Feb. 17, 2013
SEATTLE - The top-ranked Virginia men's tennis team reached the semifinals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships for the seventh consecutive year with a 4-0 win over No. 9 Duke Saturday at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. The Cavaliers (4-0) will meet No. 4 Ohio State on Sunday afternoon for a spot in Monday's final.
"Give credit to Duke, they are a great team and certainly came ready to play tonight," said head coach Brian Boland. "I was really pleased with how we played at No. 1 doubles and winning the doubles point gave us a lot of momentum. We had a few rough spots in singles and we were pushed, but it was good to see the guys battle through it. We now have to get ready for a tough Ohio State team tomorrow."
The Cavaliers took a 1-0 lead after rallying to win the doubles point. Duke took an early edge when Michael Redlicki and Jason Tahir defeated Justin Shane (Falls Church, Va.) and Julen Uriguen (Guatemala City, Guatemala) 8-3 at the No. 2 position. Virginia pulled even as Alex Domijan (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) and Mitchell Frank (Annandale, Va.) downed Fred Saba and Chris Mengel 8-5 at No. 3. The opening point came down to a matchup at No. 1 between two of the nation's top four ranked teams. Fourth-ranked Jarmere Jenkins (College Park, Ga.) and Mac Styslinger (Birmingham, Ala.) topped second-ranked Henrique Cunha and Raphael Hemmeler 8-6 to give Virginia the first point of the match.
In singles, the Cavaliers and Blue Devils had a close battle with four of the six matches going to a third set. In the one match that ended in straight sets, Domijan cruised to a 6-3, 6-1 win over Redlicki at No. 2 to make the score 2-0. Justin Shane increased the lead to 3-0 with his 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 win at No. 6 over Bruno Semenzato. Jenkins clinched the match with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 victory at No. 1 over Saba.
The match marked the first time Virginia had met a fellow ACC team in the tournament. The victory extended the Cavaliers' conference record to 93 consecutive wins over ACC opponents.
"We entered the tournament without a lot of matches, so it was good to have a match where we faced some adversity and came through it," added Boland. "The guys are so focused and I was confident that we were going to get the job done."
The Cavaliers will play Ohio State at 2:30 p.m. PT (5:30 p.m.) in the second semifinal of the day. It is a rematch of last year's semifinal when the Buckeyes upset the Cavaliers and snapped their four-year NTI Championship streak. No. 2 USC and No. 3 UCLA meet in the first semifinal at 11:00 a.m. PT.
#1 VIRGINIA 4, #9 DUKE 0
1. #4 Jenkins/Styslinger (UVa) def. #2 Cunha/Hemmeler (Duke) 8-6
2. #18 Redlicki/Tahir (Duke) def. #15 J.Shane/J.Uriguen (UVa) 8-3
3. Domijan/Frank (UVa) def. #33 Saba/Mengel (Duke) 8-5
1. #7 Jarmere Jenkins (UVa) def. #31 Fred Saba (Duke) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
2. #1 Alex Domijan (UVa) def. #15 Michael Redlicki (Duke) 6-3, 6-1
3. Mitchell Frank (UVa) led #53 Chris Mengel (Duke) 7-6(0), 4-4 DNF
4. #57 Raphael Hemmeler (Duke) led #5 Mac Styslinger (UVa) 6-3, 4-6, 4-2 DNF
5. #25 Ryan Shane (UVa) led Jason Tahir (Duke) 4-6, 6-3, 4-2 DNF
6. Justin Shane (UVa) def. Bruno Semenzato (Duke) 6-1, 3-6, 6-1
Order of Finish:
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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