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Virginia closes out the regular season perfect in the ACC

With wins against Notre Dame and Louisville this weekend, the Cavaliers remain perfect in the conference on their way to the ACC tournament

<p>Virginia freshman Iñaki Montes has won nine consecutive singles matches for the Cavaliers.</p>

Virginia freshman Iñaki Montes has won nine consecutive singles matches for the Cavaliers.

Virginia versus Notre Dame

The No. 5 Virginia men’s tennis team logged a 4-2 victory at Notre Dame on Friday to start off the last road trip of the regular season.

In doubles, the Fighting Irish (14-9, 7-5 ACC) held the early advantage as sophomore Matthew Che and senior Richard Ciamarra defeated junior Ryan Goetz and senior Matthew Lord 6-2 on court three. 

The Cavaliers (18-2, 12-0 ACC) bounced back with the freshman pair of Jeffrey von der Schulenburg and Iñaki Montes defeating senior William Howells and graduate student Brandon Ancona 6-4. Virginia followed that up with junior William Woodall and freshman Chris Rodesch defeating junior Axel Nefve and senior Tristan McCormick 7-6, finishing the match with a decisive tie breaker on the top court to earn the doubles point for the Cavaliers. 

In singles, senior Gianni Ross gave Virginia a 2-0 lead with a straight-set win on singles court four. Notre Dame responded with a win on the top court as Nefve defeated Schulenburg 6-3, 7-6 on the top court. 

Montes, playing on court two in the match, defeated Ciamarra 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 to give the Cavaliers a 3-1 advantage. The Fighting Irish kept things close as Howells defeated freshman Alexander Kiefer in a third set to bring the score to 3-2. On court five, Woodall rebounded from a 7-5 setback in his second set to down sophomore Connor Fu 6-2 in the third set to seal the victory for Virginia. 

This win highlights the depth of talent the Cavaliers have on its roster. No. 6 ranked graduate student Carl Soderlund did not play in this match while Schulenburg, Montes and Goetz all played on higher courts against Notre Dame.

Coach Andres Pedroso was able to get starts for Lord and Ross — giving the seniors more playing time — while also seeing what he has for next year in terms of Woodall and Kiefer.  

Virginia versus Louisville

The Cavaliers traveled to Bass-Rudd Tennis Center to take on Louisville, defeating the Cardinals (9-11, 3-8 ACC) 4-1. With the victory, Virginia finished conference play with a perfect 12-0 record, earning the ACC regular-season title for the 14th time in program history and for the first time since 2016. 

In doubles, the Cavaliers and Cardinals split decisions on courts one and three while Woodall and Lord won 7-5 on court two to clinch the doubles point.

In singles, Goetz gave Virginia a 2-0 lead with a 6-2, 6-3 victory on court four. Montes made it 3-0 with a 7-6, 6-1 win against junior Sergio Hernadez on court three.

The Cardinals delayed Virginia’s clinching of the top seed, picking up a point as junior Fabien Salle defeated Rodesch on court two. Schulenburg came up big in a clutch win, clinching the match and the top seed in the ACC tournament on the top court.

“I’m very proud of Jeffrey von der Schulenburg, who came up with a clutch win at number 1 singles,” Coach Pedroso said when asked about the gritty performance from his top freshman. “That’s not easy to do as a first year.”

It is encouraging to see Virginia’s development across the season, specifically, from the freshmen as Montes has the team’s longest active singles win streak at nine matches. 

This is also the first ACC regular-season title for Andres Pedroso as head coach of the Virginia men’s tennis team. 

Virginia will be the top seed in the 2021 ACC Men’s Tennis Championship held at the Rome Tennis Center in Rome, Ga. April 21 through April 25. The Cavaliers will wait to face either No. 8 Georgia Tech or No.9 Miami Friday in the quarter finals. 

With plenty of momentum there is a lot to be excited about for these Cavaliers at the end of the week.

“Now it’s time for the best part of the season,” Pedroso said.


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