CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The No. 7 Virginia men’s tennis team (26-5) advanced to the semifinals of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Tennis Team Championship with a 4-1 victory against No. 2 Florida (26-3) in the 2022 NCAA Men’s Tennis Team Championship being held at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in Champaign, Ill.
The Cavaliers will take on No. 6 Tennessee (26-7) on Saturday, May 21 at 2 p.m. ET, playing for a place in Sunday’s championship match.
Virginia won the doubles point and picked up victories on singles courts two, three and five to take down the reigning NCAA Champions. Sophomore Jeffrey von der Schulenburg clinched the victory for the Cavaliers in a match that ended at 12:24 a.m. CT.
Florida had an early edge in doubles, winning 6-1 on court three. Sophomore Chris Rodesch and grad student Bar Botzer evened things with a 6-4 victory against the No. 5 doubles team of Sam Riffice and Ben Shelton. Court two went to a tiebreaker with senior Ryan Goetz and sophomore Iñaki Montes winning it 7-3 to take the point and put UVA ahead 1-0.
The match went into a lightning delay 1:21 into the contest, midway through the first singles sets. Right after clearing the stands, a rainstorm came through and drenched the courts. With two matches being played simultaneously on the outdoors courts of the complex and only having six indoor courts at the facility, it was decided that the Ohio State and Michigan match would move to the indoor courts and Virginia/Florida would either resume play outdoors when the courts were dry or go on the indoors courts after the other match finished. At 10:15, the outdoor courts were dry enough for the teams to begin warm-ups with play resuming at 10:45 p.m., 2:24 minutes after it had been halted.
Florida tied the match with a straight-set victory on court four. Montes put UVA back ahead with a 7-5, 6-4 victory against reigning NCAA Singles Champion Sam Riffice. Senior Gianni Ross battled to a 7-5, 7-5 victory on court five to make it a 3-1 score.
On court three, von der Schulenburg had dropped his first set 6-2 against Duarte Vale. In the second set, the two tied 6-6 with von der Schulenburg edging Vale 7-5 in the breaker to force a third set. The UVA sophomore took the decider 6-3 to clinch the match.
On the two remaining courts, Botzer was serving at 5-6 against Josh Goodger in the third set.
Rodesch battled Shelton on the top singles court. Shelton, who is currently ranked No. 2 in the ITA Singles Rankings, won the first set in a 12-10 tiebreaker. Rodesch had just broken Shelton to win the second set 7-5 when play was halted.
FROM HEAD COACH ANDRES PEDROSO
“I told them that the Gators are the defending national champs and we can expect them to always fight back no matter how well we’re playing, no matter how far we’re up in the score. They’re always going to fight back and the guys were ready. We talked about it a lot. So poise was a big part of this win. And so a lot of credit to the guys.”
“After the rain delay, I told them that it was a new match. That it’s like we started the doubles point all over again. It was all about energy and composure. I really felt like we would play our best tennis if we brought the energy and we had good composure and you know, that’s what happened.”
- Virginia brings a 21-match win streak into Saturday’s semifinal. Their last loss was against Florida at ITA National Team Indoors in February
- The top three seeds of the tournament were all eliminated on Friday with No. 1 TCU falling against Kentucky and No. 3 Baylor falling against Tennessee
- The Cavaliers have now advanced to the semifinals in 11 of the last 15 championships
- Virginia won the first of its four NCAA titles in 2013, the last time Illinois hosted the championship
- Florida won the 2021 NCAA Championship
#7 Virginia 4, #2 Florida 1
- #2 Ben Shelton (UF) vs. #30 Chris Rodesch (VA) 7-6 (12-10), 5-7, unfinished
- #39 Inaki Montes (VA) def. #28 Sam Riffice (UF) 7-5, 6-4
- #45 J vd Schulenburg (VA) def. #115 Duarte Vale (UF) 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3
- #117 Andy Andrade (UF) def. #96 Ryan Goetz (VA) 6-3, 6-4
- Gianni Ross (VA) def. Mattias Siimar (UF) 7-5, 7-5
- #119 Josh Goodger (UF) vs. Bar Botzer (VA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-5, unfinished
- #61 Bar Botzer/Chris Rodesch (VA) def. #5 Sam Riffice/Ben Shelton (UF) 6-4
- Ryan Goetz/Inaki Montes (VA) def. #65 Mattias Siimar/Andy Andrade (UF) 7-6 (7-3)
- Duarte Vale/Nate Bonetto (UF) def. Gianni Ross/J vd Schulenburg (VA) 6-1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (4,2,5,3)
2022 NCAA National Quarterfinal
Match suspended at 8:21 due to weather
Match resumed at 10:45
Highlights from the NCAA Quarterfinal match against Florida