The Cavaliers handed the Tar Heels their first loss of the season and took over first place in the ACC
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 6 Virginia men’s tennis team (15-2, 9-0 ACC) handed previously undefeated No. 1 North Carolina (13-1, 5-1 ACC) its first loss of the season on Sunday (March 28) when UVA picked up a 6-1 win against the Tar Heels on the indoor courts of the Boar’s Head Sports Club.
Virginia won the doubles point and led 5-0 before the Tar Heels picked up a point. Freshman Chris Rodesch (Angelsberg, Luxembourg) clinched the UVA victory with his win on singles court three.
In doubles, UNC held the early edge after winning on court two, but freshmen Jeffrey von der Schulenburg (Zurich, Switzerland) and Iñaki Montes (Pamplona, Spain) evened it up with a 6-4 win on court three. Court one came down to a tiebreaker with grad student Carl Söderlund (Stockholm, Sweden) and junior William Woodall (Washington, D.C.) pulling out a 7-2 victory over the fifth-ranked doubles team of William Blumberg and Brian Cernoch.
The Cavaliers went up 2-0 minutes into singles play when Rinky Hijikata sustained an injury and had to retire from his match against von der Schulenburg on court two. Junior Ryan Goetz (Greenlawn, N.Y.) made it a 3-0 advantage with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Simon Soendergaard on court five.
It was a race to the clinch between two freshmen: Rodesch and Montes. Rodesch completed his 6-2, 6-3 victory on court three against Benjamin Sigouin ahead of Montes’ 6-2, 6-4 victory against Brian Cernoch on court four.
With Virginia leading 5-0, UNC collected its lone point with Mac Kiger edging Woodall 10-7 in a third-set super tiebreaker.
At the same time court six was finishing its super tiebreaker, Söderlund and Blumberg were playing a tiebreaker to decide the second set, with Söderlund taking it 7-3 to win that match 6-3, 7-6 and close out Virginia’s 6-1 victory.
- Virginia is alone in first place in the ACC at 9-0
- Virginia has won nine-straight matches
- The Tar Heels have been No. 1 in the ITA rankings since winning the ITA National Team Indoor Championship in February
- This was the second meeting between the two teams this year after facing one another in the semifinals of UNC won that match 4-2. Virginia won the doubles point and built up a 2-0 lead with a win by Jeffrey von der Schulenburg on singles court three, but North Carolina won four-straight singles matches to advance to the final
- Iñaki Montes and Jeffrey von der Schulenburg are 12-2 in doubles and have won their last nine completed matches
- Ryan Goetz is a perfect 8-0 in singles in ACC play
- Chris Rodesch clinched both victories for the Cavaliers this weekend
FROM HEAD COACH ANDRES PEDROSO
“There was great composure, great energy today. We’ve been talking about playing complete matches and understanding that a tennis match has ups and downs. They did a really good job of that, working together with great communication across the board. Overall, a great team effort.
“Doubles was super close, but we just hung in there and stayed the course. In singles we came out, came out strong. UNC got a little unlucky at number two with Rinky Hijikata. I hope he’s okay. He’s a great player, great guy and so hopefully he’ll recover from that.
“We knew that we could play with anyone, this just kind of solidifies that rankings don’t really mean anything. It’s just about getting great competition, showing yourself that you can play with anyone and you can beat anyone. You can also lose to anyone if you’re not ready. I think today shows us that we can play with anyone.”
ON THE HORIZON
- The Cavaliers wrap up a seven-match homestand that has spanned the entire month of March by hosting Virginia Tech on Thursday, April 1 at 3 p.m.
- The match against the Hokies will also include the annual Senior Day celebration honoring the eight fourth and fifth years on the team
#6 Virginia 6, #1 North Carolina 1
- #6 Carl Soderlund (VA) def. #53 William Blumberg (NC) 6-3, 7-6 (3)
- #21 J vd Schulenburg (VA) def. #24 Rinky Hijikata (NC) 1-0, retired
- Chris Rodesch (VA) def. #58 Benjamin Sigouin (NC) 6-2, 6-3
- #98 Inaki Montes (VA) def. #41 Brian Cernoch (NC) 6-2, 6-4
- Ryan Goetz (VA) def. #74 Simon Soendergaard (NC) 6-2, 6-3
- Mac Kiger (NC) def. William Woodall (VA) 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (7)
- #10 Carl Soderlund/William Woodall (VA) def. #5 William Blumberg/Brian Cernoch (NC) 7-6 (2)
- #75 Mac Kiger/Simon Soendergaard (NC) def. Ryan Goetz/Chris Rodesch (VA) 6-3
- J vd Schulenburg/Inaki Montes (VA) def. Rinky Hijikata/Benjamin Sigouin (NC) 6-4
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (2,5,3,4,6,1)