Men’s tennis knocks off No. 11 TCU, falls to No. 6 Wake Forest

The Cavaliers took on a pair of ranked opponents this weekend and went 1-1

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William Woodall was one of just two Cavaliers able to win a match against Wake Forest.

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

Fresh off a loss to Central Florida Feb. 2, the Virginia men’s tennis team faced a pair of ranked teams over the weekend. Virginia’s two opponents — No. 11 TCU and No. 6 Wake Forest — entered this weekend with a combined record of 8-2, ensuring a couple of difficult tests for the Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers (5-4, 1-1 ACC) ultimately defeated the Horned Frogs (3-3, 0-0 Big 12), while losing to the Demon Deacons (7-1, 0-0 ACC).

Virginia opened the weekend with a Thursday night clash against TCU at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville. 

The Cavaliers took an early advantage by securing the doubles point. The pairings of junior Matthew Lord and senior Carl Soderlund as well as sophomore Ryan Goetz and junior Gianni Ross won the first two matches against the Horned Frogs. After the TCU match, the duo of Soderlund and Lord remained undefeated with an overall record of 4-0.

In the singles matches, No. 81 Goetz knocked off No. 122 TCU freshman Tadeas Paroulek to extend the Cavaliers’ lead to 2-0, but TCU’s No. 125 sophomore Luc Fomba won his match against Lord to cut the deficit back to one point. 

Despite the setback, Virginia clinched the big win after straight-set wins from Ross and sophomore William Woodall. Ross defeated his opponent 7-5, 6-3, while Woodall won 6-4, 7-6 after cinching his second set in a tiebreaker. The other two singles matches — including Soderlund and Virginia freshman Christian Alshon — were in the third set but went unfinished after Virginia secured the 4-1 win.

With the victory, the Cavaliers handed the Horned Frogs their second loss of the season. Virginia’s record against TCU also improved to 5-1.

Virginia then traveled to Winston-Salem, N.C. to take on No. 6 Wake Forest Sunday afternoon at the Wake Forest Tennis Center. The Demon Deacons flexed their muscles early and swept the doubles matches to secure the first point.

Notably, the Wake Forest doubles team of freshman Henri Squire and senior Eduardo Nava handed the Virginia pairing of Lord and Soderlund their first loss of the season.

After the doubles point, Wake Forest refused to slow down and proceeded to win the first four singles matches to clinch the victory. The Demon Deacons won three of these matches in straight sets — with Alshon, Ross and Goetz all falling without a single set win. Although Lord won the first set in his matchup, Wake Forest sophomore Melios Efstathiou took the final two comfortably.

Woodall and Soderlund scored the only points for Virginia, winning the final two singles matches of the day — both in three sets. They also both defeated ranked opponents, knocking off No. 100 sophomore Siddhant Banthia and No. 44 junior Bar Botzer, respectively.

Despite Woodall and Soderlund’s best efforts, Wake Forest cruised to a 5-2 victory over Virginia.

The Cavaliers are now off for a few weeks before returning to action at the end of the month. Virginia will host George Mason and Norfolk State Thursday, Feb. 27. They will be the team’s first matches of the season at the Sheridan Snyder Tennis Center in Charlottesville.

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