Men’s tennis: No. 3 Virginia falls 4-3 at No. 1 UNC
For the second time this season, the Virginia men’s tennis team (16-3, 6-1 ACC) lost a match to North Carolina (21-1, 6-1 ACC), falling 4-3 on Friday (Apr. 1) at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.
The No. 3 Cavaliers dropped the doubles point after losing both No. 1 and No. 2 in tiebreakers and trailed the top-ranked Tar Heels 3-1 after singles matches wrapped up on the bottom three courts. Senior Ryan Shane (Falls Church, Va.), currently ranked No. 8 in singles, dropped his first set 6-2, but won his second set 6-1 over No. 46 Brayden Schnur. The third set went to a tiebreaker with Schnur edging Shane 7-5 to secure the victory for the Tar Heels.
“Congratulations to North Carolina,” said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. “I truly believe we are right where we need to be at this point in the regular season, we just unfortunately lose a few breakers that cost us the match. If that is going to happen, now is the time for that. We are only going to get better by the day. We need to get healthy. Alexander Ritschard, who has been out all spring, is getting closer by the day. We are taking it extremely slow with him, but not having one of your best players makes it tough. Ryan Shane has not been healthy throughout the year, but he is heading in the right direction and this is the best he has felt. We will stick to the process. With our goal being success in the postseason, we are right where we need to be.”
The Cavaliers and Tar Heels met earlier this season in the finals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championship when the Tar Heels upset the Cavaliers with a 4-2 victory, ending the Cavaliers decade-long streak of 140-consecutive victories over ACC opponents. Virginia’s last regular-season conference loss was at North Carolina on April 14, 2006, also a 4-3 defeat.
In doubles, junior J.C. Aragone (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and sophomore Collin Altamirano (Sacramento, Calif.) cruised to a 6-0 victory over Andrew Gores and Ronnia Schneider at No. 3. Both the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles courts went to tiebreakers with second-ranked Shane and junior Luca Corinteli (Alexandria, Va.) falling 8-6 in the tiebreaker to third-ranked Brett Clark and Robert Kelly. Junior Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Charlotte, N.C.) and senior Mac Styslinger (Birmingham, Ala.) lost their tiebreaker 7-5 at No. 2.
In singles, Aragone fell 6-2, 6-3 at No. 5 to Robert Kelley. It was Aragone’s first-ever singles loss in a conference match in his career. Sophomore Henrik Wiersholm (Kirkland, Wash.) gave the Cavaliers their first point with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over No. 95 Jack Murray at No. 4. Styslinger fell 6-4, 6-4 to Anudeep Kodali at No. 6 to put the Cavaliers in a 3-1 hole before Shane’s loss at No. 1 cemented their fate.
Both Kwiatkowski and Altamirano dropped their first sets but rallied to log victories at No. 2 and No. 3 to put the final score at 4-3.
The Cavaliers will close out the weekend by facing No. 75 Duke (10-10, 3-4 ACC) on Sunday, April 3 at 3 p.m.at the Ambler Tennis Stadium in Durham, N.C.
#1 North Carolina 4, #3 Virginia 3
- #46 Brayden Schnur (NC) def. #8 Ryan Shane (VA) 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (7-5)
- #63 Collin Altamirano (VA) def. #23 Ronnie Schneider (NC) 1-6, 6-3, 7-5
- #7 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA) def. #37 Brett Clark (NC) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
- Henrik Wiersholm (VA) def. #95 Jack Murray (NC) 6-2, 6-3
- #82 Robert Kelly (NC) def. #88 J.C. Aragone (VA) 6-2, 6-3
- Anudeep Kodali (NC) def. #124 Mac Styslinger (VA) 6-4, 6-4
- #3 Brett Clark/Robert Kelly (NC) def. #2 Ryan Shane/Luca Corinteli (VA) 7-6 (8-6)
- #31 Brayden Schnur/Jack Murray (NC) def. #8 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Mac Styslinger (VA) 7-6 (7-5)
- J.C. Aragone/Collin Altamirano (VA) def. Andrew Gores/Ronnie Schneider (NC) 6-0
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (5,4,6,1,3,2)