VALLVERDU RETURNS, Men Split Weekend
Coming off two disappointing defeats on their trip to Tobacco Road, the No.37 University of Miami men’s tennis team returned home and lost 5-2 to No. 3 Virginia, in a hard fought match, before bouncing back to beat No. 30 Virginia Tech 4-3. With the win, the Hurricanes improved to 10-10 overall and 5-4 in the dangerous ACC.
“Virginia Tech was a match we had to win, especially since the end of our ACC schedule is really tough,” Head Coach Mario Rincon said. “It was important for us to capitalize and compete at the higher level.”
‘Canes senior All-American Luigi D’Agord remains undefeated in ACC play, winning both of his matches this weekend in straight sets. No. 4 singles player Vivek Subramanian also came up big for Miami, joining D’Agord as the only Hurricane to win a singles match against the Cavaliers on Friday.
“Vivek has his highs and his lows, but when he hits his highs he can beat anybody,” Rincon said. “He really brings a spark to this team and is just a lot of fun to coach and watch.”
Sophomore All-American Daniel Vallverdu completed his first singles match since returning from an ankle injury and pulled out a great victory over Virginia Tech’s Albert Larregola. With the teams deadlocked at 3-3, Vallverdu dropped the first set but was able to bounce back to win in three to clinch the victory for the Hurricanes.
“I was amazed at the high level Danny played at, especially for three hours on such a hot day,” Rincon said. “He has a lot of heart and is a great competitor.”
Miami will finish their regular season play this weekend with two road matches against No. 11 Wake Forest and No. 20 North Carolina State.
Senior star Josh Cohen, who is currently one doubles win shy of the school record for career victories (81), will look to break it playing alongside D’Agord.
As a team, however, the Hurricanes will have to prove they can win on the road if they hope to defend last year’s ACC championship.
“At this point, we know that UNC and Virginia are out of reach,” Rincon said. “We want to position ourselves this weekend for a four seed in the ACC Tournament.”
Women upset in both weekend matches
The women’s tennis team’s trip to Tobacco Road was no more successful than the men’s, as they lost both of their matches to No. 21 Duke and No. 14 North Carolina this weekend. The No. 9 Hurricanes fell to 15-5 overall and 6-3 in conference play.
The ‘Canes are led by the No. 1 ranked player in the nation, junior Audra Cohen, who managed to win both of her matches as she improved to 29-1 on the season.
In the Duke match, the Hurricanes took a 3-2 lead, but Miami’s No. 3 and No. 4 singles players Romy Farah and Gina Sabatino were unable to seal the victory, and the Blue Devils took the match 4-3.
On Sunday, the ‘Canes had no answer for the Tar Heels as they fell 5-2. Along with Cohen, No. 3 singles player Laura Vallverdu was the only other Miami player to win, as she downed UNC’s Caitlin Collins in straight sets.
Miami has struggled on the road during conference play, winning only one of the four games they have played away from Coral Gables, Fla. Despite this seemingly disappointing statistic, all of their road losses are to top 25 teams. Of the ACC’s 12 teams, seven are in the top 25, making it the toughest conference in the country.
The ‘Canes will close out the regular season this weekend with two home matches against Maryland on Friday and Boston College on Sunday.
Zack Loss may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.