No. 12 men’s tennis opens regular season with a pair of close victories

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Junior Aswin Lizen started off his 2018 season dominantly, winning all four of his matches over the weekend. 

Callie Collins | Cavalier Daily

This weekend, the No. 12 Virginia men’s tennis team (2-0) scored its first two victories of the season over the Temple Owls (1-1) and the Richmond Spiders (0-1). However, both of these wins were decided only by a 4-3 margin — which may be an early cause for concern for the defending national champions.

This is not the same team that has imposed its will over the nation the past three years. Only three upperclassmen have returned from last year, and the team is made up largely of untested freshmen. Perhaps the best weapon returning for the Cavaliers is junior Aswin Lizen. Lizen was 4-0 in his matches this weekend, and proved to be a saving grace for the young Virginia team so far. Freshman​ Kyrylo Tsygura also had an excellent weekend, winning his matches and twice in a row clinching the match for the Cavaliers.

It has been a disappointing start for Virginia’s No. 1 seed, freshman Matthew Lord, who was unable to come away with a victory this weekend. The youth of the Cavalier team may become an issue this season, with five of the six starting singles players debuting for the first time this past Saturday. It also means the young team is nowhere near its ceiling, and should continue to improve throughout the next few years.

The Cavaliers will next host the No. 25 Texas Tech Red Raiders (8-1) for their first real test of the season. That match will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 27 at the Sheridan Snyder Tennis Center in Charlottesville. 

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