Feb. 19, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The top-ranked Virginia men's tennis team (8-0) defeated No. 5 North Carolina (11-1) 4-0 on Sunday (Feb. 19) to advance to the final of the 2017 Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Men's Team Indoor Championship being held at the Boyd Tinsley Courts at the Boar's Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va.
The Cavaliers will take on No. 3 Ohio State (11-0) on Monday, Feb. 20 at 11 a.m., on their home court playing for the national indoor championship. Virginia has won the ITA National Team Indoor Championship five times, most recently in 2013. The Cavaliers won the title at the Boar's Head in 2010.
Against North Carolina, the Cavaliers picked up with doubles point and followed with straight-set victories at No. 3 and 1 singles by freshman Carl Soderlund (Stockholm, Sweden) and junior Collin Altamirano (Sacramento, Calif.). Junior Alexander Ritschard (Zurich, Switzerland) secured the Cavaliers' spot in the championship match by coming back from down a break in his second set and prevailing 7-4 in a tiebreaker to decide that set.
"We came out with a lot of fire in doubles," said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. "It has gotten a little better each day throughout the tournament. I couldn't be more thrilled with the way that we brought energy and executed in the doubles point. UNC did not back down easily in singles. That was a tough match. The score was 4-0, but we were out there working really, really hard until the end. Last year when we played UNC in the ITA Indoor final, we got way ahead in the doubles and were running with it in singles, but they were relentless in coming back. They ended up winning that match, our first loss to an ACC opponent in 140 tries over 10 years, and we didn't want to see that happen again. We were able to get them at the end of the year in the ACC Tournament in a reverse-situation, so you need to play until the end. These matches are tough. You have to stay focused and play through the last point. Now we look forward to playing a great Buckeye team."
Senior J.C. Aragone (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and junior Collin Altamirano (Sacramento, Calif.) opened the match with a dominant 6-1 victory at No. 3 doubles. Senior Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Charlotte, N.C.) and junior Alexander Ritschard (Zurich, Switzerland) also won 6-1 at No. 2 to clinch the doubles point.
In singles, the Cavaliers swept the first sets of all six matches with junior Henrik Wiersholm (Kirkland, Wash.) finishing the sweep by coming back from down a break in his set at No. 6 against Blaine Boyden to win it in a 7-5 tiebreaker. The Tar Heels started to come back in the second sets, forcing third sets on courts two and four. Soderlund, however, downed his opponent at No. 3, Simon Soendergaard, 6-2, 6-1, to put UVA up 2-0. Altamirano won his first set 6-0 over No. 16 Ronnie Schneider and then battled for a 6-3 victory in the second set to put UVA up 3-0. Ritschard clinched the victory with his 6-3, 7-6 (4) win over Jack Murray at No. 5.
Ohio State battled in a nearly-four hour match against Wake Forest in the other semifinal. The Buckeyes pulled out a 4-3 win after Mikael Torpegaard, the No. 2 player in the ITA singles rankings, edged Petros Chrysochos, the nation's top-ranked player, 7-6 (6), 5-7, 7-6 (4) in an epic singles showdown.
Admission and parking for the tournament are free.
FloTennis will be on site providing live streaming coverage of all four days of competition. FloTennis is a subscription-based service with monthly and annual rate options.
Live scoring will be available through VirginiaSports.com.
#1 Virginia 4, #5 North Carolina 0
1. Collin Altamirano (VA) def. #16 Ronnie Schneider (NC) 6-0, 6-3
2. #28 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA) vs. William Blumberg (NC) 6-3, 3-6, 2-4, unfinished
3. Carl Soderlund (VA) def. Simon Soendergaard (NC) 6-2, 6-1
4. #64 J.C. Aragone (VA) vs. Robert Kelly (NC) 6-2, 4-6, 4-3, unfinished
5. Alexander Ritschard (VA) def. Jack Murray (NC) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
6. Henrik Wiersholm (VA) vs. Blaine Boyden (NC) 7-6 (7-5), 2-5, unfinished
1. #55 Luca Corinteli/Carl Soderlund (VA) vs. #21 William Blumberg/Robert Kelly (NC) 5-2, unfinished
2. Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Alexander Ritschard (VA) def. Jack Murray/Ronnie Schneider (NC) 6-1
3. Collin Altamirano/J.C. Aragone (VA) def. Blaine Boyden/Simon Soendergaard (NC) 6-1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (3,1,5)
Butts' Bond With Benkert GrowingFootball10/18/17A redshirt junior from the Philadelphia area, UVA tight end Evan Butts has become one of quarterback Kurt Benkert's most reliable targets.Salt Evolving Into Pivotal PresenceMen's Basketball10/17/17A redshirt junior from New Zealand, 6-11 center Jack Salt has grown into a team leader for UVA, which has made four straight NCAA tournament appearances.Cavalier Men's Basketball NotebookMen's Basketball10/16/17The season starts Nov. 10 for the Cavaliers, whose third annual Pepsi Blue-White scrimmage is Sunday afternoon at JPJ.
Director of News Content
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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