By Jeff White (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Near the end of the press conference that followed his program’s latest attempt to break through in the NCAA men’s tennis tournament, Ohio State’s longtime head coach, Ty Tucker, mentioned his counterpart from the University of Virginia.
“Maybe we need to hire Andres to come in and show me what I need to do the last 10 days,” Tucker said at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla.
Tucker made the comment partly in jest, no doubt, but his words speak to the incredible run Andres Pedroso is on at UVA. In 2022, Virginia entered the NCAA tournament as the No. 7 seed and exited with the title. The Cavaliers came into this year’s tournament seeded No. 5, and once again they were the last team standing.
After winning three matches at the Boar’s Head Resort in Charlottesville, the Wahoos flew to Orlando, where they knocked off No. 4 seed Kentucky in the quarterfinals, No. 1 seed Texas in the semifinals and, on Sunday, No. 3 seed Ohio State in the NCAA final.
“Winning it twice is just amazing,” junior Chris Rodesch said.
The Buckeyes had beaten the Hoos convincingly twice during the regular season, both times indoors, but that didn’t matter Sunday. Virginia (30-4) dominated doubles and then overwhelmed Ohio State (34-3) in singles. The match lasted less than two-and-a-half hours.
“It happened so fast,” Rodesch said.
Junior Inaki Montes clinched the victory for UVA with a straight-set win at No. 2 singles. With the finish line in sight, Virginia supporters raised a familiar chant: ‘Let’s go, Wahoos! Let’s go, Wahoos!’ ”
“I think fans, all the UVA community, that they came to support us made a difference today,” Montes said. “There are no words to describe the energy. The atmosphere today was amazing. So thank you for all the fans that came out. And we did it.”
For Ohio State, its quest for its first NCAA championship will resume next season. The Buckeyes have been NCAA runners-up three times (2009, 2018 and 2023).
For UVA, the NCAA title is the program’s sixth overall and second under Pedroso, a former assistant on the staff of his predecessor as head coach, Brian Boland.
“It’s a bit surreal, like it was when we won it last year,” said Pedroso, who’s in his sixth year as head coach. “I give all the credit to the guy, to the staff, the coaches. This is such a team effort. So many people…
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