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Men’s tennis finishes 3-0 in weekend matches

The Cavaliers cruised to victory against George Mason and Norfolk State Thursday before grinding out a win against Notre Dame Sunday

<p>Junior Gianni Ross won all of his matches this weekend, including the decisive singles match against Notre Dame to secure the victory for Virginia.&nbsp;</p>

Junior Gianni Ross won all of his matches this weekend, including the decisive singles match against Notre Dame to secure the victory for Virginia. 

Following a two-week break, Virginia men’s tennis returned to action over the weekend with three matches. The Cavaliers (8-4, 2-1 ACC) played a doubleheader Thursday, taking on in-state opponents George Mason and Norfolk State at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville. 

Virginia defeated the Patriots (2-4, 0-0 Atlantic 10) 5-2 in the first match before beating the Spartans (0-2, 0-0 MEAC) 7-0 in the nightcap.

The Cavaliers opened the match against George Mason with a dominant showing in the doubles matches to secure the early point. The pairing of senior Carl Soderlund and junior Matthew Lord improved to 5-1 on the season after they cruised to a 6-0 victory in their doubles match. The other two doubles matches proved more challenging, but Virginia came out on top in both, as the pairing of junior Gianni Ross and senior Ammar Alhaqbani won their match 6-2, and sophomore William Woodall and freshman RJ Fresen completed the sweep with a tiebreak victory in their match.

In the singles matches, Alhaqbani, Lord, Soderlund and Ross all won in straight sets to clinch the match victory for the Cavaliers. Fresen and junior Jerome Romualdez each played a third set super tiebreak in their matches, but the Patriots ultimately won both to earn their only points of the match. The final score read 5-2 in favor of Virginia.

Later in the day, the Cavaliers returned to action against Norfolk State. Virginia quickly earned the doubles point as the pairings of Soderlund and Lord and Woodall and Fresen each won their matches. The Cavaliers won the third doubles match by default as the Spartans did not field a pairing for it.

Virginia put forth a terrific showing in the singles matches, as all six players won their matches in straight sets. Junior Ethan Moszkowski won his first match of the season with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Norfolk State’s freshman Ibrahim Abbas. Romualdez avenged his tight loss earlier in the day with a flawless 6-0, 6-0 performance. Soderlund, Woodall, Alhaqbani and Fresen were also victors for the Cavaliers in the match.

Virginia closed out the weekend with an ACC clash against Notre Dame (6-6, 2-1 ACC) Sunday afternoon at the Sheridan Snyder Tennis Center. The doubles point was tightly contested between the two teams. The pairing of Ross and sophomore Ryan Goetz cruised to a 6-1 victory, but Soderlund and Lord suffered their second defeat of the season after falling to Notre Dame’s pairing of junior Tristan McCormick and No. 29 sophomore Axel Nefve. Fresen and Woodall fell in a close tie breaker to allow the Fighting Irish to claim the doubles point and take a 1-0 lead.

In the singles matches, Soderlund dominated Notre Dame’s No. 10 junior Richard Ciamarra 6-1, 6-0 to even the match score at 1-1. However, Notre Dame won the ensuing two singles matches in straight sets to take a 3-1 lead, needing just one more victory to clinch the match. The Cavaliers rallied, however, and straight-set victories from Goetz and Woodall tied the match at three.

The decisive match ended on Court four, as Ross took on Notre Dame senior Guillermo Cabrera. Ross took the first set 6-1, but Cabrera bounced back with a 6-4 second set victory to force a third set. It was tightly contested, but Ross pulled out a 6-4 victory in the final set to seal the 4-3 win for Virginia. 

The Cavaliers return to action in a doubleheader Saturday at the Sheridan Snyder Tennis Center. Virginia takes on Liberty at 11 a.m. before facing Virginia Wesleyan at 6 p.m.