May 19, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE -- For the UVa men's tennis team, which is two victories from its first NCAA title, Sunday was a time for practice and, equally important, for rest and recovery.
The Cavaliers worked out for 90 minutes in Urbana, Ill., site of the final four rounds of the NCAA team championships. The plan for the rest of the day, Virginia coach Brian Boland said by phone after practice, was to "relax, have a great team meal and make sure the guys get the things they need in terms of massages and scouting reports. You try not to overthink it. They simply need to rest their bodies and minds."
Unbeaten UVa blanked Tennessee 4-0 on Saturday afternoon to advance to the NCAA semifinals for the fourth straight year and sixth time in seven seasons.
The Wahoos were NCAA runners-up in 2011 and '12. A year ago, during their run to the championship match in Athens, Ga., the `Hoos never met host Georgia. Twelve months later, the Cavaliers will take on the Bulldogs some 650 miles from Athens, at the University of Illinois' Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex.
No. 2 seeded Virginia (28-0) faces third-seeded Georgia (26-4) on Monday at 2 p.m. The other semifinal matches top-seeded UCLA (28-1) and No. 5 seed Ohio State (35-2). The NCAA final is scheduled to start Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern.
Georgia, in its quarterfinal Saturday against Pepperdine, dropped the doubles point before rallying to win the match 4-2. This is the Bulldogs' sixth trip to the NCAA semifinals in eight seasons, but this is not the team they expected to have in Urbana.
Three days before the start of the NCAA tournament, Georgia's No. 1 player, senior KU Singh, quit the team. Still, Boland said Sunday, he knew the Bulldogs were deep, and he understands the challenge facing his team in the semifinals.
"We've had some great matches against them over the years," Boland said.
Georgia has been crowned NCAA champion six times -- in 1985, 1987, 1999, 2001, 2007 and 2008. En route to its two most recent titles, Georgia ousted UVa in the semifinals.
The Bulldogs lead the series 14-2. The Cavaliers' victories came in 2009 and '10, in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
Virginia hasn't faced Georgia since that 2010 match. Still, UVa's stay in Athens last year helped Boland's players "understand how great [the Bulldogs'] fans are and how much they appreciate their play," Mitchell Frank said by phone Sunday.
Frank, a sophomore, plays No. 3 singles and, with junior Alex Domijan, No. 2 doubles for the `Hoos.
Against Tennessee, Frank was leading Brandon Fickey 6-3, 5-5 when UVa clinched the match. Earlier, Frank and Domijan had been tied 6-6 with Fickey and Jarryd Chaplin when the Cavaliers won the doubles point for the 26th time this season.
Having Sunday off, Frank said, gave the 'Hoos a "day to get fully focused on playing Georgia. I think we're the most physically fit team here, so it doesn't matter to us if we play today or tomorrow, but it's nice to have another day to mentally prepare.
"When you're in the NCAA tournament, especially at this stage, every match is going to be tough. It's a few points here or there. At this stage of the season it's so little about the actual tennis, it's about how you handle the pressure and deal with the nerves."
At his second NCAA tourney, Frank feels more like a veteran.
"I know a little bit more what to expect," he said. "Last year it was great. I was very, very excited for every match. Sometimes I think I was a little too excited, and it showed. I got off to slow starts, I was on such an adrenaline high.
"This year I feel like I've been able to handle the emotions. It's a very stressful time, but obviously it's also exciting."
Hall Continues to Elevate His GameMen's Basketball12/16/17On an afternoon when fellow guards Nigel Johnson and Kyle Guy also shined for No. 16 Virginia, Devon Hall scored a career-high 20 points and added five rebounds and five assists.Diakite's Impact Growing for CavaliersMen's Basketball12/15/17Redshirt sophomore Mamadi Diakite has been a positive presence around the basket for No. 16 Virginia, which hosts Davidson on Saturday afternoon at JPJ.Welsh Connection Adds to Bowl StorylinesFootball12/14/17Virginia (6-6) meets Navy (6-6) in the Military Bowl, Dec. 28 in Annapolis, Md. George Welsh is a former head coach of each team.
Director of News Content
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.
Thai-Son Kwiatkowski Named a NCAA Top 10 Recipient
M. Tennis | 12/7/2017
Former Virginia men’s tennis player Thai-Son Kwiatkowski was named one of the NCAA’s ...
Virginia Men's Tennis Visits the White House
M. Tennis | 11/17/2017
The Virginia men's tennis team was honored on Collegiate National Champions Day at the White...
Virginia Men's Tennis Signs Three Recruits
M. Tennis | 11/15/2017
Ryan Goetz, William Woodall and Gianni Ross have signed National Letters of Intent to join the...
Carl Söderlund Competing at Bluewater Bay Futures
M. Tennis | 11/7/2017
Sophomore Carl Söderlund competed in the main singles draw of the USTA Futures tournament in...
Virginia Finishes Fall Season at Georgia Tech Invite
M. Tennis | 11/5/2017
The Virginia men's tennis team wrapped up the fall schedule with five players competing this...
Day II at Georgia Tech Invitational
M. Tennis | 11/4/2017
Matthew Lord and Ammar Alhaqbani each won a pair of singles matches in Saturday's action at the...
Lizen Falls in the Oracle ITA Championship Round of 16
M. Tennis | 11/03/2017
Aswin Lizen's run at the Oracle ITA Fall Championships came to an end in the Round of 16. He...
Day I at Georgia Tech Invitational
M. Tennis | 11/03/2017
Matthew Lord and Jefferson Dockter picked up singles victories on Friday at the Georgia Tech...
- Online Stores