CHICAGO – The Virginia men’s tennis team (9-2) closed out its competition at the 2019 Oracle ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship with a 4-1 victory over Southern California (6-5) in a consolation match on Sunday (Feb. 17) at the Midtown Athletic Club in Chicago, Ill.
The Cavaliers won the doubles point and used victories at one and three singles to build up a 3-1 lead over USC. Senior Aswin Lizen (Douglas, Isle of Man) clinched the victory for Virginia with a win on court six.
In doubles, junior Carl Soderlund (Stockholm, Sweden) and freshman William Woodall (Washington, D.C.) got things started with a 7-5 victory on court one. Senior Henrik Wiersholm (Kirkland, Wash.) and freshman Brandon Nakashima (San Diego, Calif.) clinched the point by winning 6-3 on court two.
In singles, Nakashima picked up a dominant 6-3, 6-2 victory over Jack Jaede on court three to put UVA up 2-0. After the Trojans won on court five, Söderlund finished off a 6-1, 6-4 victory over No. 56 Brandon Holt on the top court. Lizen downed Jake Sands, 6-4, 6-1 to clinch the victory.
Senior Henrik Wiersholm (Kirkland, Wash.) had dropped his first set, 6-1, to No. 4 Daniel Cukierman, but had rallied in the second set and was leading, 5-3, when play was halted. Sophomore Gianni Ross (Chicago, Ill.) had been edged in a tiebreaker in his first set against Laurens Verboven, but was leading 5-0 in the second set.
USC is ranked No. 5 in the latest Oracle ITA rankings, but was the No. 13 seed in the tournament. Virginia is ranked No. 13 in the most-recent Oracle ITA rankings, but was the No. 8 seed in the championship.
The Cavaliers opened the tournament with a 4-2 victory over 8-seed Stanford, before falling 4-0 to top-seeded Ohio State in Saturday’s quarterfinals. Ohio State and Wake Forest will compete on Monday in the tournament’s championship match.
The ITA Division I National Men’s Team Indoor Championship is in its 44th year of existence. Fifteen teams qualified for the event by winning their respective 2019 ITA Kick-Off Weekend four-team regional, while Illinois received an automatic bid for being the host site. The teams will compete in a single-elimination tournament over a four-day span to crown a national indoor champion. Each team is guaranteed three matches at the event.