Men’s Tennis: UVA hosts NCAA Championship Round of 16 match on Saturday
Admission for the match is free and free parking is available at the Culbreth Garage. Parking is also available at the Central Grounds Garage (hourly rates apply). There will be live scoring and a live video stream through links posted on VirginiaSports.com.
Eight NCAA super regional winners from this weekend will advance to the finals site, the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla., with the quarterfinals through championship matches being contested May 16-19. NCAA Singles and Doubles will take place May 20-25 in that same location.
This is the Cavaliers’ 16th-consecutive NCAA Championship bid and the 15th time that they hosted a regional. This is the first year that the NCAA has adopted the Super Regional format. Virginia is 30-0 in NCAA matches played in Charlottesville and is 12-0 at home this season.
The Cavaliers come into the tournament with a 65-16 record in the championships. It’s .802 winning percentage is second only to Stanford at .822 (111-24). Virginia has won four of the last six NCAA titles, including three-consecutive from 2015-17. The Cavaliers have played in six of the last eight NCAA finals, made semifinal appearances in 10 of the past 12 years and have reached the quarterfinals in 13 of the last 14 seasons.
The team has won 11 of its last 12 matches, its only loss coming against Wake Forest in the ACC tournament final. The Cavaliers have been ranked in the top-10 since March 5 and have been ranked No. 5 for each of the last seven rankings. Virginia ended last year as the No. 41 team in the country and was ranked No. 17 in the first poll of this year (Jan. 9).
Virginia advanced to the NCAA Super Regional after downing St. John’s (4-0) and No. 17 South Carolina (4-1) last weekend in Charlottesville. Stanford picked up a pair of 4-0 wins last weekend in its home regional, downing Fresno State and UC Santa Barbara.
UVA boasts the 2019 ACC Player of the Year in junior Carl Soderlund (Stockholm, Sweden), ACC Freshman of the Year in Brandon Nakashima (San Diego, Calif.) and the ACC Coach of the Year in second-year head coach Andres Pedroso. Pedroso has helped lead the team to a 13-4 record against ranked teams this year including picking up six wins over top-10 opponents.
Söderlund is ranked No. 3 in the latest Oracle ITA Rankings and earned the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Singles Championship. The first-team All-ACC honoree has compiled a 19-4 record in singles, including a 13-4 record at No. 1 singles. Söderlund is 9-1 in his last 10 completed matches.
Nakashima, ranked No. 82 in singles, has an 11-2 record at No. 2 singles this season and a 16-5 overall record, including picking up two wins last weekend in first and second round matches. Nakashima and senior Henrik Wiersholm (Kirkland, Wash.) are the first alternates for the NCAA Doubles Championship. The tandem is currently ranked No. 33 and have a 17-3 record as a team. They only have one loss since March 11 (falling to No. 28 Blumberg and Boyden of UNC in the semifinals of the ACC Championship), going 11-1 in that span with three abandoned matches
Sophomore Gianni Ross (Chicago, Ill.) clinched both of the Cavaliers victories in the NCAA first and second round matches against St. John’s and No. 17 South Carolina. Ross leads the Cavaliers in singles victories this season, posting a 21-10 record.
This will be the second meeting of the year between the two teams. Virginia picked up a 4-2 victory over the Cardinal during the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. Söderlund, Nakashima, freshman Ryan Goetz (Woodlawn, N.Y.) and senior Aswin Lizen (Douglas, Isle of Man) all picked up singles victories in that match.
This is Stanford’s 31st appearance in the Round of 16, and the 12th time advancing past the regional rounds since 2000. Three members of the Cardinal are ranked in the latest ITA singles poll. Sophomore Axel Geller, a first-team All-Pac 12 honoree is No. 13 while Alexandre Rotsaert, who was named to the second team, is No. 63 and William Genesen is No. 91. The doubles team of Geller and Rotsaert is ranked No. 21 in the latest poll. Stanford finished third in the conference rankings, falling in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Championships, falling 4-2 to No. 8 USC.
Virginia is 5-0 all-time against Stanford.