The Virginia men’s tennis team made a remarkable turnaround from five consecutive losses in February to win its fifth NCAA team national championship in May—the 31st overall team championship for the Virginia Athletics Department.
The Cavaliers recovered from their early-season struggles to finish on a 23-match winning streak, including a six-match run through the NCAA Championship, culminating in a 4-0 sweep of Kentucky at the University of Illinois Khan Outdoor Tennis Center, to win the program’s first title since 2017.
“The goal has always been to peak in May,” fifth-year Gianni Ross (Col ’21) told VirginiaSports.com after earning the clinching point against Kentucky and being named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Championship.
Those early losses in a two-week span—to four teams eventually seeded first through fourth in the NCAA Championship—help steel the No. 7–seed ’Hoos for a title run. The ACC champions swept Fairleigh Dickinson, VCU and No. 10 seed South Carolina in Charlottesville to advance to Champaign, Illinois, where they beat No. 2 seed Florida 4-1 in the NCAA quarterfinals.
Virginia (28-5) took down No. 6 seed Tennessee 5-0 in the semifinals before beating No. 8 seed Kentucky.
Andres Pedroso—who took over as head coach in the spring of 2017 after the Cavaliers had won four team titles in five years (2013, 2015–17) under predecessor Brian Boland—said this was the level to which the program expected to return.
“We’re always thinking national championship at some point, but I didn’t know if it was going to happen this year or year seven or year nine,” Pedroso told VirginiaSports.com. “I am super happy for these guys. They have evolved through the year.”
Iñaki Montes (Col ’24), Jeffrey von der Schulenburg (Col ’24) and Bar Botzer (Darden ’23) joined Ross on the all-tournament singles team, while Virginia swept the three all-tournament doubles spots that included Chris Rodesch (Col ’24) and Ryan Goetz (Col ’22). Montes earned all-American honors.
The Virginia women’s tennis team (23-6) reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships before falling 4-2 to Texas, which eventually won its second consecutive NCAA title. No. 1 seed and defending national champion Emma Navarro (Col ’24) and Natasha Subhash (Com ’23) reached the quarterfinals of the individual singles to earn all-American honors.
First-year Elaine Chervinsky (Col ’25) lost in the opening round of the singles bracket.