Feb. 14, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The top-ranked Virginia men's tennis team (5-0, 1-0 ACC) defeated No. 17 Illinois (4-2, 1-0 Big Ten) by a final score of 6-1 on Tuesday (Feb. 14) at the Boyd Tinsley Courts at the Boar’s Head Sports Club.
The Cavaliers picked up with doubles point and won the first four singles matches to take a 5-0 lead over the Illini, with junior Henrik Wiersholm (Kirkland, Wash.) clinching the match with his 6-4, 6-0 victory over Zeke Clark at No. 6 singles. After Illinois picked up a win at No. 1 singles, freshman Carl Soderlund (Stockholm, Sweden) battled for a 7-6, 6-7, 1-0 (11-9) victory at three-singles to close out the match.
“It was a match that I believe we needed going into indoors as it showed us some things that we still need to work on to prepare for Friday and National Indoors,” said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. “Overall, it was a good performance against an outstanding Illinois team. It was great to get the doubles point, and we really had to work hard to do it. I was really pleased with Carl Söderlund who didn’t play his best tennis today, but was extremely gritty and found a way to compete in difficult circumstances. I know it is only a matter of time before he plays at a higher level. He is one of the toughest competitors I have ever seen as a freshman. I am really proud of what he has already brought to the program. Today was a tough day for him, but at the same time, he finds a way, which speaks volumes about the level of competitor and character that he is. I couldn’t be more pleased. Collin [Altamirano] continues to fight. He was right there in the first set [at No. 1 singles] and then it got away from him. I know he is getting better with each day and he will be ready to play this weekend.”
Senior Luca Corinteli (Alexandria, Va.) and freshman Carl Soderlund (Stockholm, Sweden) opened the match with a 6-2 victory over Aron Hiltzik and Aleks Vukic at No. 1 doubles. Junior Collin Altamirano (Sacramento, Calif.) and senior J.C. Aragone (Yorba Linda, Calif.) were down a break at No. 3 doubles but rallied to tie it up and then win the tiebreaker 7-4 to secure the doubles point.
In singles, No. 28 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Charlotte, N.C.) picked up a quick 6-3, 6-0 victory over No. 21 Hiltzik. Argone followed with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Julian Childers. After Wiersholm closed out his victory on six, junior Alexander Ritschard (Zurich, Switzerland) finished up a 7-6 (1), 6-3 victory over Aleks Kovacevic at No. 5.
For the second-straight year, Virginia will also be hosting the ITA National Team Indoor championship, a tournament UVA has won five of the last nine years, at the Boar's Head Sports Club from Feb. 17-20. The event features 16 teams: the 15 schools who won both of their matches during the ITA Kick-Off Weekend and the host school. The tournament is held over four days, and begins on Friday with first-round play, followed by quarterfinals on Saturday, semifinals on Sunday and the championship match on Monday.
#1 Virginia 6, #17 Illinois 1
1. #31 Aleks Vukic (ILL) def. Collin Altamirano (VA) 7-6 (7-1), 6-3
2. #28 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA) def. #21 Aron Hiltzik (ILL) 6-3, 6-0
3. Carl Soderlund (VA) def. Gui Gomes (ILL) 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 1-0 (11-9)
4. #64 J.C. Aragone (VA) def. Julian Childers (ILL) 6-1, 6-4
5. Alexander Ritschard (VA) def. #123 Aleks Kovacevic (ILL) 7-6 (7-1), 6-3
6. Henrik Wiersholm (VA) def. Zeke Clark (ILL) 6-4, 6-0
1. #55 Luca Corinteli/Carl Soderlund (VA) def. Aron Hiltzik/Aleks Vukic (ILL) 6-2
2. Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Alexander Ritschard (VA) vs. Alex Jesse/Aleks Kovacevic (ILL) 6-6, unfinished
3. Collin Altamirano/J.C. Aragone (VA) def. Zeke Clark/Gui Gomes (ILL) 7-6 (7-4)
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (2,4,6,5,1,3)
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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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