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Sports

Irish set to open ACC play against Boston College

| Friday, February 2, 2018

Notre Dame will kick off ACC play this weekend when it travels to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts to take on Boston College.

Notre Dame head coach Ryan Sachire said his team should expect a tough road matchup to start conference play.

Ann Curtis | The Observer

Irish junior Grayson Broadus prepares to receive a serve during Notre Dame’s 6-1 win over Michigan State at Eck Tennis Pavilion on Jan. 19.

“We play Boston College in our only match of the weekend,” Sachire said. “It will be our first ACC match of the year, it will be on the road, and so it will certainly be a challenge I think and a match we definitely want to play well in and give it our best shot.”

Sachire said he doesn’t want the Irish (5-0) to get distracted during their hot start to the season.

“We had a great weekend last weekend and played exceptional tennis and had two really big wins,” Sachire said. “What I want to see from our guys is focus and continue on the path that we’re on. Sometimes I think winning can distract you a bit. You can get excited about the winning and the success that you’ve been having and you maybe lose a little bit of the work ethic it took to get there. So what I want from our guys is the same focus we had last weekend and to go out and play another great match on Saturday.”

Sachire also stressed the importance of starting conference play on the right foot against the Eagles (1-0).

“It’s huge,” Sachire said. “When you can get your nose above .500 and start off 1-0 and build from there, it’s a really big thing, so clearly that’s what we want to do. But again more than winning and more than any result, it’s about how we play and how we compete and how we prepare and doing the things necessary to have success sustained over a long period of time.”

Boston College won their regular season opener against Fordham 7-0 last Friday.

The Irish are coming off of back-to-back wins over Texas and Minnesota last weekend at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Austin, Texas. After upsetting No. 8 Texas, Notre Dame won the regional with a 4-1 win over Minnesota last Sunday.

Against the Gophers, the Irish were powered to singles wins by junior Grayson Broadus, freshman Richard Ciamarra and freshman Tristan McCormick. In the doubles competition, the pair of senior Brendon Kempin/McCormick battled out a close 7-6(4) win on court No. 1, while the team of sophomore Matt Gamble/Ciamarra earned a 7-6(3) victory on court No. 3.

Sachire credits the strength of his team’s lineup and his players’ ability to compete as some of the main reasons they have started 5-0 this season.

“First and foremost, I really like the fact that we are pretty darn good at every spot in the lineup,” Sachire said. “I think, there have been seasons where we were good in a few different spots in the lineup but maybe had some holes as well. I like us one through six in singles and one through three in doubles. I think we can win virtually against any team in the country at any one of those spots. So that really gives you a great feeling going out there on game days knowing that we’re not giving up any positions, and so I think that number one is our lineup. I also like how our guys have competed.

“For the most part we’ve been loose and free and playing to win and not putting a ton of pressure on ourselves, and if we can continue to do that we’re a pretty darn good team and we’ll be tough to beat.”

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