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No. 3 men’s tennis continues ACC dominance, defeats Louisville and Notre Dame over the weekend

The Cavaliers are building momentum with their ACC win streak

<p>The Cavaliers took down the Cardinals and the Fighting Irish with ease over the weekend, winning 13 matches and losing just one.</p>

The Cavaliers took down the Cardinals and the Fighting Irish with ease over the weekend, winning 13 matches and losing just one.

No. 3 Virginia men’s tennis hosted two conference opponents over the weekend — Louisville Friday and Notre Dame Sunday. The Cavaliers (14-4, 6-0 ACC) continued to remain undefeated in conference play when they blocked out the Cardinals (11-6, 1-2 ACC) 7-0, and they closed out the weekend with a 6-1 victory against the Fighting Irish (9-8, 1-3 ACC).

Match 1 — Virginia 7, Louisville 0

The matchup started at 3 p.m., when doubles play began outdoors. However, due to weather, play had to be moved indoors halfway through the matches. 

Senior Chris Rodesch and Joffrey von Der Schulenburg closed out their doubles match first, winning 6-3. Senior Iñake Montes de la Torre and graduate student James Hopper quickly followed and clinched the doubles point for Virginia, also winning their match 6-3. Senior Alexander Kiefer and graduate student Edoardo Graziani’s match on court three went unfinished due to an overall Virginia doubles victory already sealed. 

After a strong start in doubles play, singles matches opened in a similar manner — the Cavaliers were ready to shut down their opponents. Graziani was the first to close out his match and gave the Cavaliers their second match point — winning in straight sets 6-3, 6-3. This was an impressive feat, as Graziani had not played in a singles match for the past month. 

Kiefer followed after Graziani with another straight-set victory on court four — also winning 6-3, 6-3 and helping Virginia pull ahead 3-0. Sophomore Måns Dahlberg clinched the victory for the Cavaliers on court six and won his match 6-2, 6-3. 

Montes made the overall score 5-0 after winning 6-3, 6-4 on the top court against nationally-ranked No. 33 fifth-year Etienne Donnet. All of the first five points were won by Virginia without the need for a tiebreaking set.

The last two singles courts that were still playing — courts three and two — split in the first two sets, and they decided to go to a third set even though the overall match was decided. 

Von Der Schulenburg was on court three, facing sophomore Andre Steinbach. Von Der Schulenburg won the first set with a definitive 6-2 victory but just barely lost in the second set 5-7. When it came down to the deciding set, von Der Schulenburg bounced back and won 6-3, taking the point and making the overall score 6-0. 

Rodesch secured the final point, allowing the Cavaliers to have won every match in the entire faceoff, with a recovery in the second and third set to win his match 5-7, 6-2 and 6-3 on court two. After completely shutting down the Cardinals, Virginia began to look to Sunday, where it would close out the weekend by facing Notre Dame.

Match 2 — Virginia 6, Notre Dame 1

The Cavaliers returned to the Boar’s Head Resort in Charlottesville Sunday afternoon to host another conference opponent, the Fighting Irish. 

Montes and Hopper were the ones to start the win streak when doubles play opened, winning their match 6-2 on the top court and defeating a nationally ranked doubles team — No. 11 sophomore Sebastian Dominko and senior Jean-Marc Malkowski. Rodesch and sophomore Douglas Yaffa followed, winning 6-3 on court three to clinch the doubles point for Virginia. 

Dietrich and Graziani closed out doubles play with a 7-5 victory on court two, making the Cavaliers undefeated on the doubles courts for this face-off. 

As singles play opened, it quickly became obvious that Virginia was going to have a similar performance to its previous matchup against Louisville. Von Der Schulenburg won in straight sets on court three, dominating his opponent 6-0, 6-2 to give the Cavaliers their second point. Von Der Schulenburg played up one court in both matches this weekend — showing an improvement in performance as he faced more challenging opponents and defeated both.

Dahlberg followed after von Der Schulenburg and also won his match on court six in straight sets winning 6-0, 6-2 as well — making this his fifth conference victory in singles play. Now up 3-0, only one more point was needed to give Virginia its second win of the weekend.

Rodesch clinched the victory for the Cavaliers, winning 6-2, 6-1 on court two to make the overall score 4-0. Montes gave Virginia its fifth point after defeating No. 34 Dominko 6-4, 6-2 on the top court. Kiefer closed out the matchup with a 7-6, 6-1 victory on court five after Notre Dame managed to get on the scoreboard after a straight-set victory on court four — making the official score 6-1.

Virginia hasn’t lost a regular-season conference game since March 17, 2019 against Wake Forest. The Cavaliers are demonstrating a pattern that has been observed in the past two seasons, in which they hit the first half of the season hard with many ranked opponents and then build momentum in the conference season to prepare for the ACC and NCAA Championships.

Virginia will be going on the road for its next pair of weekend matches — heading to Miami Friday morning to face the Hurricanes at 10 a.m. then closing out the weekend in Tallahassee, Fla. when it faces Florida State Sunday at 1 p.m. 


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