The No. 26 men’s tennis team finished out the regular season this past weekend, hosting Virginia on April 17 and Virginia Tech on April 18. The Jackets fell 5-2 to the top-ranked Cavaliers but rebounded on Sunday to defeat the No. 21 Hokies and finish the season with a win.
In Saturday’s match, Tech dropped the doubles point to give Virginia an early 1-0 lead. Juniors Eliot Potvin and Ryan Smith were the only pair to secure a victory for the Jackets in doubles, winning 8-4 in the two spot.
Sophomore Kevin King and freshman Juan Spir, who faced the sixth-ranked doubles team in the nation in Michael Shabaz and Drew Courtney, stayed within reach but ultimately lost 8-6. Juniors Guillermo Gomez and Dean O’Brien, who were at the three spot for the Jackets, also went down 8-6 to Virginia, giving the Cavaliers the doubles point heading into singles play.
In singles play, Gomez and Potvin were able to secure points for the Jackets, each winning their singles match to give Tech its only two points on the day. Gomez, who dropped the first set to Shabaz, recovered to win the match 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Potvin also lost in the first, falling 2-6 to the Jarmere Jenkins of Virginia, ranked No. 45 in the nation. Potvin came back to win defeat Jenkins 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Unfortunately for the Jackets, the Cavaliers took the other four singles victories, sealing their 5-2 victory.
“Losing the doubles point was a little bit of a dagger for that match,” said head coach Kenny Thorne, courtesy of ramblinwreck.com. “Winning four singles matches against the No. 1 team in the country was too tough to do today, but hopefully we’ll see them again next week at the ACC Championship.”
Against Virginia Tech, the Jackets fared much better. Although they again lost the doubles point, they were able to win four singles matches to top the Hokies 4-3, including a three-set comeback by junior Miguel Muguruza to give them the win.
In doubles, the Jackets notched one win behind King and Spir, who defeated Will Beck and Patrick Daciek 9-7. Potvin and Smith fell 8-4 in their match, while O’Brien and freshman Magan Ortiga went down 7-9 in a close match at No. 3.
After again giving up the doubles point to start the match, Tech headed into singles matches. Gomez and King gave Tech its first two points, each downing their opponent in straight sets to open singles play. Gomez defeated Yoann Re 6-4, 6-2, while King defeated Luka Somen 6-1, 6-1.
Spir, who also won in straight sets, pushed the Jackets’ total to three a short time later when he defeated Sebastien Jacques 6-3, 7-5 at the No. 6 spot.
Potvin and Ortiga, who both stayed close, dropped their matches in straight sets to the Hokies, leaving only Muguruza to win the contest for the Jackets.
Muguruza gave up the first set 3-6, but he fought back to win the second 6-3 and force a third set to decide a victor. He rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the third set to defeat Patrick Daciek 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 and capture the win for the Jackets.
“To come back and bounce back today was huge for the team going into the ACC tournament,” Head coach Kenny Thorne said after that match.
The Jackets, who get a first-round bye in the ACC Tournament, will play again April 23 in Cary, N.C. Tech will take on the winner of Thursday’s matchup between Virginia Tech and Boston College.