The No. 1 Virginia men’s tennis team closed out their regular season with two home victories this weekend, over No. 7 Wake Forest and Miami, respectively. The Cavaliers finished the regular season 22-3 and 11-1 in the ACC.
Friday’s contest against the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest (25-5, 9-2) posed a significant challenge for the Wahoos. The two teams entered the contest tied for first in the ACC at 9-1. The stakes were high, as a Virginia loss would have marked the first time in thirteen seasons that a team other than Virginia would win the ACC regular season title. Coach Brian Boland and the Hoo Crew built up hype in the week leading up to the match, offering special promotions for spectators and encouraging a big turnout. The fans responded, as 1,142 people showed up to Snyder to support the team in their title push—the largest crowd of the year.
Virginia responded with a resounding 5-2 win over their ACC rival. Virginia claimed the doubles point with victories at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles, putting them up 1-0. In singles, five of the six matches would go into a decisive third set. At No. 1 singles, senior Ryan Shane won 6-1, 6-2 to bring the overall score to 2-0. At No. 4 singles, JC Aragone gritted out a tough 6-0, 3-6, 6-1 win to put the Cavaliers up 3-0. Shortly after, Henrik Wiersholm won at No. 5 singles to clinch the match and at least a share of the ACC title for Virginia. Thai-Son Kwiatkowski won his match, while teammates Collin Altamirano and Luca Corinteli lost tight matches, bringing the final score to 5-2.
On Sunday, Virginia hosted the Miami Hurricanes (8-14, 3-9) on senior day. It was the final home match for Jonathan Cornish, Mac Styslinger, and Ryan Shane. Jonathan Cornish was featured in the doubles lineup, where he teamed up with Harrison Richmond for a 6-1 victory at No. 3. The Cavaliers’ No. 2 doubles team fell 7-5, but the duo of Ryan Shane and Luca Corinteli were victorious at No. 1 to claim the doubles point.
Up 1-0, the Cavaliers headed to singles play, where five of the six matches were settled in straight sets. Virginia swept singles play, winning on courts one through six, to bring the final score to 7-0. This included a suspenseful third set tiebreak victory for senior Mac Styslinger at No. 6. The win put Virginia into outright first place in the ACC.
The Cavaliers will now embark on postseason play, earning the No. 1 seed in the ACC tournament. They face the winner of Clemson and NC State in the quarterfinals. A potential matchup to keep an eye on is versus North Carolina in the semifinals. North Carolina is the four seed and defeated Virginia twice in the regular season. Virginia will be looking for redemption this time around in hopes of an ACC tournament title.