The No. 1 Virginia men’s tennis team (28-4) advanced to the semifinals of the 2016 NCAA Championship with a 4-0 victory over No. 9 Florida (21-7) on Sunday (May 22) at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla.
Virginia clinched the doubles point and tallied singles wins by sophomore Henrik Wiersholm (Kirkland, Wash.), junior Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Charlotte, N.C.) and sophomore Alexander Ritschard (Zurich, Switzerland) to advance to the semifinals for the ninth time in the last 10 years.
“Congratulations to Florida on having a great season, winning the SEC Championship and coming in here and doing as well as they did,” said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. “They made it tough on us, but I thought we played really well today. We came out incredibly strong in doubles, executing well and moving well. We had an enormous amount of energy. I’m really pleased with how we started. We got off to an excellent start in singles as well. We used the momentum and it carried over. The guys are locked in and seem to be playing really well.”
Virginia, the defending national champions, will face No. 13 California (21-6) on Monday, May 23 at 5 p.m. E.T. with a trip to the finals on the line. Live scoring and video streaming will be available for the match through links posted on VirginiaSports.com.
In doubles, Luca Corinteli (Alexandria, Va.) and senior Ryan Shane (Falls Church, Va.), the No. 4 doubles team in the country, topped No. 1 Diego Hidalgo and Gordon Watson, 6-3, on court number one. Sophomore Collin Altamirano (Sacramento, Calif.) and junior J.C. Aragone (Yorba Linda, Calif.) clinched the point with a 6-3 victory over Alfredo Perez and Chase Perez-Blanco.
“We played [Hidalgo/Watson] earlier this year in Gainesville and I thought then that this was one of the best teams we played all year,” Corinteli said. “They serve really well, both of them were great at volleys, so I knew it was going to come down to a couple of points. We won a couple of deuce points at the beginning of the match and we came out with a ton of energy. This is how doubles points work. Whoever can get those deuce points is who is going to win. They went our way today, so we got the job done.”
In singles, the Cavaliers won all six first sets, including taking a pair in tiebreakers. Wiersholm gave Virginia a 2-0 lead with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over McClain Kessler at No. 6. Kwiatkowski won his first set tiebreaker, 7-2, and then closed out his victory with a 6-2 second-set victory over Elliott Orkin at No. 3. Ritschard won his first set 6-3, but was knotted 6-6 in the second set at No. 4 against Perez-Blanco. Ritschard won the tiebreaker 7-4 to win the match and close out the victory for the Cavaliers.
Virginia was up a break on both courts one and two when play was halted.
UVA is 3-0 all-time against California. The last meeting between the two was a 4-0 victory by the Cavaliers in the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
Virginia is vying for its second-consecutive NCAA Championship and its third since 2013.
#1 Virginia 4, #9 Florida 0
- #8 Ryan Shane (VA) vs. #10 Diego Hidalgo (FLA) 6-3, 4-6, 3-1, unfinished
- #33 Collin Altamirano (VA) vs. #53 Alfredo Perez (FLA) 6-4, 5-4, unfinished
- #9 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA) def. #37 Elliott Orkin (FLA) 7-6 (7-2), 6-2
- #78 Alexander Ritschard (VA) def. #120 Chase Perez-Blanco (FLA) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
- #110 J.C. Aragone (VA) vs. Gordon Watson (FLA) 7-6 (7-2), 4-6, 2-2, unfinished
- Henrik Wiersholm (VA) def. McClain Kessler (FLA) 6-4, 6-2
- #4 Luca Corinteli/Ryan Shane (VA) def. #1 Diego Hidalgo/Gordon Watson (FLA) 6-3
- #16 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Mac Styslinger (VA) vs. #80 Maxx Lipman/Elliott Orkin (FLA) 5-5, unfinished
- Collin Altamirano/J.C. Aragone (VA) def. Alfredo Perez/Chase Perez-Blanco (FLA) 6-3
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (6,3,4)