May 24, 2013
URBANA, Ill. - The Virginia men's tennis team picked up a pair of victories on day three of the NCAA Individual Championships at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Center. Jarmere Jenkins (College Park, Ga.) advanced to the singles quarterfinals and paired with Mac Styslinger (Birmingham, Ala.) to reach the doubles quarterfinals.
Jenkins becomes the fourth Cavalier to reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA Singles Championship and the NCAA Doubles Championship in the same year. He joins Brian Vahaly (2001), Somdev Devvarman (2007) and Michael Shabaz (2010).
Jenkins, the singles tournament's No. 3 seed, advanced to the quarterfinals with a thrilling 7-6(8), 2-6, 6-4 victory over No. 9-16 seed Ray Sarmiento of USC in a match that took nearly three hours to complete. With his victory, a Cavalier has reached the quarterfinals of the tournament for the eighth consecutive year, extending a modern era record (since 1977). The previous record was six straight years with a quarterfinalist, set by USC (1993-98) and matched by Stanford (1997-2002).
Jenkins went up a break in the first set only to see Sarmiento break back as he served for the set at 5-4. The opening set went to a tiebreaker and Jenkins raced out to a 4-0 lead. Sarmiento won six of the next seven points to have a set point at 6-5. However, neither player could win a point on their serve until Jenkins held at 9-8 to close out the 10-8 tiebreaker victory.
After Jenkins took a 2-1 lead, on serve, in the second set, Sarmiento won five straight games to win the set and force a third set. Jenkins broke to go up 2-0 in the third only to have Sarmiento win the next three games to go up a break himself. Jenkins broke back in the next game for 3-3. With Jenkins serving at 4-4, he saved two break points at 15-40 before holding to take a 5-4 lead. He then broke Sarmiento in the next game to close out the three-set victory.
Jenkins will play unseeded Soren Hess-Olesen of Texas in the quarterfinals. Jenkins defeated Hess-Olesen 6-3, 6-1 during a dual match in Austin in March.
"To be in the quarterfinals of both singles and doubles, especially after winning the team title, it is a tribute to all of the tough conditioning we have done all season," said Jenkins. "Sarmiento played really well today. We played a high-level tiebreaker in the first set and then he turned up the level in the second set. He was able to play even better in the third, but I was able to weather the storm and it worked out for me."
In doubles, Jenkins and Styslinger rallied from dropping the first set for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Malte Stropp and Jordan Angus of Mississippi State. The Cavalier pair led 4-1 in the first set before the MSU team won five straight games to take the first set. Jenkins and Styslinger held the rest of the match and used one break in both the second and third sets to post the three-set victory.
"Mac helped me a lot because I was pretty beat up from singles," said Jenkins. "He made some crucial shots when we needed them. I'm a little sore here and there, but I'm getting in ice baths and taking care of the body. Just doing the same thing I've been doing for the past week and half. I should be fine and good to go."
Jenkins and Styslinger will play Bob van Overbeek and Stephane Piro of Florida in the quarterfinals.
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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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