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Men’s Tennis

Irish prepare for Bobby Bayliss Tournament

| Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Irish are preparing to host the Bobby Bayliss Tournament at Eck Tennis Pavilion this Friday through Sunday.

Irish head coach Ryan Sachire said he is looking forward to watching his team play in the tournament.

“It is going to be a good tournament,” Sachire said. “A lot of the best Big Ten teams, as well as some other top-quality opponents, are going to be coming in this weekend. There is going to be about 10 to 12 teams total playing this weekend and they are all good programs, all NCAA tournament-caliber teams, so it should be a fun event.”

Sachire said playing against such high-level competition will be beneficial to his team.

“I think it is going to be a good test for our guys,” Sachire said. “Again, all of the teams that are coming in are NCAA tournament-caliber opponents, so it gives our guys a great look at the level that they will be seeing for the most part this coming season, and it will give them some more experience of playing against that kind of opponent.”

Sachire also said he is pleased with the way his team has performed in their practices leading up to the tournament.

“Practice has gone good,” Sachire said. “We have had a good couple of weeks of practice. I think we have tried to drill down and really improve upon each player’s individual game since our last competition. The guys have worked hard and I think we are pretty healthy, so it should be a good tournament.”

This will be Notre Dame’s second team tournament of the fall season. The Irish’s first tournament was the Chowdah Fest, hosted by Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from Sept. 16 to 18. In that tournament, senior Josh Hagar finished in second place overall in the singles competition, while sophomore Alex Lebedev finished in second place overall alongside Hagar in the doubles competition. Freshman Guillermo Cabrera, freshman Matt Gamble, freshman Jonathan Small and sophomore Daniel Rayl were also able to take wins in singles matches, while the doubles pairs of Lebedev/Hagar and Small/Cabrera were each able to claim victories in the doubles competition.

Sachire said the key to success in this tournament will be to continue to build off of the successes his players had last tournament.

“Each player had some strengths and some weaknesses to their games at the Harvard event two weeks ago,” Sachire said. “So our job as coaches was to come back and help each guy improve upon his weaknesses and his strengths as well, and ultimately be a better version of himself the next time out, which is this coming weekend. The fall gives us a couple of weeks to train and to practice and to get better at those things. I think we are a group of better players now than we were at the Harvard tournament a couple of weeks ago.”

Sachire said he has a simple message for his team before they begin playing Friday.

“Go out, be aggressive and compete hard,” Sachire said. “Pretty simple, but we have a lot of confidence that if we go out and play our game and if our guys do what they are capable of doing that we can have really good success.”

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