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Men’s Tennis

Three Irish players travel to Oklahoma

| Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Three Notre Dame players — sophomores Matt Gamble and Guillermo Cabrera and junior Grayson Broadus — traveled down to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to play in the St. Francis Health ITA All-American Championships.

Irish junior Grayson Broadus prepares to serve the ball during Notre Dame's 7-0 win over Boston College on Feb. 11 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.Ann Curtis | The Observer

Irish junior Grayson Broadus prepares to serve the ball during Notre Dame’s 7-0 win over Boston College on Feb. 11 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

On Saturday in the pre-qualifying singles round, Cabrera won his match in straight sets 6-2, 7-6 (3). Gamble dropped his first match Saturday and in the pre-qualifying singles consolation round, he won the first set of his match 6-4 before dropping the second set 6-1. Gamble won the deciding third set 6-4, giving him the match.

Irish head coach Ryan Sachire said he saw some improvement in his players throughout the weekend, but wished he saw more wins.

“We only had three guys competing down in Tulsa, this past weekend, so it was a pretty small crew that went down there,” Sachire said. “They did OK, it wasn’t great in terms of the results. It was Guillermo Cabrera, Matt Gamble and Grayson Broadus and I think all three guys played OK. They played fine.

“Matt had a good win, Guillermo had a good win, but in a tournament like that, you love to see your guys win multiple matches and that didn’t happen, so from a result perspective it wasn’t the best, but I think the level of play that they played at was good and they can certainly build on it here the rest of the fall season.”

Sachire said a notable moment during the weekend was when Gamble won his match in a come from behind fashion in the third and deciding set.

“I think a huge thing for Matt was he was playing a match on Sunday against a good player from the University of Florida, and he was down in the third set,” Sachire said. “They split the first two sets and he was losing in the third, and he won the last four games of the match to close it out and really stepped up and played aggressive tennis and really took it from his opponent and that is always a good sign. When it is the heat of the moment and the biggest part of the match and the result is on the line, to be able to step up and play confident tennis, go for your shots, be the aggressor on the court and take it from the guy and that is what he did. So that was a very positive thing to do against a very good player and something that Matt can take some confidence from and build on during the rest of the fall season here.”

Sachire said he will be working with his team to improve their overall consistency and a few individual facets of their game.

“We play again this coming weekend and all of our team will be playing,” Sachire said. “The practices have been pretty good and pretty intense. I think what we want is consistency and performance from our guys. We have a relatively young team and I think that is going to come with the territory a little bit where guys are a little up and down in terms of the level they are playing at on a daily basis, and that is ultimately what we want our guys to be striving for. When they are locked in and focused and playing their best tennis, they are really good. But it sometimes fluctuates a little up and down. So consistency in the way we go about things and consistency with our day-to-day mentality is what we want, and if that is good throughout the entire weekend coming up here, our results are going to be pretty good. Again, that is what we are emphasizing to the guys and hopefully they can perform on a consistently high level this upcoming weekend.”

The entire Irish team will be in action this weekend as they host the Bobby Bayliss Invitational Tournament at the Eck Tennis Pavilion, which begins Friday.

Sachire said his team is excited to host a tournament that features some quality competition.

“It’s a great thing to have quality opponents come in to Notre Dame to play us here,” Sachire said. “We are excited about hosting it. We are going to prepare like we would for any other fall tournament. This week will be to determine how specific we are getting with our games. I think today and tomorrow will be more for skill development and trying to work on specific aspects of each guys individual game, and as the week goes on, on Wednesday and Thursday we will do a little more competing to try and put it all together, and then peeking by Friday, Saturday and Sunday when the matches start. That is a pretty typical progression I think the coaches make leading up to events. But it is definitely special that we are hosting it here, we are excited about it and it should be a really good event.”

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