Notre Dame departs for weekend swing through North Carolina
Renee Griffin | Friday, April 4, 2014
No. 12 Notre Dame will play North Carolina State and No. 21 Wake Forest this weekend, giving it a chance to bounce back from two losses last weekend against No. 9 North Carolina and No. 13 Duke.Irish coach Ryan Sachire said he anticipates two close matches, though Notre Dame (13-7, 3-3 ACC) is ranked higher than both opponents.
“Wake [Forest] is really good,” Sachire said. “They’ve been a consistent top-25 team this year and have a talented lineup. [North Carolina State] is pretty close to the same level. Their ranking isn’t that high right now, but they’re a good team that’s been battling some injuries. When they’re healthy and they’re playing well, they can compete with anyone in the ACC. It should be good weekend of matches, but we’re definitely up to the challenge.”
Notre Dame has played 10 of the top 20 teams in the country thus far this season, and Sachire said the tough schedule means that he is not worried about last week’s losses and is optimistic the team will recover.
“We didn’t play poorly last weekend, that’s for sure,” Sachire said. “We talk about the process all the time with our players, and losing is part of that process. You play the schedule we play and you find yourself in hard matches all the time, you’re gonna come out with a loss in some of them. It’s not a huge emotional swing, and I’m confident that we’ll be able to come out and play well.”
Still, the Irish have made adjustments over the past week after losing the doubles point against North Carolina State and four singles matches against Duke, Sachire said.
“We want to play good doubles. That let us down a little bit against North Carolina,” Sachire said. “After that, it’s just sticking to the formula that been so successful for us this year, which is giving nothing cheap to our opponents and being gritty, if you will.”
Overall, Sachire said the team is looking forward to getting back to the courts, and he isn’t worried about the quick turnaround of going from Wake Forest on Friday to North Carolina State on Sunday.
“We love being on the road,” Sachire said. “It brings our team together. We’re anxious to get out there and play good tennis this weekend.”
The Irish will face Wake Forest at 3 p.m., in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Friday and then travel to Raleigh, N.C., to play North Carolina State on Sunday at noon.