The Virginia Tech men’s tennis team took the court in the UVA Ranked+1 tournament at the Snyder Tennis Center in Charlottesville, Va. this past weekend and came away with some big wins.
Tech’s 66th ranked Andreas Bjerrehus defeated both his first two opponents in two sets during the Orange Singles’ first day.
Meanwhile, 43rd ranked Amerigo Contini advanced in the White Singles, winning his first match 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 and his second 6-1, 6-3.
The Hokies added to their strong opening with Hunter Koontz defeating Louisville’s 47th ranked Sebastian Stiefelmeyer in three sets. Koontz was then downed by Virginia’s JC Aragone in his second match.
Coach Jim Thompson was pleased with how his team played.
“There were lots of positives that came out of the weekend, and hopefully we can take the momentum into next week,” Thompson said.
“Personally, it was great beating a top player. Beating him brought out the best in me,” said Koontz.
Even though he failed to advance in his next singles match, the junior had a positive outlook on the tournament.
“It was a learning experience," Koontz said. "I look to get better from there.”
The team of Contini and Joao Monteiro won their match 8-4 while competing in the Green Doubles. But they would later lose in the next round.
Bjerrehus and Koontz as a pair were seeded high enough to earn a bye in the first round of the Red Doubles.
On the second day, Bjerrehus and Koontz joined forces to win their two matches. They then went on to defeat Albert Wagner and Alex Gornet of Louisville 8-2 to win in the finals.
“The first matches were both a little tight, and in the finals we played pretty well. It’s good beating top-quality opponents. And playing quality tennis is always a good feeling,” Koontz said.
Both Bjerrehus and Contini would go on to play in their respective flight finals. Awaiting Contini was Ronnie Schneider, a talented freshman from North Carolina. Schneider won the first set, but Contini battled back, winning the second 6-4. The Tar Heel responded and won the final set 6-3.
On the other hand, Bjerrehus won the Orange flight final due to the injury of Virginia’s Luca Corinteli, which forced him to retire.
The Hokies took this week to prepare for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Championships.
When asked about the preparation, Thompson said, “We wouldn’t prepare any different than any other tournament. The guys work really hard.”
The team will head to the University of Tulsa’s Michael D. Case Tennis Center for pre-qualifying on Sept. 28 and 29, which will feature Joao Monteiro in singles.
Andreas Bjerrehus and Hunter Koontz will participate in qualifying held on Sept. 30 through Oct. 2.
“It’s a good opportunity to get tough match play and work on your game," Koontz said. "I’m not expecting to go out and win, but I’m expecting to play my best. It’s a good experience because it’s the first time I’m doing the tournament, and I’m looking forward to it."
Finally, the Main Draw will be played Oct. 3-6.
Here, Amerigo Contini will compete in singles and will also team up with Andreas Bjerrehus in doubles. The combination is currently ranked 17th by the ITA.
“They’re both playing really well. They have high expectations,” Thompson said.
The ITA All-American Championships will feature the top tennis players in the country. But it’s not all about winning and losing — the Hokies are focused on getting better.
“This year we’re going into it with a different mindset. There’s a lot of opportunity in the tournament. There’s the opportunity to get better, to try to play their best, and to face great competition,” Thompson said. “I think all of our guys are capable of beating any of those players on a given day. To perform at the highest level, that’s the goal.”