UVA Edged By Wake Forest In NCAA Quarterfinals

Courtesy UVA Sports Media Relations

The No. 5 UVA men’s tennis team had its season come to an end with a 4-2 loss to No. 4 Wake Forest on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the 2019 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship, being played at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla.

The Cavaliers (24-5) won the doubles point, taking the matches on courts one and three, to go up 1-0. Wake Forest (33-3) picked up a win on court six to tie the match, but freshman Ryan Goetz had a straight-set victory on court four to put UVA back ahead, 2-1. Wake closed out back-to-back wins on courts five and three to take a 3-2 lead and then clinched the victory with a win in the third set on court one.

“As always, we fought to the very end and left everything on the court. I couldn’t be more proud of these guys and I love them to death,” said head coach Andres Pedroso. “The expectation today was to have no regrets and leave it all on the court. That is what they did. That is what they have done all year. That is why they are a phenomenal team.”

Virginia started the day with freshman Brandon Nakashima and senior Henrik Wiersholm picking up a dominant 6-2 victory on the top doubles court. Wake Forest countered with a 6-4 win on court two. On court three, sophomore Gianni Ross and freshman William Woodall, battled against Wake’s Siddhant Banthia and Melios Efstathiou, trading breaks back-and-forth to get the match to 5-5.

After Wake held serve, Ross and Woodall were serving to force a tiebreaker, winning a deuce point to make it 6-6. The Cavalier duo went down 5-2 in the tiebreaker, but won five-straight points to take it 7-5 and earn UVA the doubles point.

In singles, Virginia won first sets on two courts, with junior Carl Söderlund topping No. 11 Borna Gojo, 6-4, on court one, and Goetz sailing to a 6-2 victory on court four over Rrezart Cungu, while Wake Forest won on the other four.

After Wake Forest closed out a win on six to tie the match at one, Goetz finished off Cungu, 6-2, 6-3, to put UVA back ahead, 2-1.

On court five, senior Aswin Lizen dropped his first set, 6-3, to Melios Efstathiou, but the two battled through the second set, with six-straight breaks to begin it.

Lizen was serving down 5-4, with Efstathiou picking up the final break of the match to win 6-3, 6-4 and knot the overall score at two.

Wake Forest picked up a straight-set victory on court three to take a 3-2 lead.

Nakashima, who had been edged 6-4 in the first set against No. 8 Petros Chrysochos, forced a tiebreaker in the second set. After Nakashima took an early 3-0 lead, Chrysochos battled back to go ahead 6-4. Nakashima saved two match points to tie it, 6-6, and then won the next two points, serving up an ace to finish off an 8-6 win to force a third set.

On court one, Söderlund was broken while down 5-4 in the second set to force a third set. Gojo won the third set 6-1 to clinch the match.

It was the final dual match in the careers of both Wiersholm and Lizen. Wiersholm finishes his career with an 85-18 mark in singles and Lizen finishes with a 54-22 record.

“As a head coach, I have selfishly been so lucky to have Aswin Lizen and Henrik Wiersholm as captains the last two years. They have engrained the culture in the other guys. They have been exceptional leaders. They have been incredible off the court, on the court.

“They have done whatever has been asked of them. I was so lucky to have them for two years. Henrik coming back for a fifth year, I can’t thank him enough! I will be eternally grateful for that. They are special guys and they have been amazing.”

This was Virginia’s 14th trip to the quarterfinals in the last 15 seasons.

#4 Wake Forest 4, #5 Virginia 2

Singles

1. #11 Borna Gojo (WF) def. #3 Carl Söderlund (VA) 4-6, 6-4, 6-1

2. #8 Petros Chrysochos (WF) vs. #82 Brandon Nakashima (VA) 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 2-1, unfinished

3. #50 Bar Botzer (WF) def. #114 Henrik Wiersholm (VA) 6-3, 6-2

4. Ryan Goetz (VA) def. Rrezart Cungu (WF) 6-2, 6-3

5. Melios Efstathiou (WF) def. Aswin Lizen (VA) 6-3, 6-4

6. Siddhant Banthia (WF) def. Matthew Lord (VA) 6-3, 6-0

Doubles

1. #33 Nakashima/Wiersholm (VA) def. #63 Alan Gadjiev/Gojo (WF) 6-2

2. #55 Botzer/Chrysochos (WF) def. Lord/Söderlund (VA) 6-4

3. Gianni Ross/William Woodall (VA) def. Banthia/Efstathiou (WF) 7-6 (7-5)

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



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