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Virginia men’s tennis sweeps its first two matches of the NCAA Championships

The Cavaliers took down Fairleigh Dickinson and Virginia Commonwealth in convincing fashion

<p>Virginia senior Ryan Goetz and sophomore Iñaki Montes de la Torre dominated their doubles match against VCU, winning 6-0.</p>

Virginia senior Ryan Goetz and sophomore Iñaki Montes de la Torre dominated their doubles match against VCU, winning 6-0.

The No. 7 Virginia men’s tennis team (24-5, 12-0 ACC) advanced to the Round of 16 of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Tennis Team Championship after winning both matches of the Charlottesville Regional on the indoor courts of the Boar’s Head Sports Club. They have now rattled off 19 wins in a row and will host No. 10 South Carolina next in a Super Regional.

Virginia versus Fairleigh Dickinson

The Cavaliers opened tournament play against Fairleigh Dickinson (10-12, 3-3 NEC) with a 4-0 victory. Virginia appeared extremely focused throughout the match, as it put the Knights away in under 90 minutes.

In doubles, senior Gianni Ross and sophomore Jeffrey von der Schulenberg started off with a 6-2 win on court three. They were followed by graduate student Bar Botzer and sophomore Chris Rodesch earning a 6-3 victory on the top court to clinch the doubles point for the Cavaliers and give them a 1-0 advantage in the match.

Virginia continued to cruise through their singles matches en route to their victory. Ross was able to notch a 6-1, 6-0 win on court four to open singles play. Shortly after, Rodesch finished up a 6-1, 6-2 victory on the top court and Botzer closed out the match with a singles win by a score of 6-0, 6-1 to send the Cavaliers to the second round.

Virginia versus Virginia Commonwealth

Virginia moved on to the Round of 16 after securing another 4-0 victory against Virginia Commonwealth (22-7) in the second round. The Rams are ranked at No. 31 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association team rankings, having defeated Pennsylvania in the first round.

Doubles play began with a 6-0 win from senior Ryan Goetz and sophomore Iñaki Montes de la Torre. Botzer and Rodesch won their doubles match again to secure the point for the Cavaliers. 

Rodesch picked up another point for Virginia in singles, winning his matchup 6-2, 6-2. Montes closed out a 6-4, 6-3 win and Ross finally earned the clinching point by a score of 6-4, 7-5. Schulenberg had a match point on his court before the match was concluded, given that the Cavaliers had already clinched the victory.

Virginia does not appear to have slowed down at all after the conference tournament, as it now sets its sights on the Super Regional and the Round of 16.

Coach Andres Pedroso was very impressed with his team’s ability to stay focused on the task at hand, especially coming off the potential distraction of a conference tournament title.

“I thought our guys were focused — all business out there,” Pedroso said. “I tell them to take it just one match at a time. Just try and be the most prepared and go out there. Understand you’ve done the work, be at peace with it and fight as hard as you can.”

Fans will be able to watch Virginia take on South Carolina Friday at the Virginia Tennis Facility. That match is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.

The winner of that match will advance to Champaign, Ill., where the quarterfinals through championship matches will be played from May 19-22.

“That’s what we work for all year — to be seeded in the top eight so that we can host the round of 16 and give our fans an up-close-and-personal look at an NCAA tournament match like this one and like next week’s against South Carolina,” Pedroso said. “It means the world, so come out, everybody! We can use your help!”