The final scene of the horror-thriller "Saw" (yes, spoilers, but it's been 11 years. Give it up, you're not going to watch it) features a man that appeared to be dead the entire movie get up off the floor and literally slam the door on one of the main characters.
That is essentially what Ryan Shane did to Noah Rubin Monday afternoon to win Virginia's third men's singles NCAA tennis title. Rubin weathered a rain delay and change to the indoor venue in the middle of the first set. He put himself in position to win the title with a service break in the second, and had match point serving at 5-4.
Then Shane got up off the floor. He fended off the match point, broke Rubin, and held serve to guarantee at least a tiebreaker for the second set. When Rubin forced the tiebreaker, Shane won enough points off Rubin's serve to grab a 7-4 victory and level the match. Then Shane slammed the door, breaking Rubin three times to win the third set 6-1, and departing Waco with another piece of hardware for the mantle.
While Rubin was seeded #7 in the tournament, and Shane #8, the two came into college tennis from very different backstories. Shane was a Top 10 recruit, sure, but he committed to a school with several #1 national recruits on the roster. Shane was not even the most highly regarded recruit in his class at Virginia, an honor that belongs to Mac Styslinger. Rubin, on the other hand, was the #1 recruit in his class, a player who would likely have not played college tennis a decade ago, but rather have turned pro. Rubin's a Wimbledon Champion. Shane was lifted from the UVA lineup in the 2013 NCAA title match against UCLA in favor of his older brother.
And yet, Shane has now chiseled his name in an ever-growing list of Virginia tennis greats. He joins Somdev Devvarman as Virginia's only men's NCAA champions. Add in the other major ITA singles titles and the names are no less impressive: Alex Domijan, Mitchell Frank, and Jarmere Jenkins. When you take into account that Shane and Frank are the only two players in that group to celebrate two team national titles, it's clear to see that by winning yesterday, Shane joins elite company.