With a 4-2 win over Ohio State in the NCAA Tournament semi-finals, the Virginia men's tennis team continued a season for the ages by earning a place in the tourney's championship match. The final, which takes place on Tuesday, will be a battle of heavyweights, as the top-ranked and undefeated Cavaliers will face two-time defending champions USC.
Early in the match against Ohio State, it appeared that UVa was in for another epic struggle (after the razor-tight match against Stanford in the quarters). The Buckeyes took the doubles point, but Virginia rebounded by capturing four of the first six sets in singles. The Hoos captured their first point at #2 singles, when Alex Domijan routed the #10-ranked player in the country (Chase Buchanan), 6-2, 6-2. Shortly thereafter, Virginia took the lead when Michael Shabaz defeated #4-ranked Biaz Rola in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, in the #1 singles match.
Ohio State briefly tied the match with a victory at #5 singles, before Jarmere Jenkins and Sanam Singh each won three-set matches at #4 and #3 singles, respectively, to finish out the contest and send Virginia to the finals.
"I am really proud of the team today," said head coach Brian Boland. "We overcame the adversity of losing the doubles point. I was proud of how we came out in singles and refocused on the match. Ohio State is a great team and we have had a lot of great battles with them in recent years. I am happy that we were able to pull through and have a chance to play for a championship tomorrow."
Surprisingly, UVa will be the first ACC school to compete in the NCAA Men's Tennis Championship match. The Hoos have their work cut out for them; Virginia has been knocked out of the NCAA tourney by Southern Cal in each of the last two years. You can watch the championship match at 3pm ET on Tuesday, on ESPNU.
Full results below the fold.
#1 Virginia 4, #4 Ohio State 2
1. #2 Courtney/Shabaz (UVa) vs. #21 Allare/Kobelt (OSU) 8-8 (3-3) DNF
2. Buchanan/Uzawa (OSU) def. Jenkins/Uriguen (UVa) 8-6
3. Rola/Novak (OSU) def. Domijan/Singh (UVa) 8-6
1. #5 Michael Shabaz (UVa) def. #4 Blaz Rola (OSU) 6-4, 6-4
2. #2 Alex Domijan (UVa) def. #10 Chase Buchanan (OSU) 6-2, 6-2
3. #34 Sanam Singh (UVa) def. #107 Ille Van Engelen (OSU) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
4. #56 Jarmere Jenkins (UVa) def. #50 Matt Allare (OSU) 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-2
5. #65 Devin McCarthy (OSU) def. Justin Shane (UVa) 2-6, 6-4, 6-3
6. Julen Uriguen (UVa) led #111 Balazs Novak (OSU) 4-6, 6-4, 2-1 DNF
Order of Finish