No. 13 Virginia men’s tennis falls to No. 11 Notre Dame but beats Kentucky

The Cavaliers go to 5-1 on the season with No. 1 Wake Forest up next


Junior Carl Soderlund was victorious in both matches.

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

After defeating UC Berkeley and then-No. 9 Texas A&M at the ITA Kickoff Weekend Jan. 26 and 27, No. 13 Virginia men’s tennis (5-1, 1-1 ACC) headed to South Bend, Ind., Friday to face the No. 11 Notre Dame (6-0, 1-0 ACC).

The Fighting Irish went into the match having already defeated No. 18 Oklahoma, a win that punched their ticket to the ITA Indoor Nationals in mid-February. Virginia also had considerable momentum, entering with a four-game win streak to open up the season. 

Virginia’s luck, however, ran out. The Cavaliers fell 4-3 in nail-biting fashion to the Fighting Irish. Although junior Carl Soderlund and sophomore Gianni Ross pulled off wins, Virginia recorded its first overall doubles loss of the season. 

Furthermore, close losses by senior captain Aswin Lizen and freshman Ryan Goetz enabled Notre Dame to come back from 3-1 down to seal the victory. 

The Cavaliers then headed south from Indiana to Lexington, Ky., for a Sunday meeting with unranked Kentucky (4-3, 0-0 SEC), who during ITA Kickoff Weekend fell to Dartmouth 3-4 but defeated Virginia Tech 4-0 in convincing fashion. 

Right from the start, the No. 13 Cavaliers were determined to get back to their winning ways. They won a doubles point and four-straight singles wins from Soderlund, Lizen, Ross and Wiersholm, putting Virginia up 5-0 going into the final two matches. 

Although Goetz and freshman Brandon Nakashima fell in abbreviated three-set matches, Virginia left Lexington with a 5-2 win and greater confidence going into their Feb. 8 matchup against defending national champion No. 1 Wake Forest (6-0, 0-0 ACC) in Charlottesville. All matches will be broadcasted on Virginia Sports TV.

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