During their 9 year winning streak in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Virginia men's tennis team has endured a few close calls here and there. On Saturday, Wake Forest added another nailbiter to the list, as the Demon Deacons pushed the Cavaliers to the brink only to fall just short in an exciting 4-3 victory for Virginia in the quarterfinals of the National Team Indoor Tournament in Charlottesville.
Virginia narrowly lost the doubles point on a pair of tiebreakers. The Virginia duo of Thai-Son Kwiatkowski and Mac Styslinger won their match at #2 doubles 6-3 over Jon Ho and Petros Chrysochos, leaving Virginia only needing one of the two remaining doubles matches to take the point. Wake Forest would get 7-6 victories at #1 doubles, with the pair of Skander Mansouri and Christian Seraphim defeating Virginia's Ryan Shane and Luca Corinteli, and at #3 doubles where the team of Romain Bogaerts and Dennis Uspensky bested the Virginia team of J.C. Aragone and Colin Altamirano.
Needing to win four singles matches to get the victory, Virginia started out well, winning four first sets. Shane knotted the match at 1-all with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Mansouri at #1 singles, and Aragone coasted by Uspensky at #5 singles, 6-2, 6-1 to give Virginia a 2-1 lead. The Cavaliers appeared to be on their way to a quick victory when Altamirano won at the #3 line, 6-2, 6-3 over Ho to make the score 3-1, but Wake Forest's Seraphim rallied from a first set loss to Henrik Wiersholm at #6 singles to force a third set.
In the meantime, Chrysochos completed a 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 win over Kwiatkowski at #2 singles, and Bogaerts defeated Styslinger, 6-4, 7-5 to put the entire outcome on the rackets of Seraphim and Wiersholm. The two struggled to hold serve in the third set, with three breaks of service. Eventually Wiersholm wound up serving at 5-3, and hit an ace on the duece point to close out the match 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 and seal the win for Virginia.
The win moved Virginia's record to 7-0 this season, and sets up a semifinal match with TCU at 3:30 on Sunday. The Horned Frogs defeated Southern Cal 4-3 in the final match of the night. TCU was a semifinalist at the NCAA Team Championships last season, losing to Oklahoma. The other semfinal pits UCLA against North Carolina.