Weekend Previews: April 6-8

‘The Skinny’ on weekend action for men’s tennis and women’s lacrosse

Sp-Soderlund

Sophomore Carl Soderlund will likely have to play Florida State senior Guy Iradukunda, the current 18th best player in the nation.

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

Men’s Tennis 

What: No. 42 Virginia (11-7, 4-3 ACC) vs. No. 43 Miami (11-7, 2-4 ACC) and No. 12 Florida State (22-1, 6-0 ACC)

Where: Snyder Courts, Charlottesville

When: Friday, 3 p.m. and Sunday, 1 p.m.

The Skinny: The No. 42 Virginia men’s tennis program (11-7, 4-3 ACC) is preparing for a pair of tough weekend home matchups against No. 43 Miami and No. 12 Florida State. The Cavaliers are returning from a challenging weekend in North Carolina, where they dropped two matches against the highly ranked No. 18 Duke Blue Devils (13-8, 4-2 ACC) and No. 6 North Carolina Tar Heels (14-4, 5-1 ACC).

Despite their struggles on the road, the Cavaliers are tough to beat while playing at home. Their most recent home win there was against Notre Dame, where Virginia pulled off a convincing 6-1 victory. During that game, everything clicked for the Cavaliers. For them to pull off a victory over a team as experienced as Florida State, everything will need to click again. The Cavaliers are better matched against the Hurricanes, but a matchups like these decide whether Virginia will be in the top or bottom half of the ACC this season.

The Florida State matchup also poses a problem unique to sophomore Carl Söderlund (No. 35), the presumptive player on the No. 1 court this weekend. Söderlund will likely have to play Florida State senior Guy Iradukunda, the current 18th best player in the nation. This would be one of Söderlund’s toughest matchups at home to date, and is a must-watch match if it happens. 

— Compiled by Luke Beasey 

Women’s Lacrosse   

What: No. 6 Virginia (8-4, 3-2 ACC) vs. No. 19 Penn State (8-4, 3-0 Big Ten)

Where: Klöckner Stadium, Charlottesville 

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

The Skinny: After a schedule change that saw the game moved up a day, the No. 6 Virginia women’s lacrosse takes on its third top 20 opponent in a row at home against No. 19 Penn State. Virginia has fallen to two top three opponents in the last week, and a win against Penn State will be important to get back on track. Penn State is having an strong season of its own and have suffered some tough losses, all four coming by two goals or less. 

Penn State ranks ninth in the country in goals per game, marking the third match in a row the Cavaliers must slow down a top 10 offense. Virginia successfully slowed down both Maryland and Boston College well into the second half, but fell apart late in both. The Cavaliers will need to find a way to put together a complete game on the defensive side in order to avoid the upset. 

Where Penn State pales in comparison to Virginia’s last two opponents is on the defensive side. Penn State does not rank in the top 50 in goals against average and the Cavaliers will look to take advantage. Junior attacker and leading scorer Avery Shoemaker has been on a tear lately and has a good opportunity to continue her hot streak.

The game will also be senior night for the Cavaliers. Senior attacker Ana Hagerup, midfielders Lilly DiNardo, Daniela Kelly and Kasey Behr along with goalkeeper Rachel Vander Kolk will be honored for their careers with the lacrosse program. It will not be the last opportunity to see the seniors at home however, as the team plays James Madison at home April 18 after rescheduling due to snow. First draw is scheduled for 7 p.m. but the seniors will be honored in a ceremony before the game. 

— Compiled by John Szymendera

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