CARY, NC — The Irish battled hard Friday morning as they looked to upset top-seeded Wake Forest in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships quarterfinals match, ultimately falling 4-3 to the Demon Deacons.
“It was a fantastic match,” Callaghan Family Head Coach Ryan Sachire said. “At the end of the day it came down to a single point — a third-set tie break on the sixth court. It doesn’t get any closer than that. Credit to Wake Forest, they were two points better than us today [7-6(7-5)].”
The 23rd-ranked Irish team put it all on the line with a spot in the conference semifinals on the line. They took No. 4 Wake Forest to a tiebreak in the third set to determine a victor as Siddhant Banthia beat Grayson Broadus, 7-6(5), to end Notre Dame’s run at the ACC Championships.
“I am incredibly proud of this team,” Sachire continued. “They played with confidence and gave it everything that they had. That’s all I can ask for.”
The battle began in doubles as all three courts were knotted at four as both teams looked to secure the first point of the match.
Broadus and his partner, Matthew Gamble, were down 1-4 early before storming back to tie it at four-games-all. Ultimately, the No. 41 ranked Demon Deacons tandem of Botzer/Chrysochos stole that court but the Irish were determined and took the next two.
William Howells and Guillermo Cabrera were the next to finish, taking the third court by a 6-4 score before Richard Ciamarra and Axel Nefve sealed it for the Irish with a 7-5 victory over No. 64 duo, Gadjev/Gojo, on the top court.
The team used the momentum from doubles as they entered their singles matches, taking two of the four first sets.
Gamble started it off for the Irish with a 6-4 win while William Howells, following a delay on the fifth court, finished 7-5 through one.
Grayson Broadus forced a deciding third set as he won the second on court six, 6-3.
Nefve, Ciamarra and Cabrera put up a tough fight in their singles matches, falling just short in two sets each. Nefve faced No. 14 Borna Gojo on the first court where he took him to 4-6 in the first before dropping his second 2-6.
Ciamarra, facing off against the fourth ranked individual in the country in Petros Chrysochos, fell in a close 5-7 first set and 1-6 in the second.
The Demon Deacons put another point on the board with a pair of tight 6-4 wins by No. 34 Bar Botzer over Cabrera.
Gamble rallied in the second set after his opponent tied it at five-games-all, to go on a two-game run for the 7-5 final and second Irish point of the day.
Resuming his match and taking the first set, William Howells tied the match score at three with a 6-4 win on court five.
It came down to the third set tiebreak on court six as just one point separated the two teams. Broadus looked to keep Irish hopes alive after his Wake Forest opponent went up 5-2 early. Knotting it at five, he then took the 6-5 advantage to grab the final match point. Wake Forest tied it up again before taking the tiebreak point, 7-6(5).
“They fought the entire way. The whole three and a half hours the match lasted and the confidence this match gives us going in to NCAAs in two weeks. We know we’re capable of playing great tennis and can compete with any other team in the country,” Sachire concluded.
Notre Dame has secured a spot in the NCAA Tournament and will have two weeks to prepare for a run with opponents and regional locations yet to be determined. The tournament super regionals begins May 3, at campus sites.