On March 18, more than halfway through the regular season, the men’s tennis team held a record of 6-6.
Since that day, the Hurricanes (12-7, 8-2) have won seven of their last eight matches, with the lone loss a 4-3 decision to top-ranked Virginia at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.
After defeating Maryland 7-0 on Sunday afternoon to close out its schedule, No. 23 Miami finds itself seeded second in the ACC heading into the conference tournament this weekend in Cary, N.C.
Less than a month ago, it didn’t seem possible.
But with the return of injured seniors Daniel Vallverdu and David Rosenfeld, the Canes’ top two singles players, UM hopes to make a push for an ACC and even a national championship.
“It’s great. It was tough at the beginning of the year when we were both hurt and out,” Rosenfeld said. “That two seed is huge, especially the bye in the first round. It’s big.”
Vallverdu, ranked 15th, won his seventh in a row against the Terrapins (7-13, 1-10).
“I struggled a lot at the beginning of the season and [head coach] Mario [Rincon] did a great job of trying to stay positive and that it was just a matter of time that I was going to start playing better,” he said. “I just needed to calm down and just keep working hard and things would get better as it is. Now I’m really happy with the way I’m playing and hitting the ball…I’m really happy with the way everyone’s playing.”
Ignacio Taboada earned his 20th victory of the season to become the first Hurricane freshman since Josh Cohen in 2003-2004 to win at least 20 matches.
Sunday’s match also marked senior day for Vallverdu and Rosenfeld.
“They’ve been awesome for the program and we’ve been very fortunate because they’re both great players in singles and in doubles and really good students,” Rincon said. “I feel like our team is playing better and we look forward to ACCs and playing our best tennis in the postseason.”
1. #15 Daniel Vallverdu (UM) def. Nikolai Nielsen (MD) 6-2, 6-0
2. David Rosenfeld (UM) def. Borris Fetbroyt (MD) 6-1, 6-1
3. Christian Blocker (UM) def. Mathias Sarrazin (MD) 6-2, 6-3
4. Keith Crowley (UM) def. Alex Aksanov (MD) 6-3, 7-5
5. Ignacio Taboada (UM) def. Graham Knowlton (MD) 6-2, 6-3
6. David Simon (UM) def. Roshan Potarazu (MD) 6-2, 6-3
Order of Finish: 2,1,3,6,5,4
1. #61 Vallverdu/Rosenfeld (UM) def. Fetbroyt/Aksanov (MD) 8-2
2. Crowley/Carl Sundberg (UM) def. Nielsen/Sarrazin (MD) 8-2
3. Blocker/Simon (UM) def. Knowlton/Arman Moussavi (MD) 8-3
Order of Finish: 1,2,3