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April 23, 2011
CARY, N.C. - Top-ranked and top-seeded Virginia seeks to make history in the Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Tennis Championship, and only third-seeded Duke stands in the Cavaliers' way.
Those are the two teams that remain standing and will meet in Sunday's 11 a.m. ACC title match at Cary Tennis Park.
Virginia will try to become the first school to win five consecutive ACC Championships since the tournament went to its current format in 1986. Duke, ranked 13th nationally, will be bidding for its 12th ACC championship and its first since 2006.
Sunday's championship will be a rematch of last year's title match, which Virginia won by a 4-2 score.
Saturday's semifinal action saw the Cavaliers put away fifth-seeded Georgia Tech by a 4-0 score, while the Blue Devils handled second-seeded North Carolina by a surprising 4-0 margin. The Tar Heels had edged Duke 4-3 in the regular-season meeting between the teams on April 13.
Virginia (28-0), seeking its seventh ACC title in eight years, grabbed the doubles point from Georgia Tech, then put the match away with straight-set wins by Sanam Singh (No. 3). Jarmere Jenkins (No. 4) and Julen Uriguen (No. 6). Singh provided the clinching points with his 6-4, 6-3 victory over Eliot Potvin. The singles win was the 138th of Singh's career, second on Virginia's all-time list to Somdev Devvarman's 158.
The Cavaliers, who wrapped up Saturday's match in two hours and 15 minutes, posted their76th straight win against ACC opposition. Virginia is now 23-3 all-time in the ACC Championship under ninth-year head coach Brian Boland, and owns a 15-1 all-time record in matches played at the Cary Tennis Center.
Georgia Tech (19-5) suffered its second loss to the Cavaliers in a week after dropping a 6-1 decision at Charlottesville in the regular-season finale for both teams on April 16. The Yellow Jackets, who hold the No. 16 spot in the latest ITA national rankings, remain hopeful of a solid seeding in the NCAA field when the postseason field is announced May 3.
Duke (20-8) set the tone against 15th-ranked North Carolina by capturing the doubles point. The decisive match came on the No. 2 court, where Chris Mengel and David Holland bested Brennan Boyajian and Cameron Ahari in a grueling 9-8 (8-6) match.
The Blue Devils then dominated singles play, clinching the match via straight-set singles wins from Reid Carleton at No. 2, Mengel at No. 3 and Fred Saba at No. 4. Carleton's 6-2, 6-3 victory over Boyajian on the No. 2 court gave Duke the decisive fourth point.
The singles win was the 100th of Carleton's career, making him the 10th player in school history to win 100 singles matches. Carleton and Henrique Cunha also won at No. 1 doubles on Saturday. That left the pair with 75 doubles wins over the past two seasons, tying the school record held by Peter Ayers and Rob Chess.