The No.1 nationally ranked UVa Men’s Tennis Team captured its sixth ITA Division I National Men’s Team Indoor Championship this past weekend. A year after losing a heartbreaker to UNC in the finals, a revitalized UVa team cruised past North Carolina 4-0 in the semi-finals. UVa did not lose a single point in their opening three matches before advancing to the finals (4-0 wins against No.16 Utah State, No. 8 Utah, and No. 5 North Carolina).
The back-to-back defending national champion Cavaliers were faced with a stiffer test against No.3 Ohio State, a team that took down a talented Wake Forest team that was ranked No.2 in the nation.
The UVa doubles team raced out to capture the doubles point in dominating fashion. Senior Luca Corinteli and Freshman Carl Soderlund paired together to win 6-0 at the No.1 doubles position. Not long after, the No.3 doubles team of Senior J.C. Aragone and Junior Collin Altamirano secured the doubles point for UVa with a close 7-5 victory. Coach Brian Boland had high praise for his doubles teams, especially for Corinteli.
“What Luca Corinteli did on court one was pretty remarkable as a senior,” Boland said. “He’s one of the best players in the country on a doubles court and it showed… give the guy an unbelievable amount of credit, he really is the one who got out of the gates, as he did all weekend.”
The singles points were harder to come by for the Cavaliers. Henrik Wiersholm pushed UVa’s lead to 2-0 with a solid 7-6, 6-2 performance at No. 6 singles. Minutes later, Ohio State took their first and only point of the match with a 3-6, 6-7 victory over Altamirano. Those were the only two singles match to go two sets, with the other four matches going into a deciding third set showdown.
The first three-set match was decided thanks to a 3-6, 7-6, 6-2 comeback win from No.2 singles Thai-Son Kwiatkowski. The win put Virginia one point away from the national title.
“We knew that after the doubles point that Ohio State was not out of it,” Kwiatkowski said, “My thought process was just stay on the court as long as possible and give the other guys hope.”
Virginia fell behind in two of the last three singles matches, but senior Aragone coolly put the championship away with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) victory at No.4 singles. The win cemented Virginia’s position as the premier threat to claim yet another national championship. Boland expressed content with his team’s ability to close out the national indoor tournament and how it will prepare them for the upcoming season.
“This certainly was a great preparation for that, but we’re going to keep working hard because our big goals are ahead of us.”