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Men’s Tennis

Notre Dame splits four league contests over break

| Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The week of spring break was one of ups and downs for Notre Dame, as the Irish (8-8, 2-2 ACC) started their conference schedule with a couple wins against Boston College and Louisville, followed by a pair of road losses at the hands of Clemson and Wake Forest.

ACC play started well for the Irish, as they dismantled Boston College (3-8, 1-3) 7-0 on March 3 in Chestnut Hill. The Irish rested most of their regular starters against the Eagles and won handily at nearly every position, including freshman Daniel Rayl’s 6-2, 6-4 win over Eagles sophomore Kent Mukai. Irish head coach Ryan Sachire described Rayl’s 3-1 performance in ACC play as “huge for the team” because of other injuries to the Notre Dame squad.

Three days later, the Irish handled Louisville (9-9, 0-4) at home by a score of 5-2. Freshman Grayson Broadus and senior Nicolas Montoya won their doubles flight and junior Eddy Covalschi and senior Alex Lawson did as well to quickly scure the doubles point. The four singles points were picked up by Rayl, Covalschi, junior Josh Hagar and senior Kenneth Sabacinski.

However, the Irish found themselves on the wrong end of a back-and-forth tussle with Clemson (11-7, 2-1) on Friday, as they dropped a 4-3 decision to the Tigers at the Hoke Sloan Tennis Center, a loss that Sachire described as “a bit of a disappointment.” The Irish dropped the doubles point, losing on courts 2 and 3, and then proceeded to trade points for the entirety of singles, with Broadus, Hagar and Rayl winning their respective matches.

Sachire noted the Irish didn’t play their best tennis over the weekend, a fact magnified by their 7-0 road loss at the hands of No. 9 Wake Forest (18-4, 3-1) on Sunday.

“Teams in this league are too good if you’re not playing well,” Sachire said. “We didn’t play the big points as well as we could have [against Wake Forest]. A lot of matches are coming down to a few key points, and we didn’t do a great job winning those points this past weekend.”

Notre Dame, now .500 in ACC play and overall, has played a season marked with inconsistency. However, Sachire still believes the Irish have the ability to capitalize on the numerous opportunities coming up on their schedule.

“I think our level of play has been pretty good,” Sachire said. “We know we have a lot of opportunities. We’re in a position to finish ACC play well, and so now we have to play well.”

Such opportunities will present themselves this weekend, as the Irish return home to the Courtney Tennis Center, hosting Duke at 3:30 on Friday and Miami at noon Sunday.

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About Joe Everett

Joe is a senior PLS major and hails from the thriving metropolis of South Bend, IN. In addition to formerly serving as Sports Editor at The Observer, Joe is a RA in Stanford Hall and a past champion of the Observer's Fantasy Football league.

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