Weekend previews: Sept. 28-30

The ‘skinny’ on action for men's soccer, volleyball, men's tennis


Senior Aswin Lizen is a leader for a young Virginia men's tennis squad.

Callie Collins | Cavalier Daily

Men’s Soccer

What: No. 11 Virginia (4-0-2, 1-0-1 ACC) at Pittsburgh (4-4, 1-2 ACC)

Where: Pittsburgh, Pa.

When: Friday, September 28 at 7 p.m.

The Skinny: The No. 11 Virginia men’s soccer team (4-0-2, 1-0-1 ACC) will face Pittsburgh (4-4, 1-2 ACC) Friday night on the road.

The Cavaliers have not yet lost a game this season, while conceding only one goal. Virginia is one of only nine unbeaten teams left in the nation, and Virginia sophomore goalkeeper Colin Shutler leads the NCAA in goals against average and save percentage.

Virginia’s attack has begun to score at a higher clip in recent weeks, with the Cavaliers scoring two goals each in their last two matches against Florida International and Syracuse — the first time they have scored multiple goals in back-to-back games.

In Pittsburgh’s most recent match, the Panthers upset then-No. 12 North Carolina State, 3-1, Tuesday night at home. Tuesday’s win was Pittsburgh’s first over a ranked opponent this season. 

Sophomore forward Edward Kizza is Pittsburgh’s leading scorer so far this season with six goals. Kizza notched a hat trick against Delaware on Aug. 27, and also scored one against North Carolina State on Tuesday.

The Cavaliers and Panthers will kick off at 7 p.m. Friday at Ambrose Urbanic Field in Pittsburgh.

— Compiled by Colin Cantwell


What: Virginia (4-8, 0-2 ACC) vs. Florida State (6-6, 2-0 ACC) and Miami (6-3, 2-0 ACC)

Where: Memorial Gym, Charlottesville, Va.

When: Friday, September 28 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 30 at 12:00 p.m.

The Skinny: After a loss to No. 8 Pittsburgh (13-0, 2-0 ACC) and rival Virginia Tech (10-4, 1-1 ACC), Virginia looks to bounce back against Miami and Florida State in a weekend double-header against the two Sunshine State schools. 

Quite possibly the toughest test for the Cavaliers this season was against No. 9 Pittsburgh, who has yet to fall even after challenges by then-No. 24 Cal Poly and then-No. 12 Washington. After losing the first set 25-17, Virginia built a 20-13 lead — but the Panthers fought back, winning the set 25-23 and the final set 25-21. 

Although the match was a loss in the records, it should serve as a source of motivation for Virginia as they go into a tough weekend against Miami and Florida State. Both teams are undefeated in conference play and are coming off wins against Duke and Wake Forest respectively. 

Compiled by Akhil Rekulapelli

Men’s Tennis

What: The ITA All-American Championships

Where: Tulsa, Okla.

When: Sept. 29 through Oct. 7

The Skinny: After a disappointing second round loss to Columbia in the NCAA championships last May, the Virginia men’s tennis team kicks off its second tournament of the year in Tulsa, Okla. at the ITA All-American Championships. The tournament will take place from Sept. 29 until Oct. 7. 

The Cavaliers, perennial national title contenders, look to bounce back in convincing fashion in this early phase of the fall schedule to set the tone for the remainder of the season. 

Second-year Coach Andres Peroso commands a young squad led by three upperclassmen, junior Carl Söderlund, senior Aswin Lizen and senior Henrik Wiersholm. With two returning members from the 2017 National Championship team, Soderlund and Lizen, a lethal combination of experience and new talent gives the team immense confidence and high expectations heading into the grueling season ahead.

Coming off of a mixed showing at the U.Va. Masters Tournament taking place here in Charlottesville, select members of the team will now compete at the national level for the All-American national title. In addition, players will aim to secure a berth in the 2018 Oracle ITA National Fall Championships, being held Nov. 7-11 in Surprise, Ariz. This tournament offers a chance for individual players to display their skills on a stage where ACC players have previously dominated, winning in each of the past eight years.

— Compiled by Alex Maniatis

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