Virginia men's tennis returns to NCAA Final Four
CHAMPAIGN, Il (CBS19 Sports) -- After falling to the Gators in February, Virginia men's tennis got its revenge in the NCAA Quarterfinals, beating No. 2 Florida 4-1 to advance to the Semifinals.
The Cavaliers have now strung together 21 consecutive match wins, dating back to the loss against Florida in February.
“I told them that the Gators are the defending national champs and we can expect them to always fight back no matter how well we're playing, no matter how far we're up in the score," said UVA men's tennis coach Andres Pedroso. "They're always going to fight back and the guys were ready. We talked about it a lot. So poise was a big part of this win. And so a lot of credit to the guys.”
The match began with a hard fought doubles point, with Chris Rodesch/Bar Botzer claiming the first win. After court three fell, it came down to Iñaki Montes/Ryan Goetz. The duo played into a tiebreaker, where the Wahoos ended up claiming the doubles point.
Singles play began outside shortly after, but inclement weather began and suspended play for about two and a half hours.
“After the rain delay, I told them that it was a new match," said Pedroso. "That it's like we started the doubles point all over again. It was all about energy and composure. I really felt like we would play our best tennis if we brought the energy and we had good composure and you know, that's what happened.”
Virginia got its first singles win from Montes, who trailed the defending NCAA Singles Champion Sam Riffice in the first set going into the weather delay. Montes ended up winning in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4.
Gianni Ross also won in straight sets in two battles, 7-5, 7-5.
The clinching point came on court three from Jeffrey von der Schulenburg in three sets. The sophomore lost his first set 2-6, then edged his opponent 7-5 in the second to force the tiebreaker. von der Schulenburg took the third set 6-3 for the clinch.
The Cavaliers now advance to the semifinals for the 11th time in the last 15 NCAA Championships.
On Saturday, No. 7 Virginia will face No. 6 Tennessee in the NCAA Semifinals.