The No. 18 Virginia men’s tennis team provided a strong showing to begin the weekend as it picked up a 4-0 win at Duke in Durham, N.C. The Blue Devils (7-4, 0-1 ACC) entered this match ranked No. 40 in the ITA Singles Rankings.
The doubles matches saw graduate student Gianni Ross and senior William Woodall pick up a win on court two while sophomore Iñaki Montes and sophomore Jeffrey von der Schulenberg took care of business on court three in order to secure the point for the Cavaliers (7-5, 1-0 ACC).
Senior Ryan Goetz opened the singles matches with a win, and was quickly followed by Ross and Montes in order to clinch the match and give Virginia its second straight 4-0 win.
The Cavaliers then traveled down the road to the Chapel Hill Tennis Club in Chapel Hill, N.C. for a rematch of last year’s ACC Championship game against North Carolina (6-5, 1-1 ACC). The Tar Heels came into the match ranked No. 27 in this week’s ITA Singles Rankings. The result remained the same as last year, with Virginia picking up a 4-2 victory to close out their road trip.
The doubles point came down to the wire after Montes and Schulenberg won on their court. Both of the other two courts wound up being tied 6-6 and had to go to tiebreakers. Sophomore Chris Rodesch and Goetz won an impressive tiebreaker against Brian Cernoch and Mac Kiger — the No. 4 doubles team in the country — on court one to give the doubles point to the Cavaliers.
The doubles point was followed by singles victories from Schulenberg and Goetz to give Virginia a 3-0 lead before the Tar Heels began to claw their way back into the match. Rodesch and graduate student Jackson Allen both went down on their respective courts while Ross was engaged in a tight matchup with Logan Allen from North Carolina.
After taking the first set, Ross fell behind in the second as the Tar Heels looked to tie the match up. Ross was able to battle back, taking the set and the single point, and clinching the match for the Cavaliers.
“There were lots of ups and downs in both singles and doubles and our Wahoos stayed the course. We are battle tested and it showed today,” Coach Andres Peroso said. “Composure is such an important piece to being great competitors and our team is learning this with every day of this season. Good things can happen if you hang in there and keep battling.”
Virginia has now won three matches in a row and has put itself in a very strong position at 2-0 in the ACC, especially after going through a difficult stretch early in the season. They will look to extend that winning streak when they return home to host Notre Dame Friday, March 11. The match is slated to begin at 3 p.m. at the Virginia Tennis Facility located at Boar’s Head Resort.