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Men’s Tennis: Virginia defeats #3 TCU, advances to ITA Indoors Semifinals

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Virginia advanced to the semifinals of the 46th annual ITA Division I National Men’s Team Indoor Championship after defeating No. 3 seed TCU, 4-3, on Friday.

UVA (6-0) will face No. 2 North Carolina on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the semifinals.

TCU (6-1) won the doubles point and built up a 3-1 lead before the Cavaliers won the final three singles matches. Freshman Jeffrey von der Schulenburg (Zurich, Switzerland) clinched the victory for the Cavaliers with his win at No. 3 singles.

TCU opened the match by securing the doubles point with a pair of 6-3 victories on courts one and two. Freshman Chris Rodesch (Angelsberg, Luxembourg) tied the match with a quick 6-0, 6-1 singles victory over Tadeas Paroulek on court six.

The Horned Frogs’ Tomas Jirousek outlasted junior Ryan Goetz (Greenlawn, N.Y.) in a second-set tiebreaker on court four to put TCU up 2-1. After Luc Fomba closed out a three-set victory on court two, TCU needed to just win one on the final three singles courts, all of which were in third-set battles.

On court one, grad student Carl Söderlund (Stockholm, Sweden) was edged in his first set against Alastair Gray, 6-4, but battled back to win the second 6-3 to force the third. In the decider, Söderlund picked up a break to lead 4-3, but Gray broke right back to make it 4-4. Söderlund broke again to take a 5-4 lead and then held serve to close out the 6-4 victory and make it a 3-2 match.

Right after Söderlund finished his match, both senior Gianni Ross (Chicago, Ill.) and von der Schulenburg were serving with 5-4 leads in their sets.

Ross had battled through a 7-5 tiebreaker to win his first set only to drop his second, 6-1. He picked up a late break to top Juan Martin 6-4 in the final set and tie the match at 3-3.

Von der Schulenburg had won his first set, 6-4, on court three again Sander Jong, but Jong picked up a late break to win the second set 7-5 and force a third. Von der Schulenburg closed out his 6-4 victory in the final set minutes after Ross finished on court six, giving UVA the 4-3 victory.

#7 Virginia 4, #3 TCU 3

Singles competition

  1. #29 Carl Soderlund (VA) def. #21 Alastair Gray (TCU) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
  2. #47 Luc Fomba (TCU) def. Inaki Montes (VA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-0
  3. #106 J vd Schulenburg (VA) def. #113 Sander Jong (TCU) 6-4, 5-7, 6-4
  4. Tomas Jirousek (TCU) def. Ryan Goetz (VA) 6-1, 7-6 (7)
  5. Chris Rodesch (VA) def. Tadeas Paroulek (TCU) 6-0, 6-1
  6. Gianni Ross (VA) def. Juan Martin (TCU) 7-6 (5), 1-6, 6-4

Doubles competition

  1. Luc Fomba/Alastair Gray (TCU) def. Carl Soderlund/William Woodall (VA) 6-3
  2. #24 Sander Jong/Tadeas Paroulek (TCU) def. Ryan Goetz/Chris Rodesch (VA) 6-3
  3. Bertus Kruger/Jake Fearnley (TCU) vs. Inaki Montes/J vd Schulenburg (VA) 5-4, unfinished

Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (5,4,2,1,6,3)
T-3 hrs

Match Notes

  • Virginia is ranked No. 7 in the latest ITA team rankings but is the No. 6 seed in the eight-team championship. TCU is ranked No. 3 and is also the three-seed
  • Virginia ended the shortened 2020 campaign winning its last six matches, giving it an 12-match win streak heading into Saturday’s semifinal
  • This year’s ITA Indoors’ field has been halved from the usual 16 teams to just eight, and the four-day tournament shortened to three days
  • Each team will play three matches in either the championship or consolation bracket. The championship final is scheduled for Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
  • The Cavaliers have won six ITA National Team Indoor Championships, including four-straight from 2008 to 2011 and most recently in 2017 when the tournament was held in Charlottesville. Only Stanford (12) and UCLA (7) have won more team indoor titles

Comments from UVA coach Andres Pedroso:

“This was a complete match by our team. Credit to TCU for really playing well in doubles and putting our backs against the wall in singles. Our guys responded and never stopped believing. That match represented everything that is so exciting about college tennis. Both teams deserved to win.”

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