On Sunday, Virginia Men’s Tennis (21-2) defeated UNC-Chapel Hill (18-3) by a 4-3 score to win the ACC Men’s Tennis Championship at the Rome Tennis Center in Rome, Ga. The win comes after defeating Georgia Tech 4-3 in the ACC Quarterfinals and NC State 4-0 in the ACC Semifinals.
Virginia Men’s Tennis wins ACC Championship match against North Carolina
The title is the 13th ACC Championship win for the Cavaliers but the first under Virginia Head Coach Andres Pedroso. Coach Pedroso beamed, “I give these guys all the credit. They support each other on the court, off the court; you name it — these guys are there for each other. That’s why they’re so tough to beat.”
The match was expected to be close — while the Hoos defeated North Carolina 6-1 once in the regular season, they also lost 2-4 to the Tarheels earlier in February.
The Cavaliers started the match losing the doubles point – last to finish in doubles were Schulenburg and Montes, who narrowly lost 6-7 (4-7). Undeterred, the Hoos engaged in intense singles battles, but the first singles win was taken by North Carolina. The first Virginia win came from Carl Soderlund (6-3, 6-0), and Gianni Ross (6-1, 6-4) followed with his win, bringing the overall score to 2-2.
North Carolina won the next point, but Ryan Goetz answered with a 6-1, 6-3 victory, bringing the score even again to 3-3. The final match was taken by freshman Inaki Montes (6-2, 6-4), who clinched the Virginia win in a cross-court overhead smash against nationally ranked senior Simon Soendergaard.
? Carl Söderlund named MVP
? Iñaki Montes with the clinch
? Ryan Goetz and Gianni Ross with the clutch
Check out the full recap of our 4-3 win against UNC
? championship point in the ?? #GoHoos⚔️ pic.twitter.com/hX118VsvtI
— Virginia Men's Tennis (@UVAMensTennis) April 25, 2021
Inaki Montes final point to clinch the match
After Montes’s final point, the Virginia team sprinted towards him to celebrate the Championship win. Notably, Montes also clinched the ACC Semifinals match against NC State on Saturday.
Coach Pedroso exclaimed, “It doesn’t matter if we lose the doubles point; it doesn’t matter if we win it. Regardless of what happens in the doubles point, these guys are gonna fight. They fight for each other.”
Also, Carl Soderlund was named the tournament’s MVP. With an 11-2 overall record in 2021, Soderlund won his doubles match 6-1 in the Semifinals with partner William Woodall and defeated his singles opponent 6-4, 6-0 in the Quarterfinals.
Carl Soderlund wins ACC Tournament MVP Award
The Hoos will play next in the NCAA Division I Tennis Championship, where Virginia earned four team titles in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017. In addition to the Team Championship, the players will also have the chance to compete to be Singles Champion and Doubles Champions. The Singles Championship was last won by Virginia’s Thai-Son Kwiatkowski in 2017.