No. 22 Notre Dame drops three straight in Seattle
Michael Ivey | Tuesday, February 20, 2018
No. 22 Notre Dame hit its first road bump of the season, dropping three matches to No. 3 North Carolina, No. 11 Florida and No. 20 Duke this weekend at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Seattle.
After dropping a 4-0 decision to the Tar Heels (8-2) Friday, the Irish (7-3, 1-0 ACC) headed into the matchup with the Gators (5-4) on Saturday looking to bounce back. Freshman Richard Ciamarra and freshman William Howells each claimed singles wins, while the No. 1 doubles team of senior Brendon Kempin and freshman Tristan McCormick and the No. 3 pair of junior Grayson Broadus and sophomore Guillermo Cabrera won their respective matches. But it was not enough, as Florida bounced back to win 4-3.
On Sunday against Duke (7-4), it was Ciamarra and sophomore Matt Gamble who recorded the lone Irish singles victories, while Kempin and McCormick and the No. 2 team of Ciamarra and Gamble each claimed doubles victories. But once again, despite jumping out to an early lead, the Irish ended up losing in dramatic fashion 4-3.
Notre Dame head coach Ryan Sachire said his team played well but just could not seem to finish the job.
“From a results perspective it wasn’t a good weekend, but I thought we played pretty well,” Sachire said. “We lost pretty decisively to North Carolina on Friday, but then we lost 4-3 to both Florida on Saturday and Duke on Sunday, so we were right there to win those matches and these were against the some of the top-16 teams in the country. So we put ourselves in a position to win and we just didn’t quite finish it in those matches, that is something we are disappointed in, but at the same time there was a lot to be positive about too.”
Sachire said despite going winless, he saw a lot of positives from his team’s performance.
“I think our overall level of play was pretty high,” Sachire said. “I thought we played pretty well, and I think we have proven throughout the course of the season that we’re a good team and we’re capable of winning against some of the best teams in the country. It was good that we were in a position to win some of those matches, which you need to be good enough to have a chance and we did, so I think that was a positive.
”I was really excited about our No. 1 doubles team of Brendon Kempin and Tristan McCormick. Those guys picked up two really good wins on the weekend. Again, they’re a new team, so for them to show they’re capable of winning No. 1 doubles was a good sign for our team moving forward, and then there were a number of other guys who played well throughout the weekend too. I think just our overall level of play and the results of our number one doubles team was really encouraging.”
Sachire said one thing his team will work on is its composure level throughout a match.
“I think the biggest thing that came up is being able to just stay calm and not have our level of play fluctuate throughout the course of a match,” he said. “I think if we can consistently play close to our high level, we’re very good. Some people just got a little bit anxious or uptight when it was our turn to separate from our opponent and actually win a match and that’s normal, especially for a team like ours that is very young. We’ll learn and get better at that on Friday.”
Notre Dame will be back in action Friday night when it hosts Michigan in a non-conference match at Eck Tennis Pavilion.