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Söderlund, Pedroso repeat as ACC Player, Coach of the Year

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

men's tennisVirginia grad student Carl Söderlund was named the 2021 ACC Men’s Tennis Player of the Year, and Andres Pedroso was named the ACC Men’s Tennis Coach of the Year.

Additionally, Söderlund (Stockholm, Sweden) and freshman Jeffrey von der Schulenburg (Zurich, Switzerland) were named to the All-ACC First Team and freshman Iñaki Montes (Pamplona, Spain) was named to the second team.

Söderlund and Pedroso were named the 2019 ACC Men’s Tennis Player and Coach of the Year, respectively, in the last time ACC men’s tennis post season honors were awarded as the conference did not issue postseason accolades in the 2020 pandemic-shortened season, giving them both repeats of the honors.

Söderlund, the 2021 ACC Men’s Tennis Championship MVP, has been the highest-ranked singles player in the ACC this season, moving up to No. 6 after the first in-season update, a position he has continued to hold all season. Söderlund has also been ranked in the top-20 in doubles all season, reaching a career-best No. 4 while partnering with junior William Woodall (Washington, D.C.). Söderlund has a 12-2 record in singles this season with a 7-1 mark against ranked opponents. Söderlund was named to the ITA National Team Indoors All-Tournament Team at No. 1 singles, was a two-time ACC Doubles Team of the Week honoree and was named the ACC Singles Player of the Week on March 10 for his efforts in wins over Florida State and Miami.

This is the seventh time in program history that a Cavalier has been named the ACC Player of the Year. Söderlund joins Brain Vahaly as the only Virginia player to repeat as ACC Player of the Year (2000-01). He is the sixth player in conference history to do so and the first since Christopher Eubanks of Georgia Tech (2016-17).

Söderlund is the first Virginia player to be named to the All-ACC first team three times since the conference began splitting the annual honor into ranked teams in 2014. He is the eighth player to be a four-time All-ACC honoree (Brian Vahaly, Somdev Devvarman, Treat Huey, Doug Stewart, Mitchell Frank, Jarmere Jenkins and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski).

Von der Schulenburg began his collegiate career by winning his first seven singles matches, including three wins against ranked opponents, and was named the conference’s first ACC Singles Player of the Week this season. Ranked as the No. 3 Newcomer in the ITA Preseason National Rankings, he rose to as high as No. 14 in the singles rankings this season. Playing primarily at the No. 2 position, von der Schulenburg is 16-4 in singles, going 8-2 in conference play. Von der Schulenburg came back from down 3-0 in his final set to win his match and clinch UVA’s 4-3 victory against Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship quarterfinals. Von der Schulenburg joins Brandon Nakashima (2019) as Virginia freshmen to have been named to the All-ACC First Team.

Von der Schulenburg and Montes also played together as a doubles team that is 15-4 on the season and were 9-1 in conference play. They have been named the ACC Doubles Team of the Week twice despite playing at the No. 3 position and were named to the ITA Indoors All-Tournament Team at that same slot.

In singles, Montes was a perfect 9-0 in conference play and went 15-4 overall. He was named the ACC Singles player of the Week after a dominant performance against Virginia Tech. Montes had the clinching victory in both the Cavaliers’ ACC Semifinal and ACC Championship matches last week in Rome, Ga.

Pedroso has helped lead his team this season to a perfect 12-0 conference record and its 13th ACC Championship. After ending the shortened 2020 campaign ranked No. 35 in the nation, Pedroso has elevated his team to as high as No. 3 in the ITA computerized national rankings and the top spot in the Tennis Channel / USTA College Tennis Top 25 poll. The Cavaliers set the tone early. Originally the lowest seed at the four-team ITA Kickoff Weekend matches in Columbus, Ohio, the Cavaliers handed then-ranked No. 3 Ohio State just its second home loss since April, 2003, to advance. At ITA Indoors, the Cavaliers were the seven seed (out of eight teams), advancing to the semifinals before being edged by eventual champions North Carolina. Pedroso’s Cavaliers went undefeated in conference play, including posting a 6-1 win over then-ranked No. 1 North Carolina, to earn the top seed in the ACC Championship where they won the third meeting of the year against the Tar Heels 4-3 to win the title.

This is the ninth time in program history that a Cavalier head coach has earned this honor.

Virginia has earned the ACC’s automatic bid into the 2021 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship. The full bracket will be announced on Monday, May 3, during a selection show that will stream live on NCAA.com at 6:30 p.m.

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