be able to not have that be a liability and a weakness in your game. So I think that was one thing specifically that’s universal to all of these guys coming out of this, so we’ll address it over the next couple of weeks in practice.”

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