Men’s tennis: #1 UVA tops Cal to advance to NCAA finals

virginia tennisThe No. 1 UVA men’s tennis team (29-4) advanced to the finals of the 2016 NCAA Championship with a 4-0 victory over No. 13 California (21-7) on Monday (May 23) at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla.

Virginia won the doubles point and then added straight-set singles victories by junior Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Charlotte, N.C.) at No. 3 and junior J.C. Aragone (Yorba Linda, Calif.) at No. 4 with sophomore Henrik Wiersholm (Kirkland, Wash.) clinching the match at No. 6 singles.

The defending national-champion Cavaliers will be making their fifth appearance in the finals in the last six years, facing either No. 7 Georgia (17-8) or No. 11 Oklahoma (20-10) in the championship match on Tuesday, May 24 at 5 p.m. ET.

“Congratulations to Cal on a tremendous season,” said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. “Making a run to the Final Four is a great accomplishment. I’m sure they would have liked to go further, but they fought hard today. I was just pleased with how well we played throughout the entire match.”

In doubles, Aragone and sophomore Collin Altamirano (Sacramento, Calif.) opened the match with a 6-2 victory on court three. Kwiatkowski and senior Mac Styslinger (Birmingham, Ala.) secured the doubles point with a 6-3 victory at No. 2.

In singles, the Cavaliers won five of six first sets. Kwiatkowski gave UVA a 2-0 lead when he finished off a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Billy Griffith. Aragone downed Oskar Wikberg 6-3, 6-4 to give Virginia a 3-0 lead.

Senior Ryan Shane (Falls Church, Va.), ranked No. 8 in singles, won his first set 6-1 over No. 10 Florian Lakat. Both players held serve in the second set, forcing a tiebreaker to decide the set. Shane was leading 5-4 in the tiebreaker when Wiersholm closed out his match on No. 6, downing Mads Engsted 6-3, 6-4.

This was the second-straight shutout victory for the Cavaliers who downed No. 9 Florida 4-0 on Sundayto advance to the semis.

Virginia and Oklahoma met last year in the NCAA final with the Cavaliers winning the program’s second NCAA title with a 4-1 victory over the Sooners in Waco, Texas.

Virginia and Georgia met in the 2013 NCAA semifinals with the Cavaliers logging a 4-1 victory in Urbana, Ill., en route to winning the program’s first NCAA title. Georgia and Virginia faced one another in 2008, the last time the NCAA Championship was held in Tulsa, with the Bulldogs prevailing 4-3 over the Cavaliers in the semifinals. Georgia won the national title in Tulsa in 2008, the most-recent of its six NCAA championships.

“We’ve been in the final before and for me this is my fifth time,” Boland said. “Obviously in 2013 and 2015, we had some success. I don’t think there is anything more important than experience. It is invaluable, and everyone on the court was there last year when we won the NCAA Championship. We are hungry. We are eager and we love being around each other. These players have an incredible culture that they have developed and I’m proud to be part of the journey.”

Live scoring and video streaming will be available for the match through links posted on VirginiaSports.com.

 

#1 Virginia 4, #13 California 0

Singles competition

  1. #8 Ryan Shane (VA) vs. #30 Florian Lakat (CAL) 6-1, 6-6 (5-4), unfinished
  2. #33 Collin Altamirano (VA) vs. #31 Andre Goransson (CAL) 6-4, 2-3, unfinished
  3. #9 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA) def. #85 Billy Griffith (CAL) 6-3, 6-0
  4. #78 Alexander Ritschard (VA) vs. #119 Filip Bergevi (CAL) 3-6, 3-4, unfinished
  5. #110 J.C. Aragone (VA) def. #124 Oskar Wikberg (CAL) 6-3, 6-4
  6. Henrik Wiersholm (VA) def. Mads Engsted (CAL) 6-3, 6-4

Doubles competition

  1. #4 Luca Corinteli/Ryan Shane (VA) vs. #9 Filip Bergevi/Florian Lakat (CAL) 4-4, unfinished
  2. #16 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Mac Styslinger (VA) def. Andre Goransson/Oskar Wikberg (CAL) 6-3
  3. Collin Altamirano/J.C. Aragone (VA) def. Mads Engsted/J.T. Nishimura (CAL) 6-2

Match Notes:

Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (3,5,6)

T-1:43

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