Irish sweep in Saturday doubleheader
Michael Ivey | Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Notre Dame enjoyed a successful weekend, sweeping Monmouth and William & Mary in back-to-back matches Saturday.
The Irish claimed all the singles and doubles play in both matches. Among the Irish players who emerged victorious against each opponent were sophomore Grayson Broadus, freshman Matt Gamble, freshman Johnathan Small and freshman Guillermo Cabrera. Junior Brendon Kempin, sophomore Daniel Rayl, sophomore Alex Lebedev and senior Josh Hagar also recorded singles wins.
In the doubles competition, the No. 1 pair of Broadus/Kempin won both of their matches while Small won two matches as part of the No. 3 pair, playing with Cabrera against Monmouth and Hagar against William & Mary.
Irish head coach Ryan Sachire said he was pleased with his team’s performance and was also happy with the performance of his reserve players.
“I was happy with Saturday for sure,” Sachire said. “I think we played a couple of guys that hadn’t played yet in the matches. We were able to play our bench a little more and everyone played very well. Our starters came out with a really good mindset and kind of led the way as far as their approach to their game and playing with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. It’s tough for the guys who haven’t played because this was their first match of the season, but I though they played very well. I thought it was a great day and we can build on it moving forward.”
Sachire reiterated his desire for his team to improve in their serving game.
“We’re playing the game very well once the points get started,” Sachire said. “I think our success is going to be dependent on how we start points and if we serve effectively and return our opponents serve effectively. If we do, we’re going to be pretty darn good because once the points get going, we’re as good as most teams. We’re going to continue to emphasize the serve and return of serve this week in practice and hopefully grow that to an even higher level before next weekend.”
When asked which players on his team stood out with their performance, Sachire singled out Broadus and Small.
“Grayson [Broadus] has been a normal starter for us, but he played both singles and doubles matches for us so he played four matches on Saturday, three of which were in the No. 1 spot,” Sachire said. “It was the first time he’s ever had that experience and it’s a challenge when you’re playing the other team’s best player or doubles pair every match, and I thought he handled it very well.
“I also liked Jonathan Small’s performance. He’s a guy that hasn’t gotten in the matches yet. He’s been our No. 7 guy all season, but he played in four matches as well. For a freshman who hasn’t been a regular starter to come out and not only succeed and win, but to perform as well as he did, I thought was really awesome. I thought those guys in particular had great days, but as a team we performed very well.”
The Irish next take to the court when they welcome Boston College to Eck Tennis Pavilion on Saturday at noon.