2023 NCAA Championships: Virginia sweeps Ohio State to repeat as D1 men's champions

Victoria Chiesa | May 21, 2023

The University of Virginia is on top of the Division I men’s tennis world again. The fifth-seeded Cavaliers blanked third-seeded Ohio State University 4-0 in Sunday’s final at the USTA National Campus to win the national team title for the second year running, and sixth time in program history.


Since 2000, only three men's teams have successfully defended a collective title in Division I: the University of Georgia (2007-08); the University of Southern California (2009-12); and Virginia (2015-17, 2022-23). Head coach Andres Pedroso took over the reins at Virginia in 2017, after that first three-peat, and the gravity of Sunday’s achievement was not lost on him.


“It's a bit surreal, like it was when we won it last year,” he said. “I give all the credit to the guys, to the staff, the coaches. This is such a team effort. So many people have put so much time into a process like this. The players are really special, really special. It's a tough semester. We went through a lot and they just hung in there and they trusted us. It's a credit to the way they were brought up by their families, to their character, to their values, to what they prioritize in life.


“I'm just so lucky to have these guys because they're just such a pleasure to coach, so all the credit to the guys in all of this.”


The Cavaliers' win also reversed the result of the two teams' prior meetings this season, both of which were played indoors, allowing UVA to finish the season on a 22-match unbeaten run. 

Pedroso's team was swift in both its repeat, and its revenge. After losing at No. 3 doubles to open the dual match, the Cavaliers wrestled away the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 2, and swept the top three singles flights to clinch the championship. In the three singles wins, Virginia players dropped just 15 games across six sets: Jeffrey von der Schulenburg made it 2-0 UVA with a 6-2, 6-1 win over JJ Tracy, before junior Chris Rodesch, the ninth-ranked player in the nation, beat Justin Boulais, 6-4, 6-2, to put the Cavaliers one point from the title.


The clincher came from junior Inaki Montes, the 2022 ACC Player of the Year. The native of Pamplona, Spain beat Cannon Kingsley 6-4, 6-2 to finish off the championship.


Rodesch was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player for his unbeaten efforts at No. 1 singles in the championship overall.

"It's amazing. I broke out in tears, like, twice already," Rodesch, a native of Angelsberg, Luxembourg, said. "This one feels so special because we had so many struggles, like everybody, every individual. It's just an amazing feeling to win it for your brothers.


"I think as a team, we handled the pressure really well. We are really experienced. We were here—coach said it multiple times—last year and we know how to win it. All these teams, they weren’t maybe in the same position as us, maybe in the experiences. I think that gave us an edge. We were just really calm in all these pressure situations and I think that helped us a lot."


"Looking at the matchups, I personally thought we were really good at all six courts," UVA senior Ryan Goetz added. "I had played [James] Trotter twice already; he beat me once, and we were in the third set the other time. I really wanted to beat him today [the match went unfinished at No. 4 after the two split sets], but he's a really good player and we've had a few battles earlier in the year.


"Regarding the whole team dynamic ... we just focused on doing our own things, taking care of all the little details, keeping our composure and recognizing that we've been in this situation before and just using that to our advantage."


In addition, both Pedroso and his players credited Sunday's atmosphere at the USTA National Campus, and the historic nature of this year's championships that combined Divisions I, II and III at a single site, as an X-factor that helped them rise to the occasion.


"I think it's great for college tennis across all the divisions," Pedroso said. "I think it makes it so much more special for the student-athletes. I think it makes each of the divisions appreciate each other because they get to watch each other play and they get to see the arena that each division plays in for a national championship. I think it's a no-brainer.


"The USTA National Campus has done a great job of hosting us. The NCAA as well, and this was really special to have all the divisions here. So I'm all for it."


"I think the fans, all the UVA community that came to support us made the difference today," Montes added. "The energy was, I mean, no words to describe. The atmosphere today was amazing. So thank you for all the fans that came out and yeah, we did it!"


For more information on the NCAA Championships, including tickets, draws and schedule, visit the USTA's tournament homepage. For all the latest news from the Division I, II and III tournaments, visit's news landing page for the event.

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