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Men’s Tennis

Notre Dame upsets Duke to jump into top 25

| Tuesday, April 10, 2018

No. 25 Notre Dame defeated conference-rival No. 21 Duke by a score of 5-2 this past Friday in a home match at Courtney Tennis Center.

In the singles competition, sophomore Guillermo Cabrera lost the first set of his match before winning the final two sets on court No. 3. On court No. 6, junior Grayson Broadus won his first set before dropping the second set, but he managed to win the decisive third set. Junior Alex Lebedev and freshman Richard Ciamarra won their matches on court Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in straight sets to give the Irish (13-11, 4-4 ACC) four of the six singles points.

Ann Curtis | The Observer

Irish junior Alex Lebedev follows through on a forehand return during Notre Dame’s 6-1 loss to North Carolina on March 23 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

In the doubles competition, the pair made up of senior Brendon Kempin and freshman Tristan McCormick defeated their opponent on court No. 1, while the team of Broadus and Ciamarra won a close match on court No. 3 to clinch the doubles point for Notre Dame as well.

Irish head coach Ryan Sachire said he liked what he saw from his team against Duke (13-10, 4-4).

“I thought we played well and competed hard,” Sachire said. “We’ve played a number of matches this season where it has been close like it was on Friday night, and I thought our guys did a really good job of handling the competitive environment. Credit to Grayson and Guillermo for finding a way to win at the end when we needed them to win. I’m definitely proud of our guys and happy with their performance and the way we competed.”

Sachire said he especially liked how his team handled adverse situations during its matches.

“I think we’re doing a lot of good things from a competitive standpoint,” Sachire said. “One thing that was really important in the match was anytime we faced some adversity, we fought back; and anytime we got our serves broken, we broke serve right back, for the most part. That is a good sign. There is a response to adversity and a response to things not being easy; and when you have that toughness and grit and determination to come back and always respond, that is a really good starting spot for our crew; and we are looking to build on that this coming week.”

When asked if he thought anything needed improvement, Sachire reiterated a message he has harped on most of the year.

“I want to continue to work on our doubles,” Sachire said. “I think we played pretty well. We won the doubles point, but that has to continue to be a strength for us moving forward. From a singles perspective, the serve and the return of serve. Just paying some extra attention to those things this week in practice that we did last week. I thought we saw some good results from that, and we need to continue working on that moving forward.”

Notre Dame will be back in action this weekend when it hosts Miami (FL) in an ACC match Friday afternoon at Courtney Tennis Center. The Irish will then host a doubleheader Sunday against No. 9 Florida State and Ball State.

Sachire said he was pleased that the schedule allowed his team to rest and to have a full week of practice.

“We’re lucky we had only the match on Friday and the weekend off, so our guys were able to rest and recover. So we’re going to have a really good full week of practice, four days, and then Miami,” Sachire said. “Hopefully, we’re a better team at the end of the week than we are at the beginning of the week, and that is going to be our mindset of being focused and specific in practice and kind of crescendo that into the weekend.”

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