This one’s gonna be a doozy folks.
The Deacs come into this matchup 17-1(the one being a heartbreaking 4-3 loss at the ITA Indoors against Ohio State) and undefeated in the conference. The Cavaliers are a perfect 17-0(4-0).
UVA is coming off of 2 7-0 sweeps of NC State and Duke this past weekend, while the Deacs rolled Clemson 6-1 and came back to beat Georgia Tech 5-2.
This is a matchup of two teams approaching it in two different directions. Wake Forest has had arguably one of the hardest schedules in the country: road matches against Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Texas, TCU, UGA, and Georgia Tech, while finding time to host UNC somewhere in between that. UVA on the other hand, after the ITA indoor championships, took a break and let their players play ITA futures to continue getting better and scheduling teams like Monmouth and Virignia Wesleyan before easing their way into the ACC schedule.
Now, this isn’t to say the Cavaliers will be rusty coming into this, nor should they be taken lightly. This team has been nothing short of a dynasty for the past 10 years. Head coach Brian Boland, who has been chosen to help develop the future of American Tennis as the head of men’s tennis for USTA Player Development after this season, turned UVA into winners. 13 straight NCAA tournament appearances, 3 out of the last 4 National team titles, and 3 each of National singles and doubles champions.
UVA enters this match with the No. 6 player in the country, Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, who isn’t even playing the top spot in the lineup. No. 64 Junior, Collin Altamirano, who will be playing in the first flight, has had a spectacular year both in the college world and on the ITF circuit. This is one of the deepest lineups in the country with names like J.C. Aragone, Carl Soderlund, Alex Ritschard, and Henrik Wiersholm anchoring the back end of the lineup. All guys who could probably play in the top 3 positions at most other colleges.
Wake Forest isn’t a pushover in itself. The Deacs boast the No.1 Doubles tandem in the country in Skander Mansouri and Christian Seraphim, the number 2 singles player in Petros Chrysochos, and still a wonderfully deep lineup with rising newcomer Borna Gojo, Dennis Uspensky and Alan Gadjev to close out the lineup.
The winner of this will more than likely be the regular season ACC champ, but who knows with the ACC), and have a huge momentum swing. For the Deacs, this is the end of the real tests they have until the ACC and NCAA tournaments and for UVA this the beginning of a rough stretch of matches. This is an opportunity to knock off the reigning champs for the second year in a row, as Wake beat UVA to win the ACC championship last year in a thriller. I personally think the Deacs win 4-3, getting the doubles points and taking the top 3 lines but this is definitely anyone’s match and should be a good one
The match will be at home at 4 and will be live streamed on ESPN3. Come on out to support the Deacs!!