No. 13 men’s tennis reaches the ITA Indoor Championships quarterfinals before getting swept by No. 2 Ohio State

Cavaliers finish the indoor season at 9-2

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Senior captain Aswin Lizen clinched the victory for the Cavaliers against Southern California.

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

This past weekend, No. 13 Virginia men’s tennis (9-2, 2-1 ACC) attended the ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Chicago, Ill. The Cavaliers entered the tournament as the eighth seed after staging major ranked wins against No. 1 Wake Forest and No. 20 Texas A&M the past two months. 

Virginia started off the tournament against the ninth-seed No. 10 Stanford (7-2, 0-0 Pac-12). Stanford got off to a quick start, winning the doubles point 2-0, defeating the Cavaliers in one of their strongest categories.

However, the Cavaliers quickly recuperated, with senior captain Aswin Lizen and No. 1 junior Carl Soderlund posting commanding straight-set victories. This was Virginia’s third victory out of four ranked matchups and its second against a higher-ranked opponent. 

Virginia then progressed to the quarterfinals to face top-seeded — and eventual 2019 indoor national champion — No. 2 Ohio State (13-0, 0-0 Big Ten). The Cavaliers got off to a promising start, winning the first doubles match 6-1 thanks to the partnership of senior Henrik Wiersholm and freshman Brandon Nakashima. 

Nevertheless, defeating the two-time indoor champion Buckeyes proved to be too tall of a task, as Virginia dropped the following two doubles matches and three-straight singles matches — falling to Ohio State 4-0. Ohio State moved on to defeat No. 6 Texas and No. 1 Wake Forest to capture the title.

All teams are guaranteed three matches at the Indoor Championships, and Virginia capped off their time in Chicago with a match against No. 5 Southern California (6-5, 0-0 Pac-12). Virginia rekindled their previous doubles strength, as the Cavaliers won a quick doubles point. 

Virginia then followed up this win with singles wins by Soderlund, Wiersholm and Lizen, as they defeated the Trojans 4-1. After this 2-1 performance at the ITA Indoor Championship, a top-10 initial NCAA ranking is not out of the question for the Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers start their outdoor season against the University of South Florida (4-4, 0-0 American) March 10 in Tampa, Fla.

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