Jan. 20, 2018
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The No. 12 Virginia men's tennis team (1-0) opened the 2018 spring dual match season by picking up a 4-3 victory over Richmond (0-1) on Saturday (January 20) at the Boyd Tinsley Courts at the Boar's Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va.
Richmond won the doubles point, but the Cavaliers rallied in singles, taking a 3-2 lead after picking up wins on courts 2-4. Richmond tied the match, 3-3, after picking up a win on six, leaving the match to be decided on court five. Freshman Kyrylo Tsygura picked up a break in the second set and held on for a 7-5, 6-4 victory on the deciding court to clinch the match.
"I can't think of a better experience for this young group of guys than a 4-3 victory in the first dual match," said Virginia head coach Andres Pedroso. "I think it's a great experience, a great win to get in the books, so I'm happy. Everybody competed tonight. Everybody left it out on the court."
The victory was the first in Pedroso's head coaching career.
Tsygura and junior Aswin Lizen (Douglas, Isle of Man) started things off for the Cavaliers with a 6-3 victory in doubles at court two, but Richmond's James Aronson and Caleb Troy countered with a 7-5 victory at one. The match on court three was tied, 5-5, but Richmond's Klein Evans and Matt Fernandez won a deuce point to pick up a break and then held serve to win 7-5 and secure the doubles point.
In singles, freshman Gianni Ross (Chicago, Ill.), making his collegiate debut, picked up a 6-2, 6-2 over Brice Polender on court two to even the score. Lizen, who won the Atlantic Regional singles championship in the fall, picked up where he left off, cruising to a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Matt Fernandez to put Virginia up 2-1. Richmond tied the match, 2-2, with a victory on court one, but redshirt freshman Ammar Alhaqbani (Alexandria, Va.), who had trailed 4-1 in his first set, rallied for a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Aronson to put Virginia up 3-2. Tsygura was also down in his first set, trailing Klein Evans 5-1 before rallying to win 7-5 and then clinching the match in straight-sets.
The Cavaliers will close out opening weekend by hosting Temple on Sunday, January 21 at 3 p.m. at the Boar's Head. Admission is free for all Virginia home tennis matches. Live scoring and streaming video will be available through a link on VirginiaSports.com.
#12 Virginia 4, Richmond 3
1. Caleb Troy (RICH) def Matthew Lord (VA) 6-3, 6-2
2. Gianni Ross (VA) def. Brice Polender (RICH) 6-2, 6-2
3. #40 Aswin Lizen (VA) def. Matt Fernandez (RICH) 6-1, 6-1
4. Ammar Alhaqbani (VA) def. James Aronson (RICH) 6-4, 6-3
5. Kyrylo Tsygura (VA) def. Klein Evans (RICH) 7-5, 6-4
6. George Lovitt (RICH) def. Jefferson Dockter (VA) 6-2, 6-2
1. James Aronson/Caleb Troy (RICH) def. Matthew Lord/Ammar Alhaqbani (VA) 7-5
2. Kyrylo Tsygura/Aswin Lizen (VA) def. Brice Polender/George Lovitt (RICH) 6-3
3. Klein Evans/Matt Fernandez (RICH) def. Gianni Ross/Jefferson Dockter (VA) 7-5
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (2,1,3,4,6,5)
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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