No. 7 Virginia defeated No. 14 Wake Forest on Saturday in the first of two meetings between the two teams this season. The Cavaliers (5-0, 0-0 ACC) lost the doubles point to the Demon Deacons (3-2, 0-0 ACC) but rallied to earn the victory with strong performances on the singles courts. For the second match in a row, Virginia had to rely on the singles matches to earn a come-from-behind victory after dropping the doubles point. This contest was designated as a non-conference match between the two ACC teams, with the rematch in Winston-Salem later in February designated as the ACC match.
Wake Forest swept the doubles matches to earn an early advantage over the Cavaliers 1-0. The No. 18 pairing of senior Eduardo Nava and sophomore Henri Squire for Wake Forest topped graduate student Carl Soderlund and junior William Woodall on the No. 1 doubles court by a score of 6-2 to start the day off strong for the Demon Deacons.
The next two doubles matches were very close, with both going into tiebreakers. On the No. 2 doubles court, the pairing of junior Ryan Goetz and freshman Chris Rodesch were defeated 7-6 by graduate student Adam Ambrozy and sophomore Taha Baadi, clinching the doubles point for Wake Forest. The pairing of freshmen Iñaki Montes de la Torre and Jeffrey von der Schulenberg dropped their doubles match in a tight matchup against junior Siddhant Banthia and sophomore Matthew Thomson by a final score of 7-6.
Despite losing the doubles point, Virginia responded decisively in the singles matches — winning five of six. The first singles match to finish was on the No. 5 singles court with Rodesch picking up a win over junior Robert Maciag in straight sets, winning the first set 6-2 and the second set 6-3.
On the No. 4 singles court, No. 106 von der Schulenburg defeated Banthia by scores of 6-4 and 6-2 in the first and second sets respectively to give Virginia a 2-1 overall lead. With his win, von der Schulenburg improves to 5-0 on the season in singles matches, leading the team in singles wins. Goetz also picked up a big win on the No. 3 singles court by narrowly beating Nava 6-3 in the first set and 7-6 in the second set to extend the Cavaliers’ lead to 3-1.
No. 29 Soderlund needed three sets to beat Squire on the No. 1 singles court. Soderlund won the first set 6-3 before losing the second set convincingly 0-6. Soderlund rebounded in the third set to defeat Squire 6-2 and clinch the overall victory for the Cavaliers. Montes remains undefeated in singles matches this season after defeating Baadi in straight sets, winning the tiebreaker 7-6 in the second set to clinch his win. Senior Gianni Ross dropped his first singles match of the season with a loss to No. 92 senior Rrezart Cungu to end the day's action with the final score reading 5-2 in Virginia’s favor.
With the win over the Demon Deacons, the Cavaliers improve to 5-0 on the season. Next up for the team is the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. Virginia will look to capture its seventh ITA National Team Indoor Championship when they return to action Feb. 12-14 in Champaign, Ill.