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Irish men’s tennis is hoping to ride its momentum against Duke and North Carolina

| Friday, March 5, 2021

The Notre Dame men’s tennis team (7-6, 2-2 ACC) is set to have two tough matchups at home this upcoming weekend at Eck Tennis Pavilion against two ACC opponents. The first game being played against unranked Duke (6-4, 2-0 ACC) on Friday, March 5th, 2021 at 3:30 pm, and against No. 1 North Carolina (8-0, 2-0 ACC) on Sunday, March 7th, 2021, at 12:00 pm.

When asked about these two matchups head coach, Ryan Sachire was very optimistic about his team and shared how excited he is to play these matches.

“We are really excited for the weekend; we had two great wins last week and have some momentum with us right now,” Sachire said. “Duke and North Carolina have been historically great programs, so it will be a tough matchup, but we are confident in our guys to get the job done and give it their all.”

The Irish are currently coming off a 7-0 sweep against Boston College (0-4, 0-4 ACC) on February 28 at home, and a 4-1 win away against Louisville (5-4, 1-3 ACC) on February 25. When asked about the sweep and last week’s play, Sachire had words of praise for the team and for junior, Axel Nefve and senior Richard Ciamarra.

“Our guys did a great job staying locked in and maximizing on staying strong last week,” he said. “Axel Nefve and Richard Ciamarra are beginning to play amazing, and it is reflecting well around the team.”

Observer File Photo
Irish junior Axel Nefve prepares to swing during Notre Dame’s 6-1 win over Boston College on Feb. 8, 2019 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

Coach Sachire emphasized how after losing three matches in a row, it can begin to take a toll on you. However, it is all about staying strong and maximizing on your mistakes so that you can go out the next match and give it your all. He was highly impressed with how the team responded to those three losses, which is why he is very optimistic about this weekend.

After these two matches against Duke and North Carolina, the team has a twelve-day break before facing Big East opponent Marquette(4-4, 0-0 Big East) on March 19 at home in the Eck Tennis Pavillion. After this game, the Irish are treated to a week-long break before they go on a long stretch of seven matches against all ACC opponents over the course of three weeks.

When asked about the plan going forward, Coach Sachire was focused on winning these two matches first.

“There is a break between Duke and North Carolina, and we get a chunk of time off before Marquette,” he said. “But the mindset is to pour everything into these two games and recover before the break.”

The team is hoping that wins this weekend can help to turn the tide of their season. After starting out 4-1 to start the season, the men’s team has gone 3-5 over their last eight games. As previously stated, the two wins last week are signs things will get better. Coach Sachire was asked about any concluding thoughts about what to expect, and he responded with confidence and excitement.

“We are excited to see where we are going. It is time to train and get ready for the long stretch starting March 26th after the Marquette match, and make some noise in the ACC,” he said.

Play will begin at 3:30 p.m. starting this Friday and noon on Sunday. While the University has announced they are working on getting fans back, these matches will be live-streamed at und.com.

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