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May 22, 2012
Virginia Tops Pepperdine 4-1 to Reach NCAA Final
ATHENS, Ga. - The Virginia men's tennis team advanced to its second consecutive NCAA Tournament final with a 4-1 semifinal victory over No. 7 Pepperdine at the Dan Magill Tennis Center. The Cavaliers (29-1) overcame the Waves (27-7) and the rain, which forced the match to conclude indoors after midnight.
Virginia will meet top-seeded USC (32-1) in Tuesday's final. It is a rematch of last year's championship match, when the Trojans edged the Cavaliers 4-3 to take the title at Stanford. It is the fourth consecutive year the teams have met in the NCAA Tournament, with USC winning in 2009 (quarterfinals), 2010 (semifinals) and 2011 (final) en route to winning three straight NCAA Championships.
Virginia opened the match by taking the doubles point for a 1-0 lead. The Cavaliers took an early edge at the No. 2 position where Julen Uriguen (Guatemala City, Guatemala) and Justin Shane (Falls Church, Va.) jumped out to a 4-0 lead and cruised to an 8-4 victory over Sebastian Fanselow and Jenson Turner. At the No. 3 position, Mitchell Frank (Annandale, Va.) and Alex Domijan (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) were on serve at 4-4 against Hugh Clarke and David Sofaer before the Cavalier duo won the next four games to post an 8-4 victory that clinched the doubles point. The win snapped Clarke and Sofaer's 19-match win streak.
Early in singles play, thunderstorms hit Athens and moved play indoors. Since the Dan Magill Tennis Center only has four indoor courts, both semifinal matches were played on two courts, with play beginning at the top of the lineup.
With No. 1 and No. 2 singles starting first, both matches went to a decisive third set. Domijan posted a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win at No. 2 over Finn Tearney to extend the Cavalier advantage to 2-0. The Waves cut the lead in half as Fanselow edged Jenkins 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 at No. 1. It was the first point allowed by the Cavaliers in the NCAA Tournament this year.
The matches at No. 3 and No. 4 went on next and both went to first set tiebreakers. Frank won his breaker at No. 3 over Alex Llompart and rolled in the second set for a 7-6(3), 6-2 win to extend the advantage to 3-1. At No. 4, Courtney saved three set points to reach the breaker, which he won to take the first set. Just as Frank had done, Courtney went up an early break in the second set and used it to take the set 6-2, clinching the Cavaliers' place in the final.
With the win, the Cavaliers extend their winning streak to 22-consecutive matches, while snapping Pepperdine's 24-match win streak.
The Virginia-USC final will begin at 5 p.m., at the Dan Magill Tennis Center. The match will be broadcast online live at NCAA.com.