Notre Dame set to start regular season
Michael Ivey | Friday, January 19, 2018
Notre Dame is set to begin the 2018 season this weekend, hosting three different opponents over a three-day span.
The Irish will play their first match of the regular season on Friday night when they battle Michigan State at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. After a day off on Saturday, Notre Dame will take on Kentucky at noon on Sunday, then host Cleveland State later on in the day.
The Irish will look to improve upon the 13-13 regular season record they finished with last season.
Notre Dame head coach Ryan Sachire said his team knows what they are in for this weekend.
“We’re not starting lightly,” Sachire said. “We’re starting off against some good teams such as Michigan State and Kentucky. Kentucky has particularly been a very consistent top-20 level program over the last two decades. They are historically a very strong program, and they have another very good team this year, and Michigan State certainly will be a tough match too.”
Sachire believes his team will carry their practice momentum into their first matches of the season.
“I hope to see us translate what we’ve been doing in practice to the matches,” Sachire said. “I feel like our team had a great training camp so to speak the last couple of weeks. The practices have been really high level and the biggest thing is just being who we have been on the practice court and being that same team in the match court and translating that to the competition. I think if we do that we’ll have a good year and continue to improve.”
Sachire also believes the matches and experiences his team went through during the fall season will benefit them during their spring schedule.
“Our goal from the fall was to give our guys the same level of competition, if not even a little above that we’re going to see in the spring,” Sachire said. “I think the fall prepared them well because they saw the level of competition and what is out there. There [are] going to be no surprises when we start playing on Friday and Sunday too. There’s no surprises. They’ve seen and played against guys from this level, and that is all you can ask for and we had a really good offseason, and so now it’s time to get after it and compete.”
Sachire said he really likes the energy and the enthusiasm of our group.
“We have a number of young players, and I think that brings a great deal of excitement,” Sachire said. “Many of the guys that are going to be out there tomorrow and this weekend are going out there for the first time. There’s a level of excitement that’s different when you’re there for the first time, and that has been contagious throughout our whole team. Our best day of practice maybe all year was yesterday. What I would connect that too is an excitement and a readiness to play, and the guys are fired up to get the season rolling.”