Jan. 27, 2018
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The No. 15 Virginia men's tennis team (2-1) was edged 4-3 by No. 25 Texas Tech (10-1) in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend opening-round match on Saturday (January 27) at the Boyd Tinsley Courts at the Boar's Head Sports Club.
Texas Tech won the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead and built up a 2-0 advantage before the Cavaliers stormed back with wins at one, two and three to go up 3-2. The Red Raiders closed out the match with wins on courts four and six to advance to Sunday's final.
"I thought our guys left it all out on the court today," said Virginia head coach Andres Pedroso. "I thought they competed great. We were one shot away, one point away from winning the doubles point. In singles, this team keeps competing, keeps fighting and coming back when they are done. As long as that is happening, we are headed in the right direction. This teams stays the course. They don't panic. Eventually, that is going to pay off. We've got a really good big-picture perspective on this team. We just need to hang in there and keep working."
The Red Raiders' Jackson Cobb and Alex Sendegeya, ranked No. 29 in doubles, started the day with a 6-0 win at No. 2. Sophomore Carl Soderlund (Stockholm, Sweden) and freshman Gianni Ross (Chicago, Ill.) rallied from down a break to have their match at six tied 6-6 and were in the midst of a tiebreaker when Matheus Leite and Tommy Mylniko wrapped up a 7-5 victory at three to put Texas Tech ahead 1-0.
In singles, Artem Kapshuk won on court five to five the Red Raiders a 2-0 lead before Ross closed out a 6-1, 7-5 victory at No. 2. Söderlund, in his first collegiate match of the year, won 6-4, 6-3 on one to tie things up. Junior Aswin Lizen (Douglas, Isle of Man) put the Cavaliers ahead 3-2 when he downed Alex Sendegeya, 6-3, 7-5 on court three.
The balance of the match came down to courts four and six. Freshman Matthew Lord (Bloomfield, Conn.) won his first set 6-2, but faltered in the second, 6-3 to force a third set. Ilgiz Valiev picked a 6-2 victory in the third set to tie the match at three.
For the third-straight match, everything came down to the singles match of freshman Kyrylo Tsygura (North Potomac, Md.). Tsygura, playing at six today, dropped his first set 6-2, but won the second 6-4. Matheus Leite won a crucial deuce point to take a 5-2 lead in the second set and then battled to a 6-3 victory in the set to give the Red Raiders the victory.
Virginia will play Ole Miss on Sunday in the consolation final at 10 a.m.Texas Tech will take on Columbia at 2 p.m. on Sunday in the final.
ITA Kick-Off Weekend consists of 15 regionals with four teams competing in each regional across the country. The winners of the single-elimination event advance to next month's ITA Division I National Team Indoor Championships, being held Feb. 16-19 in Seattle, Wash. Washington will serve as hosts for the National Team Indoors and received automatic invitation to the championship, and is exempt from competing in the Kick-Off Weekend.
The Cavaliers will miss competing at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships for the first time since 2005. UVA is a six-time champion of the event, including winning the 2017 title when the championship was held in Charlottesville.
Admission is free for all Virginia home tennis matches. Please note that due to construction, parking is now limited on the squash and tennis side of the Boar's Head Sports Club. Fans are encouraged to arrive early and park in the front of the sports club. Live scoring and streaming video will be available through a link on VirginiaSports.com.
#25 Texas Tech 4, #15 Virginia 3
1. Carl Soderlund (VA) def. Tommy Mylnikov (TT) 6-4, 63
2. Gianni Ross (VA) def. Connor Curry (TT) 6-1, 7-5
3. #40 Aswin Lizen (VA) def. Alex Sendegeya (TT) 6-3, 75
4. Ilgiz Valiev (TT) def. Matthew Lord (VA) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
5. Artem Kapshuk (TT) def. Ammar Alhaqbani (VA) 6-4, 6-2
6. Matheus Leite (TT) def. Kyrylo Tsygura (VA) 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
1. Carl Soderlund/Gianni Ross (VA) vs. #33 Connor Curry/Artem Kapshuk (TT) 6-6, unfinished
2. #29 Jackson Cobb/Alex Sendegeya (TT) def. Ammar Alhaqbani/Kyrylo Tsygura (VA) 6-0
3. Matheus Leite/Tommy Mylnikov (TT) def. Aswin Lizen/Matthew Lord (VA) 7-5
Order of finish: Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (5,2,1,3,4,6)
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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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