Jan. 29, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s tennis program will face its fourth ITA top-30 opponent in as many matches when it welcomes No. 30 Northwestern to the Eck Tennis Pavilion at 5:30 p.m. ET Friday.
The 14th-ranked Fighting Irish look to corral some momentum from a competitive weekend in the ITA Kick-Off tournament as the host institution, in which they split a pair of close decisions against No. 24 Oklahoma State (W 4-3) and No. 16 Columbia (L 2-4).
“I thought we played really well last weekend; we competed really hard,” head coach Ryan Sachire said. “We were involved in two matches that were as close as you could get in college tennis and we’re fully expecting the match (against Northwestern) to be the same. What I’m expecting from the team is the same resiliency, the same competitiveness, the same confidence that we attacked the matches with this last weekend, with a little higher level of execution.”
Northwestern (2-2), too, has faced four ranked opponents so far, with its best win over No. 19 Vanderbilt, 4-3. In their last meeting, the Irish and Wildcats fought in what Sachire called a “slugfest,” in which all three doubles matches were decided by tiebreakers and the 4-1 victory came down to a second-set tiebreaker by Quentin Monaghan and a third-set comeback by Eddy Covalschi in singles.
“We know it’s going to be very competitive,” Sachire said. “They’re a very loud, energetic group of guys. Up and down the line they hit the ball really hard. They play very aggressive tennis and we fully expect them to come in here with a huge amount of intensity and really try to take it to us here. We’re going to try to take them toe-to-toe, eye-to-eye and come at them with the same high energy level.”
By Joanne Norell, Media Relations Assistant