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Virginia Men's Tennis Opens 2018 Spring Season

 Date & Time  Sat., Jan. 20, 2018, 5 p.m.- No. 12 Virginia vs Richmond
Sun., Jan. 21, 2018, 3 p.m.- No. 12 Virginia vs Temple
 Location  Charlottesville, Va. | Boyd Tinsley Courts, Boar's Head Sports Club
 Coverage  Live Scoring And Video
 Additional Information  Twitter | Instagram |  Facebook | 2018 Stats | 2018 Fact Book

Jan. 20, 2018 -

CHARLOTTEVILLE, Va. - The defending national champion Virginia men's tennis team will open the 2018 spring dual match season by hosting a pair of matches this weekend at the Boyd Tinsley Courts at the Boar's Head Sports Club.

Virginia will open the season on Saturday, January 20, hosting Richmond at 5 p.m. and Temple on Sunday, January 21 at 3 p.m.

Admission is free for all Virginia home tennis matches. Live scoring and streaming video will be available through a link on VirginiaSports.com.

Junior Aswin Lizen (Douglas, Isle of Man) is coming off a strong fall season. Lizen, the 2017 Atlantic Regional champion, went 12-1 in singles, winning his first dozen matches before falling in the Round of 16 of the ITA National Fall Championship. Lizen is currently ranked No. 40 in singles. Lizen also went 8-2 in doubles, including finishing as the runner-up at the Atlantic Regional.

Freshman Matthew Lord (Bloomfield, Conn.) partnered with Lizen for the runner-up finish in the Atlantic Regional doubles championship. The tandem were the No. 5 seed in the tournament, falling to Old Dominion's Aziz Kijametovic and Francois Musitelli in the title match. Lord also tallied eight singles wins in the fall, including going 4-0 in prequalifying at the Saint Francis ITA All-American Championship to earn a spot in the qualifying tournament, winning his first-round match in qualifying before falling in the second round. Lord was ranked as high as the No. 6 recruit in the country by tennisrecruiting.net.

Redshirt freshman Ammar Alhaqbani (Alexandria, Va.) picked up five singles and five doubles wins in the fall. Alhaqbani was a member of the team last year, but redshirted, making his delayed debut in prequalifying at the Saint Francis ITA All-American, picking up a victory in his first collegiate match. He went 3-1 in doubles with partner Lizen at the Farnsworth Invitational, winning the A-draw consolation bracket.

The Cavaliers added a member to the roster in the spring. Freshman Gianni Ross (Chicago, Ill.) is poised to make his collegiate debut after joining the team last week in time for the start of spring classes. Ross, a blue-chip recruit, was ranked as the No. 2 recruit in the 2017 class and reached a career-high junior world ranking of 13 in March of this year. He played at the 2017 Junior French Open, Junior Wimbledon and Junior US Open, advancing to the quarterfinals in singles and semifinals in doubles at Roland Garros. Ross also competed at the US Open Junior Championships in 2014-16 and played doubles in the finals of the 2014 Junior Davis Cup for Team USA in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

Saturday's match will be the first dual in the career of first year head coach Andres Pedroso. Pedroso served as Virginia's associate head coach from 2010-14. During that four-year span, the Cavaliers won four ACC championships, the program's first NCAA championship (2013) and two ITA National Team Indoor titles (2011 and 2013). Pedroso was named the 2014 ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year and he was twice honored as the ITA Atlantic Region Assistant Coach of the Year (2012 and 2014).

Virginia opens the season ranked No. 12 in the Oracle/ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings.

The Cavaliers will be home next weekend as well, hosting ITA Kick-Off Weekend matches on Saturday and Sunday, January 27-28. Virginia, Columbia, Ole Miss and Texas Tech will all be competing with one team advancing to the 2018 ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship, being held Feb. 16-19 in Seattle, Washington.


 

 

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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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