Daniel Rayl Picks Notre Dame
by James Hill, 14 May 2014
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Blue Chip recruit Daniel Rayl of Carmel, Ind., intends on becoming a member of the University of Notre Dame men's tennis team.
Daniel, ranked No. 24 (No. 2 in Indiana) in the Class of 2015 on the Athletic DNA Recruiting Lists, will have to wait until next fall to wear the blue and metallic gold of the Fighting Irish. Daniel, who attends the private Park Tudor School in nearby Indianapolis, recently made a verbal commitment to Notre Dame first-year coach Ryan Sachire.
"The coaches at Notre Dame are truly a team," Daniel said of his future mentors. "I felt like I was talking with three head coaches, rather than coaches of different levels of power. The coaches have already done great things at Notre Dame, despite this being their first season. They've had good results against some of the top teams in the country."
Sachire, along with assistants Adam Schaechterle and Cris James, have guided the Irish to a ranking as high as No. 6 in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Notre Dame advanced to the Atlantic Coast Conference semifinals, and they hosted an NCAA Regional this past weekend, advancing to Athens and the Sweet 16. Sachire replaced the retired Bobby Bayliss as head coach, who led the Irish from 1987 to 2013. Notre Dame made 22 NCAA appearances during Bayliss' tenure and finished in the Top 20 on ten different occasions.
Daniel's first encounter with the Notre Dame team occurred at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. He was watching a dual match with his personal coach, Bryan Smith (of Smith Tennis in Indianapolis), a Ball State alumnus.
Smith has worked with Daniel for three years, and he is impressed with the determination of his protégé.
"Danny's on-court strengths are his forehand and an ability to compete," Smith said. "His off-court strengths are his leadership, honesty, willingness to give back, and work ethic. Danny has contributed to our program by coming to practice with a smile, the desire to learn and to get better every day, and a competitive attitude that has been infectious to the other players. I am hopeful he will bring the same qualities to the Fighting Irish next year!"
Daniel's Park Tudor coach, Spencer Fields, will have one more year to work with his player before college. Fields had nothing but praise for the character and dedication of Daniel.