Virginia Downs UNC 4-3 to Advance to ACC Final
Box Score April 29, 2017
ROME, Ga. – The Virginia men’s tennis team (27-1, 11-1 ACC) advanced to the finals of the 2017 Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Tennis Championship with a 4-3 victory over North Carolina (24-4, 10-2 ACC) on Saturday (April 29) at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College in Rome, Ga.
The match was tied 3-3 with line four singles determining the ultimate outcome. Junior Collin Altamirano (Sacramento, Calif.) won the first set in a tiebreaker, 7-2, but North Carolina’s Robert Kelly took the second set 6-4 to send it to a third set. Kelly took a 3-0 lead in the third set, but Altamirano picked up a break to put it back on serve at 3-3. Altamirano broke Kelly’s serve at 5-4 to clinch the match and send UVA into Sunday’s final.
The Cavaliers will be vying for their 12th conference title when take on top-seeded Wake Forest (26-1, 12-0 ACC) on Sunday, April 30 at 10 a.m. in the championship match. The Cavaliers only loss this season came at the hands of Wake Forest as the Demon Deacons topped UVA 5-2 in the regular-season meeting. This will also be a rematch of last year’s final in which Wake topped Virginia 4-3 to win its first-ever ACC title.
Against the third-seeded Tar Heels, seniors Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Charlotte, N.C.) and Alexander Ritschard (Zurich, Switzerland) opened play with a 6-3 victory at No. 2 doubles. Senior J.C. Aragone (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and junior Collin Altamirano (Sacramento, Calif.) clinched the point with a 6-2 win at No. 3.
In singles, the matches were much tighter than doubles with three first sets decided by tiebreakers. Altamirano won his tiebreaker on four, but Ritschard and Ronnie Schneider battled on court one to 11-9 with Schneider coming out on the winning side. Freshman Carl Soderlund (Stockholm, Sweden) was also topped in a tiebreak battle at court three, falling 8-6.
After North Carolina picked up a straight-set win on the number two court, Schneider took the second set 6-2 over Ritschard to put the Heels up 2-1. Junior Henrik Wiersholm (Kirkland, Wash.) and senior J.C. Aragone (Yorba Linda, Calif.) followed with back-to-back wins at six and five to give UVA a 3-2 lead. Aragone had dropped his first set against Jack Murray, but came back to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Wiersholm improved to 21-0 in singles this season with his 7-5, 6-3 victory over Blaine Boyd.
SÃƒÆ’Â¶derlund continued to battle at three against Simon Soendergaard. After Soendergaard picked up a late break in the second set, he was serving with a 6-5 lead. The two players played to deuce with Soendergaard winning the point to take the match and tie the overall score at 3-3. It was the first time SÃƒÆ’Â¶derlund lost a collegiate singles match, dropping his record to 13-1.
Wake Forest advanced to the championship after downing Georgia Tech, 4-0, in the other semifinal match.
Live scoring of the final will be available for through the conference’s website (TheACC.com). The match will also stream live online as an ACC Network Extra production on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. Shawn Kenney will handle play-by-play at the championship with ESPN anchor Prim Siripipat handling color commentary.
Tickets for a championship pass are $16 for adults and $12 for children (9+) and seniors (+55) with children under eight and college students of ACC Schools (with a valid I.D.) free. Single day tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for children (9+) and seniors (+55) with children under eight and college students of ACC Schools (with a valid I.D.) free. Tickets may be purchased in advance online or purchased on site at the championship.
The tournament champion will receive the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The complete NCAA Tournament field will be announced on Tuesday, May 2 at 5 p.m. in a live-streaming selection show on NCAA.com. NCAA Regionals begin on Friday, May 12 at host sites. The NCAA Round of 16 begins on Thursday, May 18 in Athens, Ga.
#3 Virginia 4, #12 North Carolina 3
1. #21 Ronnie Schneider (NC) def. #90 Alexander Ritschard (VA) 7-6 (11-9), 6-2
2. #28 William Blumberg (NC) def. #15 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA) 7-5, 6-4
3. Simon Soendergaard (NC) def. #109 Carl Soderlund (VA) 7-6 (8-6), 7-5
4. #46 Collin Altamirano (VA) def. #106 Robert Kelly (NC) 7-6, 4-6, 6-4
5. #117 J.C. Aragone (VA) def. Jack Murray (NC) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
6. #95 Henrik Wiersholm (VA) def. Blaine Boyden (NC) 7-5, 6-3
1. #16 Luca Corinteli/Carl Soderlund (VA) def. #10 William Blumberg/Robert Kelly (NC) 4-3
2. Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Alexander Ritschard (VA) def. Jack Murray/Simon Soendergaard (NC) 6-3
3. Collin Altamirano/J.C. Aragone (VA) def. Anu Kodali/Ronnie Schneider (NC) 6-2
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (2,1,6,5,3,4)