For the 11th time in the last 15 seasons, Virginia has advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Men's Tennis Championship. In a marathon match that lasted over five hours due to a lengthy weather delay, No. 7 UVA men's tennis took down the No. 2 seed and defending national champion Florida Gators 4-1 at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in Champaign, Illinois.
The match began at 8pm (ET) and the teams completed doubles action before a sequence of lightning and rainstorms delayed the match for nearly two and a half hours.
Just the competition that took place in doubles play before the weather delay carried an entire match's worth of action and drama.
Florida's team of Duarte Vale and Nate Bonetto dispatched Gianni Ross and Jeffrey von der Schulenburg 6-1 to take an early lead, but the Cavaliers tied it up with a 6-4 victory by Bar Botzer and Chris Rodesch over Florida's Sam Riffice and Ben Shelton, the No. 5-ranked doubles duo in the country.
The doubles point was decided on court 2 in an epic match between Virginia's Ryan Goetz and Inaki Montes and Florida's Mattias Siimar and Andy Andrade. The single-set match went to a tiebreaker before Goetz and Montes prevailed 7-6 (7-3) to clinch the doubles point, ending Florida's streak of 21-straight matches in which the Gators had captured the doubles point. Florida also entered this match on a 21-match winning streak.
The weather delay interrupted singles play in the middle of the opening sets. After the courts were dried, play resumed and the Gators got a point back as Andy Andrade defeated Ryan Goetz 6-3, 6-4 to even the match at 1-1.
On court 2, Inaki Montes took down Sam Riffice, the defending NCAA men's singles champion, in straight sets 7-5, 6-4 to put the Cavaliers back in front. Gianni Ross won a pair of hard-fought sets 7-5, 7-5 against Mattias Siimar on court 5 to move Virginia to within one point of clinching the victory.
Jeffrey von der Schulenburg lost his first set to Duarte Vale, but rallied to win the second and third sets to beat Vale 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 to secure the win for Virginia.
UVA (26-5) advances to play No. 6 Tennessee (26-7) on Saturday at 2pm with a spot in the championship match on the line.