ND to host a pair at the Eck
Renee Griffin | Thursday, March 27, 2014
No. 9 Notre Dame will play at home for the first time since February this weekend against a pair of highly-ranked ACC teams, facing No. 14 Duke on Friday and No. 8 North Carolina on Sunday.The Irish (13-5) look to build on the momentum from wins over Clemson and Georgia Tech last weekend.
“We played good matches,” Irish coach Ryan Sachire said. “Any time you know what the blueprint is for success, it’s easy to follow. We reestablished that last weekend and if we keep doing that and sticking to what helps us win, then we’ve got a great chance to keep winning.”
Duke and North Carolina boast records of 9-4 and 15-2 and are in seventh and fifth in the ACC standings, respectively.
“Duke is a really good team,” Sachire said. “We’re expecting to play one of the elite teams in the country this Friday, but we’re an elite team as well, so it should be a great match.
Same thing from North Carolina, they’re another top-10 team. Their talent level may even be a tick higher than Duke, but what Duke has over North Carolina is that Duke has won consistently over the past few years, so their players have experience on a big stage, whereas North Carolina has a lot of freshmen this year. Still, North Carolina has so much talent and is a great team.”
Sachire said one of the keys to winning the upcoming matches would be making every point a hard-fought one.
“I think we did a really good job last weekend of being a very tough team and a team that doesn’t give away much easily,” Sachire said. “We’re going to have to make our opponents earn everything they get. If we come in with that mindset and take every chance we get, we’ll be a tough team to beat. We just need to take advantage of our opportunities and take those aggressive shots when they’re available to us.”
Notre Dame’s strong leadership will also play a major role in matches against top teams like Duke and North Carolina, Sachire said.
“In any big matches you look at your older guys, your seniors, and Greg Andrews and Ryan Bandy have been big for us the entire season,” Sachire said. “They’ve both had great weeks of practice and if they can build on what momentum they already have, I’m sure they’ll play great.”
Additionally, Sachire expects being back at home to help the Irish.
“We’ll really psyched about playing at home,” Sachire said. “There’s an energy we get from our home crowd and our facility that we’re excited to get back to.”
Notre Dame will take on Duke today at 3:30 p.m., at the Eck Tennis Pavilion, followed by a matchup with North Carolina on Sunday at 1 p.m., also at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.