Coming off a disappointing showing in the ITA National Indoor Championships, Virginia men’s tennis looked to turn the page by starting their ACC play with weekend matches against Miami and No. 15 Florida State. The No. 21 Cavaliers (10-4, 2-0 ACC) took care of the Hurricanes (6-4, 0-2 ACC) Friday, before dismantling the Seminoles (8-4, 1-1 ACC) Sunday. Virginia won both matches by a score of 4-0.
Match 1 – Miami
Virginia looked the part of their preseason No. 1 ranking in their match against Miami. The Cavaliers returned to their dominant ways, winning in convincing fashion.
As they did early in the season, Virginia had no problems securing the doubles point. The junior duo of Jeffrey von der Schulenburg and Alexander Kiefer cruised to a 6-4 victory, and junior Iñaki Montes de la Torre and graduate student Ryan Goetz won 6-3 to give the Cavaliers an early 1-0 advantage.
The momentum continued into singles matches, where Virginia dominated. Goetz’s hot hand carried him to a relatively easy 6-3, 6-1 win to give the Cavaliers an advantage on singles courts.
Kiefer followed that with a dominating 6-2, 6-4 win, paving the way for a 6-4, 6-2 win by junior Chris Rodesch to secure the match. The Cavaliers did not drop a single game in the match, cruising to a 4-0 win to start the weekend.
Match 2 – Florida State
After having no trouble in their ACC opener, Virginia looked to continue their dominant play against the Seminoles. The match went just about as similar to the Miami match as Virginia could have hoped for. They had no trouble maintaining their momentum, winning another match in commanding fashion.
On doubles courts, Rodesch and graduate student William Woodall won 6-2 to give Virginia an early lead. Montes and Goetz followed that with a 6-3 win to once again put the Cavaliers up 1-0.
On singles courts, it was the same story. Von der Schulenburg eased his way to a 6-2, 6-3 win, giving Virginia a quick lead. Kiefer succeeded him with a 6-4, 6-2 win, and Rodesch won 6-2, 6-4 to secure another 4-0 win for Virginia.
Goetz was the star for Virginia overall, winning every match he played in that counted for points. The graduate student has brought the veteran leadership the team has needed while also currently holding the best record on the team at 13-4.
The opening to conference play was just what the Cavaliers needed to get back on track, having lost five of their final seven matches they had played in the indoor season. Defeating a top-15 team in Florida State surely will give Virginia confidence as it moves forward, particularly against the top-ranked team in the conference in No. 10 North Carolina on March 17.
The Cavaliers will hit the road for their next match Friday, where they will meet Louisville at 4 p.m. in Louisville, Ky. A video stream can be found on virginiasports.com.