The UVA men’s tennis team advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 for the 12th consecutive season with a 4-0 victory over Minnesota in a second round match Saturday at Snyder Tennis Center. The third-seeded Cavaliers (25-3) will travel to Waco, Texas next week for the NCAA Championships, while the 25th-ranked Golden Gophers ended their season at 21-8.
Virginia will play Columbia in the Round of 16 on Thursday (May 14) at the Hurd Tennis Center on the campus of Baylor University. Match time is 4 p.m. CT (5 p.m. ET). The Lions upset No. 14 seed Mississippi 4-1 in the round of 32.
“I was really impressed with Minnesota,” said head coach Brian Boland. “They are an outstanding team and could have been a team that made it to Waco. They are as good, if not better, than some of the teams that advanced. They really helped us because we needed a competitive match and we got one today.”
The Cavaliers took a 1-0 lead by winning the doubles point. Collin Altamirano (Sacarmento, Calif.) and J.C. Aragone (Yorba Linda, Calif.) posted an 8-3 win at No. 3 over Eric Frueh and Matic Speh. At No. 1, Ryan Shane (Falls Church, Va.) and Luca Corinteli (Alexandria, Va.) clinched the opening point with an 8-1 victory over Jack Hamburg and Mathieu Froment.
“Our doubles has just continued to improve and the level Ryan and Luca are playing at right now is special,” said Boland. “Minnesota has one of the best doubles points in the nation, so the way we took it to them in doubles was huge. But give Minnesota, credit, they didn’t back down in singles and gave us a fight.”
The match was close throughout the early part of singles before the Cavaliers were able to capture four of the six first sets. The lead doubled to 2-0 as Shane posted a 6-2, 6-2 victory at the top position over Leandro Toledo. Aragone also posted a straight-set victory, downing Forment 6-1, 7-6(5) at No. 6 to make the score 3-0.
Altamirano clinched the Virginia victory as he overcame a slow start for a three-set win at No. 3, downing Felix Corwin 2-6, 6-1, 6-2.
Virginia’s streak of 12 consecutive trips to the NCAA Round of 16 is the third-longest active streak, tied with Georgia. Only UCLA (39 years) and Baylor (14 years) have longer current streaks.
“It is exciting to head off to the final site for the 12th straight year,” said Boland. “I am really proud of that consistency. We know it will continue to get harder with each match, but we are ready for the challenge.”
Thursday’s round of 16 match will be the first postseason contest between the Cavaliers and Lions and the first overall since 2000. Virginia has won all four previous meetings with Columbia.
#3 VIRGINIA 4, #25 MINNESOTA 0
- #2 Corinteli/Shane (UVa) def. #37 Hamburg/Froment (Minn) 8-1
- #42 Styslinger/Kwiatkowski (UVa) vs. Corwin/Toledo (Minn) 7-4 DNF
- Altamirano/Aragone (UVa) def. Frueh/Spec (Minn) 8-3
Order of Finish: 3,1Singles:
- #8 Ryan Shane (UVa) def. #22 Leandro Toledo (Minn) 6-2, 6-2
- #20 Mitchell Frank (UVa) vs. #60 Matic Spec (Minn) 1-6, 6-3, 1-1 DNF
- #77 Collin Altamirano (UVa) def. Felix Corwin (Minn) 2-6, 6-1, 6-2
- #19 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (UVa) vs. Ruben Weber (Minn) 7-5, 4-3 DNF
- Alexander Ritschard (UVa) vs. Jack Hamburg (Minn) 6-4, 6-5 DNF
- J.C. Aragone (UVa) def. Mathieu Froment (Minn) 6-1, 7-6(5)
Order of Finish: 1,6,3