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Men’s tennis: UVA opens dual match season on Thursday

UVA men’s tennisThe UVA men’s tennis team will open the dual match portion of the 2018-19 season by hosting William & Mary at the Boar’s Head Sports Club on Thursday at 6 p.m.

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

The Cavaliers made the biggest jump of any team in the Oracle ITA Collegiate Tennis rankings. Virginia was No. 41 in the Sept. 11 preseason rankings, but catapulted to No. 17 in the January 9 top-25 poll.

Two players will enter the fall ranked in singles. Sophomore Gianni Ross (Chicago, Ill.) entered the fall ranked No. 111, but heads into the spring at No. 38. Ross, the 2018 ITA Atlantic Region Rookie of the Year, went 7-4 in singles and 6-1 in doubles in the fall.

Freshman Ryan Goetz (Greenlawn, N.Y.) racked up 11 singles victories in the fall. Goetz was the runner-up in singles at the ITA Atlantic Regional, earning a spot in the main draw at the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships. Goetz will begin the spring ranked No. 54.

Freshman William Woodall (Washington, D.C.) excelled in doubles during the fall campaign, amassing an 11-2 record while playing with three different partners.

Junior Carl Soderlund (Stockholm, Sweden) was ranked No. 9 in the preseason rankings, but only played in one collegiate tournament in the fall, playing in doubles at the final tournament, the Wake Forest Invitational.

Redshirt senior Henrik Wiersholm (Kirkland, Wash.) is back for his belated final season. Wiersholm, who was a member of Virginia’s three-consecutive NCAA champion squads (2015-17), was sidelined all of last season with a shoulder injury. He played in professional tournaments in the fall and will be making his first appearance in a collegiate match since May 23, 2017, the NCAA final against North Carolina. Wiersholm clinched the Cavaliers victory over Oklahoma in the 2016 NCAA Championship final. He went 23-1 in singles last season and has a career record of 70-13.

The Cavaliers also added a new player to the spring roster. Freshman Brandon Nakashima (San Diego, Calif.) is poised to make his collegiate debut. Nakashima skipped his final semester of high school to enroll at UVA for the spring semester. Nakashima, the No. 5 junior player in the world, upset world No. 1 junior Chun Hsin Tseng to win the 2018 ITF Junior Masters Boys’ Singles Championship in Chengdu, China in October. Nakashima played in three junior Grand Slams last year, advancing to the quarterfinals in singles at the junior US and French Opens and the quarterfinals of doubles at Junior Wimbledon. In a warm-up to Wimbledon, he won the singles title at the Junior International Roehampton tournament. Nakashima has also had success outside of junior tennis. He advanced to the second round of qualifying for the men’s singles main draw at this year’s U.S. Open and won the singles title as a wildcard entrant at the Laguna Niguel Racquet Club USTA Pro Futures tournament in September in California.

William & Mary returns six letterwinners, including five that saw extensive action in the lineup during a strong 2018 campaign. The Tribe finished last season ranked No. 73, the Tribe’s highest end of the year ranking since 2008, and earned the top seed at the CAA Tournament. Sophomore Finbat Talcott tied for the team lead in singles wins last season with 18, including a team-best 13-9 dual-match mark. The Tribe’s three-member freshman class of Jack Kelly, Daniel Pellerito and Oren Vasser was ranked among the top recruiting classes in the country. The class received votes for the national top 25 classes by the Tennis Recruiting Network and was ranked the No. 16 group in the Mid-Major Class Rankings.

Virginia will finish off the weekend by diving into conference play, hosting Louisville on Sunday, January 20 at 11 a.m. at the Boar’s Head Sports Club.