Irish halt skid with back-to-back wins
Ryan Klaus | Tuesday, March 17, 2015
No. 36 Notre Dame ended a four-match losing streak with a pair of wins in a doubleheader against Boston College and Detroit on Sunday at Eck Tennis Pavilion.
The two victories for the Irish (8-5, 1-2) were their first since Feb. 14, when they beat Michigan on the road. Following the Michigan victory for Notre Dame were road losses to No. 10 Ohio State, No. 15 Virginia Tech and No. 28 Louisville as well as a home loss to No. 4 Illinois.
“We played some really good teams consecutively,” Irish head coach Ryan Sachire said. “All of those were against really good teams and three of those four were on the road so we knew it was a tough stretch. Obviously, we wanted to win at least a couple of those matches and we didn’t, but our guys are resilient and we had a good week of practice out in Arizona during spring break so we felt pretty prepared to play well yesterday.”
After losing three of their previous four contests on the road, the Irish returned home Sunday for the first time since Feb. 25. Including the doubleheader over the weekend, Notre Dame is currently on a five-match home stand and will not go on the road until a match against Miami on March 27.
“We love playing at our place and we feel really comfortable there, so we’re absolutely excited to be playing there,” Sachire said. “We’re also a good team on the road, too. It’s not a make-or-break-deal, but we’re definitely comfortable there and excited to get back at it on Tuesday here.”
Following a 6-3 start to non-conference play, the Irish opened their ACC conference slate against Virginia Tech (12-1, 4-0) on March 3. The Irish were upset in a tight match, losing 4-3. Notre Dame then played Louisville (14-4, 2-1) in their second conference match two days later. Junior Quentin Monaghan’s seven-match winning streak at first singles came to an end at the hands of the fifth-ranked singles player nationally in senior Sebastian Stiefelmeyer as the Cardinals beat Notre Dame 5-2.
The Irish entered their doubleheader Sunday looking for their first conference win of the year against Boston College. Notre Dame swept the Golden Eagles (4-7, 0-2), 7-0. In their match later in the day Sunday, the Irish routed Detroit as well, 6-1.
With the coming of conference play, the Irish now play multiple times per week more often and generally have shorter periods of time to rest, Sachire said.
“It’s not really a huge adjustment because we did it last year and we’re used to playing multiple matches in a weekend,” Sachire said. “It certainly creates a rhythm as our season goes on for the rest of the year.”
The Irish will continue their five-match home stand today when they take on No. 34 Texas Tech. The match against the Red Raiders (14-4) will be a brief departure from ACC play for Notre Dame. Following today’s match, Notre Dame will not play another non-conference opponent for the remainder of the regular season.
The Irish and Red Raiders are set to square off at 5:30 p.m. today at Eck Tennis Pavilion.