NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 12 Virginia men’s tennis team (4-1, 1-1 ACC) suffered its first loss of the season, falling 4-3 at No. 13 Notre Dame (4-0, 1-0 ACC) on Friday (Feb. 1).
The Cavaliers dropped the doubles point but went up 3-1 after three straight-set victories at singles 2-4. The Irish closed out the match by winning on the final three singles courts to pick up the 4-3 victory.
Notre Dame started the match with a 6-0 victory on No. 2 doubles followed by a 6-2 win on the top court to take a 1-0 lead into singles.
Junior Carl Soderlund (Stockholm, Sweden) jumped out to a 6-1 victory in his first set against Richard Ciamarra. Söderlund took an early 3-0 lead in the second set, but Ciamarra came charging back to tie things up. Söderlund closed out a 7-5 victory to tie the match at one.
Senior Henrik Wiersholm (Kirkland, Wash.) also picked up a quick victory in his first set, downing Axel Nefve on court three, 6-1. In the second set, Wiersholm hit an ace to cap a 6-4 victory, giving UVA a 2-1 advantage.
On court four, sophomore Gianni Ross (Chicago, Ill.) picked up a 6-3 victory over Tristan McCormick in the first set. The two played a tight second set which was knotted a 5-5. Ross held serve to go up 6-5 and then broke McCormick to win 7-5 and put the Cavaliers up 3-1.
Notre Dame’s comeback began with a straight-set victory on court six that made it 3-2. Freshman Brandon Nakashima (San Diego, Calif.), who had fallen 6-4 in his first set on court one, stormed back in the second set, winning 6-1, to force a third set against Alex Lebedev. The match seemed destined to go to a tiebreaker when Lebedev picked up a break to win the set 7-5 and tie the match at three.
On court five, freshman Ryan Goetz (Greenlawn, N.Y.) was serving down 5-4 in the third set. On the first point of the game, he made a call which was overruled by the official. It was the fourth overrule, which resulted in a game penalty and gave the victory to Howells, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, and secured the match for the Irish.
The Cavaliers close out the weekend by playing at Kentucky (4-2, 0-0 SEC) on Sunday, Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. Virginia’s next home match is a showdown on Friday, Feb. 8 against No. 1 Wake Forest at 6 p.m. at the Boar’s Head Sports Club.