Last week, when he sat down to reflect on the first half of the 2014 spring season, Notre Dame head coach Ryan Sachire called Southern California a “marquee” program in men’s tennis, if not the marquee program.
On Friday, in their first match in nearly two weeks, the Irish will take on USC in their own Marks Stadium. The match will cap off a week spent training in California as the student-athletes were on spring break.
“We’ve had a great week out in Southern California,” Sachire said. “The weather has been spectacular and has allowed us to train a significant amount outdoors. We are excited about the match tomorrow. We have prepared well and are ready to play a great match. We are excited about the opportunity.”
This match will be the seventh time that Notre Dame has gone up against a higher-ranked opponent this season, as the Irish are ranked eighth in the country while the Trojans sit at No. 4. USC is 13-2 on the season -- having only lost to Ohio State and UCLA -- and are undefeated at home.
Around DI: Sixth-ranked Illinois plays a pair of teams ranked in the 40s on Friday. Its first match of the day is versus No. 47 South Florida, and then it plays No. 42 Pepperdine. ... The match of the day on Saturday will be second-ranked Oklahoma facing off against No. 10 Duke.
Around DII: A top-five matchup occurs on Friday when second-ranked Armstrong Atlantic plays No. 4 Lynn. ... Lynn then plays No. 9 Columbus State on Saturday. ... Saturday's schedule also features No. 3 West Florida against No. 15 Rollins and No. 5 Hawaii Pacific playing No. 12 UC San Diego.
Around DIII: The Stag-Gen Invitiational takes place this weekend, and features No. 1 Washington (Mo.), No. 3 Claremont-M-S, No. 11 Carnegie Mellon, No. 13 Bowdoin and No. 16 Pomona-Pitzer.