Feb. 19, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — In just a few days, the Notre Dame men’s tennis team will take part in a historic step for collegiate tennis. Saturday’s 7 p.m. match against Ball State is a designated “College MatchDay,” and will be broadcast on ESPN3.
The USTA first began developing College MatchDay in 2013 with the idea of broadcasting through ESPN a series that focuses marquee matches and highlights the best programs in college tennis. ESPN3 broadcast the first match from Florida State Feb. 7 as they took on Oklahoma, and now they are coming to see the Irish play.
“It’s something that’s only been done once before, just over a week ago,” says head coach Ryan Sachire. “So this is a very new venture. We’re very excited about our sport in general being streaming live on ESPN3, and to be a part of that here at Notre Dame specifically means so much to our program.”
Aside from the coverage, Notre Dame fans can experience an interactive Fan Experience trailer from 5 to 9 p.m. in the Guglielmino loading dock that includes a Wii gaming station, a photo both, appearances by the Notre Dame leprechaun and cheerleaders, to name a few attractions. Notre Dame is one of just 10 programs to receive the coverage this year.
“The goal of College MatchDay is to promote college tennis matches by shining a light on the schools, teams, coaches and players who make college tennis such a great game,” says Virgil Christian, the USTA’s Director of Collegiate Tennis. “By improving the fan experience and atmosphere at team matches and delivering 10 MatchDays on ESPN3 this year, we hope to gain more fans for both the game itself and its individual programs. Overall, College MatchDay will elevate college tennis for both the fan in attendance and the viewer at home.”
And there is no better time for the Irish to receive more attention, as they are currently ranked 10th in the country after having their best start to a season since 2005. Senior captain Greg Andrews says that College MatchDay is an amazing opportunity for Notre Dame tennis and that he and the team are just looking forward to getting back on the court this weekend.
“It’s an experience that doesn’t happen too often for a tennis player,” Andrews explains. “We’re not the most media-covered sport. It’s a great opportunity to play in front of a larger audience, and I think our team is just really excited to play on Saturday.”
–Lauren Chval, Media Relations Assistant