Men’s tennis faces tough weekend

Cavaliers dealt dual defeats by No. 21 Duke, No. 5 North Carolina

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Only junior Aswin Lizen was able to pull off a victory in singles play against North Carolina.

Callie Collins | Cavalier Daily

This weekend, Virginia played on the road of two of its toughest opponents to date, taking on No. 21 Duke and No. 5 North Carolina. The Cavaliers’ contest against Duke (13-8, 4-2 ACC) was hard fought, with the Blue Devils only able to escape an at-home upset by one match — winning the overall team match 4-3. Virginia fared somewhat worse at Chapel Hill, falling to the Tar Heels in a 6-1 blowout.

Virginia got off to a poor start Friday, with the teams on courts No. 1 and No. 3 beaten by their opponents. On court No. 2, the doubles team of sophomore Carl Söderlund and freshman Matthew Lord won 6-4. Lord then went on to pick up a quick win of his own in singles play, beating Duke’s sophomore Spencer Furman on court No. 4 to tie the match.

Despite Lord’s heroics, the rest of the match did not fall in favor of the Cavaliers. Söderlund (No. 38) faced a rare defeat at the hands of junior Nicolas Alvarez (No. 17), despite an impressive tiebreaker win in the first set. With wins on courts No. 2 and No. 3 and a loss on court No. 5, Virginia and Duke were tied 3-3 with a single match remaining on No. 6. Virginia’s freshman Kyrylo Tsygura played exceptionally on that court, but fell to Duke’s freshman Sean Sculley after a tiebreaker in the third set.

On Sunday, Virginia’s weekend only got worse. The Cavaliers faced a similar doubles situation that they had on Friday, with quick losses on courts No. 1 and No. 3 rendering a competitive match on No. 2 unfinished. In singles play, only junior Aswin Lizen (No. 32) was able to pull off a victory, defeating North Carolina’s (14-4, 5-1 ACC) sophomore Simon Soendergaard with a third set comeback on No. 3. Despite a close call on court No. 1, none of Virginia’s other players were able to pull off a victory, dealing Virginia its worst loss since playing at Louisville (14-6, 4-3 ACC) on March 2.

Virginia will next take on Miami (11-7, 2-4 ACC) at home Friday, ending a streak of four road matches in a row. They are scheduled to play at 3 p.m. at the Snyder Sheridan Tennis Center in Charlottesville. 

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