May 20, 2017
ATHENS, Ga. – No. 2 Virginia (32-1) continued its NCAA team title defense with a 4-1 victory over 10-seed Texas (22-9) in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships on Saturday (May 20) at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.
The victory puts the Cavaliers in the NCAA semifinals for the eighth-consecutive year. Virginia will face No. 3 Ohio State (33-3) in the semis on Monday, May 22 at 12 p.m.
Virginia won the doubles point and then picked up a pair of quick victories at three and four singles. After Texas picked up a point on the top court, senior J.C. Aragone (Yorba Linda, Calif.) closed out his second set on court five by winning a 7-3 tiebreaker to clinch the match.
“It was hot and humid out here today, but I thought the guys came out and handled the conditions well,” said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. “We have been working on our fitness all year and the guys are playing really composed for the most part. We just need to keep preparing for the next match and getting ready. Carl SÃƒÆ’Â¶derlund is playing some great tennis and really having fun. He has worked so hard and he deserves it. I’m pleased with where the team is overall and I think we came out and played with a lot of energy again today, especially in doubles. Credit to Texas on a great season and I thought they also played a great match today as well.”
Aragone and junior Collin Altamirano (Sacramento, Calif.) started things off with a quick 6-2 victory at No. 3 doubles. Texas countered with a 6-2 win at one. Seniors Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Charlotte, N.C.) and Alexander Ritschard (Zurich, Switzerland) clinched the point with a 6-4 victory at No. 2.
In singles, Altamirano and freshman Carl Soderlund (Stockholm, Sweden) picked up victories at four and three singles before the match on court six had even finished its first set. Altamirano defeated George Goldhoff 6-1, 6-0 while SÃƒÆ’Â¶derlund toppled No. 55 Yuya Ito 6-2, 6-1. Aragone, who started his second set down a break, came back to tie things up and force the tiebreaker. While Aragone battled in the tiebreaker, Texas’ Christian Sigsgaard closed out his 7-5, 6-3 victory over Ritschard to put the Longhorns on the scoreboard. Aragone won the tiebreaker 7-3 to take the match 6-2, 7-6 and clinch the victory for the Cavaliers for the second-straight day.
“It’s always great to clinch, but I have been here for four years so I really have nothing to lose out there, so I am just doing everything I can and if it goes my way that is great and lately it has been,” Aragone said. “Hopefully we can keep that going. Leonardo Telles played a really good game at 1-0 to go up a break. And then I had a lot of chances. I lost about three deuce games, so I was right in there. When I got that break, I felt a momentum change. I was really confident the whole way through, especially in that breaker.”
Kwiatkowski, one of two Cavaliers to drop his first set, won his second 6-3 and was up 3-0 in the second when play was halted. Junior Henrik Wiersholm (Kirkland, Wash.) trailed 3-0 in his first set before battling back to tie it 6-6 and win the tiebreaker 8-6. His second set was on-serve when play was halted.
Ohio State battled for a 4-3 victory over TCU on Saturday in a match that lasted 1:20 longer than the Cavaliers’. Hugo Di Feo won the deciding match at No. 4 singles, coming back from down two breaks in the final set. Ohio State won its Round of 16 match against Oklahoma, 4-3, with that match being decided by a tiebreaker in the third set by JJ Wolf on court two.
The Cavaliers and Buckeyes met earlier this season in the finals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championship with Virginia picking up a 4-1 victory to secure its sixth ITA Championship in program history.
The Cavaliers have won three of the last four NCAA Championships (2013, 15 and 16) and have now reached the semifinals in each of the last eight years and 10 of the last 11 seasons. Virginia has advanced to the NCAA Championship match in five of the last six seasons.
Live scoring and video for the matches will be available with the links posted on VirginiaSports.com. The championship match, scheduled for Tuesday, May 23 at 1 p.m., will be televised live on ESPNU.
#2 Virginia 4, #11 Texas 1
1. #25 Christian Sigsgaard (UT) def. #91 Alexander Ritschard (VA) 7-5, 6-3
2. #14 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA) vs. #36 Harrison Scott (UT) 5-7, 6-3, 3-0, unfinished
3. Carl Soderlund (VA) def. #55 Yuya Ito (UT) 6-2, 6-1
4. #40 Collin Altamirano (VA) def. George Goldhoff (UT) 6-1, 6-0
5. #109 J.C. Aragone (VA) def. Leo Telles (UT) 6-2, 7-6 (3)
6. #102 Henrik Wiersholm (VA) vs. Rodrigo Banzer (UT) 7-6 (6), 2-3, unfinished
1. #76 George Goldhoff/Leo Telles (UT) def. #17 Luca Corinteli/Carl Soderlund (VA) 6-2
2. Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Alexander Ritschard (VA) def. Christian Sigsgaard/Julian Zlobinsky (UT) 6-4
3. Collin Altamirano/J.C. Aragone (VA) def. Yuya Ito/Harrison Scott (UT) 6-2
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (4,3,1,5)
NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship Quarterfinals