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Men’s Tennis

Notre Dame drops two matches over Easter weekend

| Thursday, April 5, 2018

No. 25 Notre Dame traveled to North Carolina over Easter weekend for two conference road matches against ranked opponents. Last Friday, the Irish dropped a close 4-3 decision to North Carolina State in Raleigh. On Easter Sunday, the Irish were defeated by No. 1 Wake Forest 7-0 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

“I thought we played OK,” Notre Dame head coach Ryan Sachire said. “We just didn’t win enough of the individual matches to win the team matches, but we played OK and now we’re getting ready for Duke on Friday night at home.”

Ann Curtis | The Observer

Irish freshman Tristan McCormick eyes the ball for a return during Notre Dame’s 6-1 loss to North Carolina on March 23 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

On Friday against the Wolfpack, junior Grayson Broadus grabbed a 6-2, 7-6 victory on court No. 6, while freshman Tristan McCormick recorded a 6-4, 6-1 win on court No. 5. On court No. 3, freshman Richard Ciamarra won the first match of his set 6-1 before dropping the second set 7-6. Ciamarra took the third and deciding set 6-3. On court No. 4, sophomore Matt Gamble dropped his first set 6-4 before bouncing back to win the second set 7-5. Gamble was unable to take the final set, falling 6-4. Sophomore Guillermo Cabrera and junior Alex Lebedev also came up just short in three sets.

On Sunday against Wake Forest, Lebedev lost the first set of his match 6-3 before winning the second set 6-2. Lebedev was defeated in the third set 6-3 on court No. 1. Gamble (3-6, 6-0, 6-4), Broadus (4-6, 7-6(6), 6-2) and McCormick (6-1, 6-7(6), 6-1) experienced similar fates in their matches, each falling in the final set.

Despite the results, Sachire said he saw a lot of things he liked from his team.

“I thought the level that we played at was really good,” Sachire said. “We put ourselves in a position to be successful, we just didn’t cross the finish line in enough areas and in enough matches. Winning takes two parts. One is putting yourself in a position to win, and then the second part is finishing when you get there. We did the first part well, and I’m happy with that and that’s a good spot to build on, we just have to do the little things better down the stretch of matches to put us across the finish line this week.”

Sachire said his team will work on a few details in their game during practice this week, such as serving.

“We need to serve and return better,” Sachire said. “I think that is something we’re going to have to focus on this week in practice, for sure. I think we can do that a little bit better than we did, but other than that I think it’s mostly individual stuff with the guys, a little things here and there, but I think as a team we’ll work on the serve and return a little bit better than we did. I think the next thing is, when we have our chances to be successful, take our shots and let it rip and trust that we’re going to be successful and not hold back.”

Notre Dame will be back in action Friday afternoon when they host conference-foe No. 21 Duke at the Courtney Tennis Center at 3:30 pm.

Sachire doesn’t think his team needs to make any big changes to its structure ahead of Friday’s match.

“I think we’re just going to do what we do,” Sachire said. “It has helped us be successful up to this point, and we’re going to continue to trust what we do. We’re right there, and we were right there last weekend as far as on the doorstep of winning. We just need to have a little bit better poise and play in the late matches, and that will hopefully be the difference in helping us get a win on Friday night.”

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