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Despite rain delay, men’s tennis wins both weekend matches

Although their Friday match against Miami was moved to Monday and disrupted their weekend, the Cavaliers easily recovered and defeated both Florida State and Miami

<p>The end to the regular season is soon approaching, with the last regular season home match being April 7 against Boston College.</p>

The end to the regular season is soon approaching, with the last regular season home match being April 7 against Boston College.

No. 4 Virginia men’s tennis continued their weekend rhythm with another pair of conference matches — facing Miami Friday and Florida State Sunday. The Cavaliers’ (16-4, 8-0 ACC) schedule was initially thrown off when their match against the Hurricanes (10-8, 2-5 ACC) had to be moved to Monday due to inclement weather, facing the Seminoles (14-5, 4-3 ACC) first instead. However, Virginia stayed calm and easily recovered, defeating both Florida State and Miami 4-1. 

Match 1 — Virginia 4, Florida State 1

After having their first match postponed, the Cavaliers looked to what they thought was going to be their weekend closer and prepared to face a fellow ranked team. Similar to last weekend’s pair of matches, Virginia took the first point of the game and got on the leaderboard thanks to an impressive performance from the doubles pairs. 

Graduate student James Hopper and senior Iñaki Montes won on the top court 6-2 and defeated a No. 14 nationally-ranked doubles team — senior Antoine Cornut-Chauvinc and junior Joshua Dous-Karpenschif. Hopper and Montes were recently honored for their impressive performances so far in the season by being named the ACC Doubles Team of the Week, and they are currently ranked No. 11 in doubles teams. 

Senior Jeffrey von der Schulenburg and senior Chris Rodesch also had a successful match on court two, where they won 6-2 to help give Virginia its first point of the faceoff. Freshman Dylan Dietrich and senior Alexander Kiefer’s match on court three went unfinished due to the doubles point already being secured for the Cavaliers, but before the match was over they were slightly behind 3-4. 

With the score being 1-0 in favor of Virginia, singles play opened. Von der Schulenburg jumped out quickly to lead his match on court three, where he defeated his opponent 6-4, 6-0 in straight sets to give the Cavaliers their next point. Dietrich followed soon after, also winning his match in straight sets on court four 7-6, 6-1.

With the score 3-0, Virginia knew it needed just one more point to clinch the victory. However, it was not that easy as the rest of the matches were close and could have gone either way. Rodesch — who is currently ranked No. 10 in ITA Individual rankings — was back on the top court, facing Cornut-Chauvinc. 

After a close first set, Rodesch was beaten 7-6 and needed to fight in the second set to get a deciding third set. Unfortunately, Cornut-Chauvinc also snagged the second set 6-3 to give the Seminoles their first point of the match. Although this broke Rodesch’s nine-match win streak, playing against such a challenging opponent will better prepare him down the road for similar matchups.

With the score 3-1, the rest of the courts had to go to a third tiebreaking set to decide the results. Mans Dahlberg ended up clinching the winning point for Virginia, winning his third set 6-2 on court six. 

Montes’ match on court two and Kiefer’s match on court five ended up going unfinished in the third set after the game was decided, as they had to conserve energy for facing Miami the next day. With another conference victory, the Cavaliers headed south for their faceoff against the Hurricanes. 

Match 2 — Virginia 4, Miami 1

Virginia returned to Coral Gables, Fla. to continue the momentum that started Friday morning. Before play was suspended Friday, Rodesch had managed to finish his match in time to individually give the Cavaliers their first point of the game with a 6-1, 6-2 win on the top court.

In order to try and beat the rain, singles play opened before doubles play Friday at 8 a.m. On top of moving the original start time earlier and opening the face off with singles matches, the teams also had to share courts with a Hurricane women’s matchup going on. However, just ten minutes after Rodesch finished his match, all play was suspended due to rain and then decided to be continued Monday. 

Once play resumed Monday, it didn’t take long for Virginia to pull ahead further in the matchup. Von der Schulenburg completed his match on court three with a 6-1, 7-5 victory in 11 minutes, but the Hurricanes quickly followed with a win of their own on court two against Dietrich, defeating him 6-3, 6-4. 

Kiefer helped widen the gap again for the Cavaliers by winning his deciding set on court four after dropping the second set, making the overall score 3-1 with his 6-2, 3-6 and 6-3 victory. Graduate student Edoardo Graziani clinched the winning point for Virginia, flying through his match to win 6-0, 6-1 on court six. Graziani’s match was the only one to have been played completely that day.

The Cavaliers will have a bye-week the upcoming weekend, returning to play April 3 to face Virginia Tech in the Smithfield Commonwealth Clash. The end to the regular season is soon approaching, with the last regular season home match being April 7 against Boston College. 

Once postseason play starts, it will quickly become apparent whether or not Virginia’s strategy that it has used over the past years will continue to be one that puts them on the road to winning the National Championship for a third consecutive season. 

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