No. 6 Virginia topped No. 4 North Carolina 4-3 in Sunday's final. Carl Söderlund was named the ACC Championship MVP
ROME, Ga. – Top-seeded Virginia (21-2) defeated 3-seed North Carolina (18-3) by a 4-3 score in the final of the ACC Men’s Tennis Championship being held at the Rome Tennis Center in Rome, Ga.
The Cavaliers’ victory gives the team its 13th ACC Championship in program history and its first under fourth-year head coach Andres Pedroso.
Freshman Iñaki Montes (Pamplona, Spain) clinched the victory with a win on court four. Grad student Carl Söderlund (Stockholm, Sweden) was named the tournament’s MVP.
In doubles, junior Ryan Goetz (Greenlawn, N.Y.) and freshman Chris Rodesch (Angelsberg, Luxembourg) opened the match with a 6-4 win on court two. UNC evened it up when second-ranked William Blumberg and Brian Cernoch won on the top court. Court three went to a tiebreaker with the Tar Heels’ Benjamin Sigouin and Josh Peck winning it 7-4 to give UNC the 1-0 lead.
The Tar Heels went up 2-0 with a win on singles court two before Söderlund finished off a 6-3, 6-0 win against Sigouin to put UVA on the board. Senior Gianni Ross (Chicago, Ill.) tied the match 2-2 with a 6-1, 6-4 win on court six. UNC pulled back ahead with a victory on court three. Goetz knotted the match 3-3 with a 6-1, 6-3 victory against Logan Zapp on court five.
On the remaining court, Montes had won his first set 6-2 and was serving with a 5-2 lead in the second set against Simon Soendergaard on court four. Soendergard broke Montes serve and hen held to make it 5-4. Montes was again serving for the match, this time jumping out to a 40-15 lead and converting his first match point attempt to give the Cavaliers the victory.
As ACC Champion, Virginia earns the league’s automatic berth in the upcoming NCAA Championship. The full bracket will be announced on Monday, May 3.
- Virginia is ranked No. 6 in this week’s ITA team rankings. North Carolina is ranked No. 4
- Virginia will head into the NCAA Championships on a 15-match win streak
- The Cavaliers have won 13 ACC Championships (2004-05, 2007-15, 2017, 2021), second-most of any ACC school
- This is the second time the tournament has been held at the Rome Tennis Center. The last time it was held there was 2017, when UVA won its last title. Carl Söderlund was a member of that championship team
- Iñaki Montes also clinched Saturday’s semifinal victory against NC State
- Andres Pedroso originally served as Virginia’s associate head coach from 2010-14. During that four-year span, the Cavaliers won four ACC championships, the program’s first NCAA championship (2013) and two ITA National Team Indoor titles (2011 and 2013). As a player at Duke, Pedroso helped lead the Blue Devils to four ACC titles (1998-01)
- This was the third meeting of the year between Virginia and North Carolina. The Tar Heels won the first in the semifinals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, en route to picking up the title. UVA won the regular-season meeting 6-1
FROM HEAD COACH ANDRES PEDROSO
“Incredible tournament for the Wahoos! We’re really excited! Doubles was tough. We came a point away from winning that doubles point. These guys responded like they have all year, so credit to them. They’ve worked so hard, and built an amazing culture.
“The culture, the brotherhood these guys have created over the last four years, I give them all the credit. These guys support each other on the court, off the court, you name it. These guys are there for each other. That’s why they’re so tough to beat. That’s what these guys do. It doesn’t matter if we lose the doubles point, it doesn’t matter if we win it. These guys know that the margin between winning and losing is razor-thin in the sport and collegiate athletics, so they came out and did what they did. Regardless of what happens in the doubles point, these guys are going to fight. I mean, they’re there for each other when they’re on the court, off the court academically, athletically.
“Thank you to the families. Thank you to the athletic department – Carla. Dirk Katstra my supervisor. We really appreciate all the resources. Onto NCAA’s!”
ON THE HORIZON
- The Cavaliers will have next week off before learning their postseason fate on Monday, May 3 when the NCAA Selection Show streams online on NCAA.com at 6:30 pm
- NCAA Singles and Doubles Championship selections will be announced via press release on Tuesday, May 4
Iñaki Montes with the championship point
#6 Virginia 4, #4 North Carolina 3
- #9 Carl Soderlund (VA) def. #65 Benjamin Sigouin (NC) 6-3, 6-0
- #25 Brian Cernoch (NC) def. #44 J vd Schulenburg (VA) 6-0, 6-2
- #65 Josh Peck (NC) def. Chris Rodesch (VA) 6-1, 6-3
- Inaki Montes (VA) def. Simon Soendergaard (NC) 6-2, 6-4
- #99 Ryan Goetz (VA) def. Logan Zapp (NC) 6-1, 6-3
- Gianni Ross (VA) def. #112 Mac Kiger (NC) 6-1, 6-4
- #2 William Blumberg/Brian Cernoch (NC) def. #10 Carl Soderlund/William Woodall (VA) 6-4
- Ryan Goetz/Chris Rodesch (VA) def. #79 Simon Soendergaard/Mac Kiger (NC) 6-3
- Benjamin Sigouin/Josh Peck (NC) def. J vd Schulenburg/Inaki Montes (VA) 7-6 (7-4)
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (2,1,6,3,5,4)