Hokies prepare for massive non-conference weekend
BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech men’s tennis is gearing up for a big non-conference weekend with two-header doubles against St. Bonaventure and Wisconsin on Friday, followed by Kentucky and George Mason on Sunday.
The highlight of the weekend will be the Hokies’ 11 a.m. Sunday game against Kentucky. The Wildcats just qualified for the national championship last season and come in as the fifth-ranked team in the nation.
The Hokies are looking to bounce back from a tough game against Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon, 0-5. Despite the tough outing to cap off his first road trip of the season, Tech enters this weekend after his best start to the spring season since 2018 with a 3-1 mark. Heading into this spring, ranked No. 32 in the nation, Ryan Fishback continues to play phenomenal tennis. The Geneva, NY native leads Tech with three team-high singles wins, including a 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 win over No. 91 Younes Lalami at Old Dominion.
WEEKEND DETAILS Date OPPONENT TIME LOCATION LINKS February 3 Saint-Bonaventure 12:30 pm Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center Stats | Video February 3 Davidson 3:30 pm Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center Statistics | Video Feb. 5 #5 Kentucky 11:00 a.m. Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center Stats | Video Feb. 5 George Mason 4:30 p.m. Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center Stats | Video
The Bonnies come to Blacksburg after three defeats having started the season with a convincing 5-2 win over Loyola (MD). Freshman Connor Turner led the way with a 9-6 singles record while anchoring one of the best doubles pairings on the team alongside senior Luke Riemann. St. Bonaventure lost two games last weekend to Cleveland State and Xavier. It was the freshman who showed up for the Bonnies with Archie Graham picking up the lone point against Xavier on Court 1 and Turner picking up his ninth win of the season.
The Wildcats enter this weekend looking for their first win of the season after an 0-2 start that includes losses to DePaul and UIC. Sophomore Nico Pinzon was the only bright spot for the ‘Cats with a 2-0 singles record. After a tough 1-6 loss at the hands of DePaul, the Wildcats showed improvement against UIC with Pinzon and Juan Camilo Perez Gongora each picking up singles wins, but it wasn’t enough in the end as UIC left him. won 4-3.
NO. 5 KENTUCKY
In the weekend’s showpiece game, the fifth-ranked Wildcats come to town with a crushing 6-0 scoreline to start the 2023 spring season. The ‘Cats are coming off a 2022 campaign that saw them compile a 26-8 record en route to a second national finish. Junior Joshua Lapadat returns for the UK after a 30-8 singles record last season, earning him All-SEC Second Team and All-SEC Tournament honours. The native of Ontario, Canada, ranks 14th among singles players in the country this spring. Last weekend, the Wildcats secured their bid for the 2023 ITA Indoor National Championships by defeating Notre Dame, 5-2.
The Patriots travel to Mary Washington on Saturday for their season opener before coming to the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center to face the Hokies. Junior Niza Simunyola is one of the best returning players for the Pats, posting a team record of 11-3 in singles play last season. Sophomore Alvaro Pedraza is entering his second year with the program after a successful freshman campaign producing nine wins in 12 singles matches.