#3 UVA men’s tennis defeats St. John’s in NCAA Tournament first round
The No. 3 UVA men’s tennis team opened the 2015 NCAA Tournament with a 4-0 victory over St. John’s Friday at Snyder Tennis Center. The Cavaliers (24-3) will meet Minnesota in Saturday’s second round, while the Red Storm ended their season with a 15-9 record.
With the victory, the Cavaliers remained unbeaten all-time at home in NCAA Tournament play (23-0) and extended their nation-leading home-win streak to 45 matches.
“In the 12 years we have hosted a regional, this was the toughest first-round opponent we have had,” said head coach Brian Boland. “St. John’s was a formidable test for us, and that is only going to help us moving forward. In years past, I would be worried that the guys wouldn’t be pushed in the first round. We were pushed today and I thought we responded well to the challenge.”
The Cavaliers took a 1-0 lead in the match by winning the doubles point. Collin Altamirano (Sacramento, Calif.) and J.C. Aragone (Yorba Linda, Calif.) teamed for an 8-5 win at No. 3 doubles over Erick Reyes and Vaidik Munshaw. Seconds later, the opening point was clinched at No. 1 where Ryan Shane (Falls Church, Va.) and Luca Corinteli (Alexandria, Va.) downed M.J. Every and Robert Livi 8-2.
Virginia carried the momentum into singles, winning all six first sets. The Cavaliers closed out the match with wins at the bottom three positions. Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Charlotte, N.C.) doubled the lead with his 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 4 over Elio Livi. Aragone followed with a 6-1, 6-1 victory at No. 6 over Federico Ruiz. Alexander Ritschard (Zurich, Switzerland) closed out the match with a 6-1, 6-4 win at No. 5 over Munshaw.
“We knew St. John’s was a little top-heavy as a team, in terms of where their strength was,” said Boland. “Most teams that make the NCAA Tournament are going to have players at the top of the lineup that can really play. Our bottom half of the lineup played well today and we have counted on that depth throughout the season.”
Minnesota advanced to the second round with a 4-1 victory over Princeton in the other first round match Friday in Charlottesville. It will be a rematch of a second round match of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, a 4-0 Cavalier victory at Snyder Tennis Center.
Match time for Saturday’s second round match is 3 p.m. The winner will advance to the round of 16 on May 14 in Waco, Texas.
#3 VIRGINIA 4, ST. JOHN’S 0
1. #2 Corinteli/Shane (UVa) def. Every/R.Livi (SJU) 8-2
2. #42 Styslinger/Kwiatkowski (UVa) vs. Caripi/Hejhal (SJU) 4-4 DNF
3. Altamirano/Aragone (UVa) def. Reyes/Munshaw (SJU) 8-5
Order of Finish: 3,1
1. #8 Ryan Shane (UVa) vs. Lucas Hejhal (SJU) 6-4, 3-2 DNF
2. #20 Mitchell Frank (UVa) vs. Erick Reyes (SJU) 6-4, 4-2 DNF
3. #77 Collin Altamirano (UVa) vs. Robert Livi (SJU) 6-2, 4-3 DNF
4. #19 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (UVa) def. Elio Livi (SJU) 6-0, 6-0
5. Alexander Ritschard (UVa) def. Vaidek Munshaw (SJU) 6-1, 6-4
6. J.C. Aragone (UVa) def. Federico Ruiz (SJU) 6-1, 6-1
Order of Finish: 4,6,5