Men’s tennis: Virginia defeats VCU in NCAA first-round matchup
The Virginia men’s tennis team (14-12) opened the 2018 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship with a 4-0 victory over VCU (16-10) on Friday (May 11) at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
The Cavaliers won the doubles point and picked up wins on singles courts one, two and five to advance to the second round of the tournament. Sophomore Carl Söderlund (Stockholm, Sweden) clinched the match with a 6-2, 6-1 victory on court one.
The Cavaliers will face No. 16 Columbia in the second round at 12 p.m. on Saturday, May 12. The Lions downed Monmouth, 4-0, in the other New York Regional first-round match.
“This was a good start to the NCAA Tournament for us,” said Virginia head coach Andres Pedroso. “Everyone really played well and dealt with the conditions as it was pretty windy out here. We are really excited about playing in the second round. We are going to prepare and recover in order to be our best tomorrow.”
In doubles, freshman Spencer Bozsik (Charlottesville, Va.) and redshirt freshman Ammar Alhaqbani (Alexandria, Va.) started things off for the Cavaliers by picking up a quick 6-1 victory on court three. Junior Aswin Lizen (Douglas, Isle of Man) and freshman Gianni Ross (Chicago, Ill.) clinched the point with a 6-3 victory on court two.
In singles, the Cavaliers jumped out to a strong start, winning five of six first sets. Lizen gave UVA a 2-0 lead when he closed out a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Vitor Lima on court two. Freshman Matthew Lord (Bloomfield, Conn.) followed with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Inigo Torre Martin on court five. Söderlund won the race to the finish, closing out his match against Avrid Moran while Alhaqbani led 5-2 in his second set on court six and freshman Kyrylo Tsygura (North Potomac, Md.) held a 6-5 edge in the second set on court four.
Virginia, the defending national champion, has won four of the last five NCAA titles, including each of the last three, and has reached the semifinals in 10 of the last 11 seasons. UVA has advanced to the Round of 16 each of the last 14 years and the quarterfinals 13-straight times.
Admission is free for the event. Live streaming will not be available for the matches at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center, but live scoring will be available through a link posted on VirginiaSports.com. Fans attending the event are encouraged to park in Lot B.
The winner of the regional will advance to the Wake Forest Tennis Complex in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where the final 16 teams will compete for the national championship May 18-22. The event will be hosted by Wake Forest University.
Virginia 4, VCU 0
- #24 Carl Soderlund (VA) def. Avrid Moren (VCU) 6-2, 6-1
- #51 Aswin Lizen (VA) def. Vitor Lima (VCU) 6-3, 6-0
- Gianni Ross (VA) vs. Javier Amantegui (VCU) 2-6, 5-4, unfinished
- Kyrylo Tsygura (VA) vs. Philip Mobius (VCU) 6-0, 6-5, unfinished
- Matthew Lord (VA) def. Inigo Torre Martin (VCU) 6-3, 6-4
- Ammar Alhaqbani (VA) vs. Ignacio Rivero Cresp (VCU) 6-4, 5-2, unfinished
- #67 Matthew Lord/Carl Soderlund (VA) vs. Vitor Lima/Javier Amantegui (VCU) 4-4, unfinished
- #45 Gianni Ross/Aswin Lizen (VA) def. Avrid Moren/Inigo Torre Martin (VCU) 6-3
- Ammar Alhaqbani/Spencer Bozsik (VA) def. Ignacio Rivero Cresp/Philip Mobius (VCU) 6-1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (2,5,1)