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Men’s Tennis

Sachire seeks national titles

| Wednesday, September 10, 2014

As Notre Dame prepares for its first contests of the season, second-year head coach Ryan Sachire is readying for another run towards the national championship.

Last season, the Fighting Irish finished 13th in the nation during Sachire’s first season, which marks the program’s highest finish in the past two decades. Before coming to Notre Dame, Sachire helped coach the Baylor Bears to a semifinals appearance in the 2005 national championship. During his time as an assistant coach, the Irish reached two straight NCAA National Championships in 2008 and 2009. Now as head coach, Sachire said that the expectations for this year’s team are higher than ever.

“The expectations for our players and for our program this year are extremely high,” Sachire said. “We are confident that we can play and win at an elite national level, if we approach the year with the right perspective. Our main message to our players consistently focuses on maximizing each day and getting the absolute most out of everything that we do. Our goal as a group is to improve more than any other team in the country, and to do that our players know they have to be locked in on getting better every single day.”

Sachire said he has also stressed the importance of growing as an individual player before trying to create a strong team chemistry. As a former dominant player at Notre Dame himself, Sachire said that when his players get on the court, they compete as individuals with the goal of the team in the back of their minds. Motivating the players to continue to improve isn’t something he’s worried about, Sachire said.

“While we are extremely proud of the results and ranking that we attained last year, those are not our main focus,” Sachire said. “Our main focus always centers around each individual player improving every day and ultimately developing into the best player that he can be. There are multiple aspects of each of our players’ games that can continue to get better, so it’s not very difficult to motivate our guys on a daily basis when their focus is in the proper area.”

Last season, the team was led by senior Greg Andrews who finished his final year ranked 25th in the country in singles. This year, the plan for the team is to come together throughout the season, Sachire said. He said that the most important thing for his team to remember is that all members of the team are accountable for one another on the court and in practice.

“One of the really, really fun things to see as a coach is how different players assume different roles on the team from year to year,” Sachire said. “Despite graduating three great seniors, including Greg Andrews who was such a dominant force in our program, we return seven talented guys who have all started over 20 matches during their careers at Notre Dame. This experience will undoubtedly serve us well, and I expect the leadership of the team to emerge from this pack of players. While we probably won’t have one dominant leader, like Greg was last year, I expect that void to be filled by multiple players and enable us to have great continuity throughout our team.”

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About Manuel De Jesus

Manuel De Jesus is a junior from Chicago, Illinois. He is an American Studies major with a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. He is currently covering ND Volleyball, Men's Soccer and Men's Basketball.

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