The No. 11 Virginia men’s tennis team (14-5, 8-0 ACC) took sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings after defeating NC State (13-6, 2-4 ACC) Friday and No. 8 Wake Forest (22-5, 5-1 ACC) Sunday.
Virginia versus NC State
The Wolfpack were riding a winning streak coming into the match, having defeated both No. 20 Northwestern and No. 6 South Carolina within the last week. However, the Cavaliers proved that they were ready as they cruised to a 4-0 victory.
Sophomore Iñaki Montes de la Torre and senior Ryan Goetz picked up a 6-1 victory on court one in the first doubles match of the day. After sophomore Chris Rodesch and graduate student Bar Botzer dropped their match on court two 6-3, Virginia was able to clinch the doubles point thanks to a 6-4 victory on court three from the team of graduate student Gianni Ross and sophomore Jeffrey von der Schulenberg.
Rodesch started off singles play with a win on court one and was followed by a 7-5, 6-2 victory from Goetz. The Cavaliers closed out the match on court three with the ninth singles victory in a row from von der Schulenberg, as he won 6-4, 6-3.
Virginia versus Wake Forest
Virginia finished the weekend with a 4-1 win against the Demon Deacons in front of a substantial crowd on the indoor courts at the Boar’s Head Sports Club, and the Cavaliers now stand alone at the top of the conference.
Ross and von der Schulenberg picked up another doubles victory along with Montes and Goetz in order to clinch the doubles point and take the early 1-0 lead for Virginia. These doubles lineups are proving to be extremely successful, as Ross and von der Schulenberg are 4-0 on the season as a team while Goetz and Montes have posted a 9-1 record so far.
Wake Forest tied the match after defeating Ross in singles on court six, but that would stand as the only point of the day for the Demon Deacons. The Cavaliers finished the match with a trio of singles wins from Goetz, Rodesch and Montes in order to keep their winning streak alive and improve to 8-0 in the ACC.
“I thought it was a great doubles point from our guys. Everyone played a complete match and I thought we had great energy,” Coach Andres Pedroso said. “As you know, Wake Forest is a good team. We always get up for matches like this.”
One of the stories of this match was Botzer, who spent three years playing at Wake Forest, playing against his former team. Botzer dropped his first set by a score of 6-4 but fought back to win the second set and force a third, which had just begun play when the match was abandoned due to the Cavaliers already clinching the win.
With four conference games remaining, Virginia has put themselves in a strong position to be the No. 1 seed in the ACC tournament. They will look to lock up that honor after a bye week from conference play.
In the meantime, the Cavaliers will travel to play a postponed match against No. 12 Kentucky Thursday, March 31. That match is slated to begin at 5 p.m.