Notre Dame defeats Georgia Tech, Clemson in final regular season matches
Michael Ivey | Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Notre Dame ended the regular season on a high note this weekend, winning two conference road matches. The Irish took down Georgia Tech on Friday 5-2 before defeating Clemson by the same score on Sunday.
In the first matchup against the Yellow Jackets (6-16, 2-10 ACC), Notre Dame (17-12, 7-5) was powered to victory by singles victories from sophomore Guillermo Cabrera, freshman Richard Ciamarra, sophomore Matt Gamble, junior Alex Lebedev and freshman Tristian McCormick, along with a doubles victory from Ciamarra and junior Grayson Broadus.
Against the Tigers (10-12, 3-9) on Sunday, Broadus got in on the action with a 6-3, 6-2 win on court No. 6. Meanwhile, Gamble (6-4, 6-2), Lebedev (6-1, 5-7, 15-13) and McCormick (6-2, 6-3) also contributed singles victories. The doubles pairs of Kempin and McCormick and Cabrera and Lebedev recorded wins on courts No. 1 and 3, respectively.
Irish head coach Ryan Sachire said he was proud of how his team competed this weekend.
“Any road match in the conference are tough matches,” he said. “I thought we got the best level and best effort from our opponents that they could give, and our guys answered the bell, which is a great testament to their grit and toughness mentally throughout the course of the weekend. I’m super proud of the character we showed. They were tough matches and tough places to play, and anytime you can come out on top on the road in our conference, it’s a good weekend.”
Sachire said he also liked the way his team fought through adversity in both matches.
“I thought the two matches were a little different, but in both … especially with Georgia Tech … it was resilience,” Sachire said. “We lost the doubles point, and they won three of the first six sets of singles as well, so 90 minutes into the match, they were the team in position to win the dual match and our guys just came back and fought. The second sets that all six of our singles guys played at Georgia Tech was fantastic. … There were three matches where we won the first set, we would win in straight sets and the three where we lost the first sets we made a push and came back and ultimately ended up winning two of those three matches as well, so that was really good … against Clemson, it was a very tough crowd. It was their Senior Day and they had a lot of people there. We found ourselves down in doubles again and really battled to come back and win the doubles points. That took a little energy out of the crowd and the team, and then our guys, particularly the lower lineup guys, played awesome yesterday and won easily to get the team win for us.”
When asked what he thought his team needed to work on, Sachire continued to stress the importance of a strong doubles performance.
“Doubles is such a big point,” he said. “It is the first point of the match and really creates some momentum and quite frankly our record is pretty darn good when we won the doubles point and it puts us in good position to win the team match. We’re certainly going to continue to emphasize that, but at the same time we will also continue to attack working on and improving the singles games of our guys too.”
Notre Dame will return to the action this Friday when they travel to Cary, North Carolina, to compete in the ACC championships as the No. 4-seed.
Sachire said his team will prepare for the conference tournament the same way they have prepared for most of their matches this season.
“We’ll take a couple days, today and tomorrow, to recover and refresh and travel down to North Carolina tomorrow and hopefully get two good practices in down there and then come out and compete hard on Friday,” Sachire said.
The team will face the winner of Thursday’s matchup between No. 5-seed Virginia Tech and the winner of the play-in game between Georgia Tech and Boston College on Wednesday.
“Regardless of who we play — Virginia Tech, Boston College or Georgia Tech — we know it is going to be a quality opponent and a tough match,” Sachire said. “They all are, so we are going to have to play good tennis and compete our best. If we do that, I think we are going to have the chance to be successful, but we know the margins are thin and we need to bring our best effort and best attitude every day.”