Virginia Captures Third Straight ACC Men's Tennis Championship
April 19, 2009
CARY, N.C. – Just in case there were any doubts, top-ranked Virginia put them to rest on Sunday. The Cavaliers clearly have not grown tired of winning Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Tennis Championships.
Keyed by a trio of straight-set singles victories, Virginia cruised to a 4-0 win over third-seeded Wake Forest at Cary Tennis Park to claim its third straight ACC title and its fifth in six years.
The unbeaten Cavaliers (29-0) became the first team in the 24 years of dual match play to sweep three straight matches without losing a point. Virginia defeated eight-seeded North Carolina and fourth-seeded Florida State by 4-0 scores en route to Sunday’s championship match.
“This is tremendously exciting, especially to accomplish this with this group of players,” said Virginia coach Brian Boland, who many thought would face a rebuilding year after losing three key players – including two-time NCAA singles champion Somdev Devavarman and fellow All-American Treat Huey – from last season’s team that posted a 32-1 record and reached the NCAA semifinals.
“But the young men we had coming back didn’t look as those things as losses, they saw them as opportunities to play higher in the lineup,” Boland said. “They worked harder in the off-season, and the results showed that. We have won five of the last six ACC tournaments, but this one is really special.”
After claiming the doubles point behind wins by Sanam Singh and Houston Barrick at No. 2, and Lee Singer and Drew Courtney at No. 2, the Cavaliers took the singles in fairly short order. Tournament MVP Dominic Inglot defeated Wake’s Cory Parr 6-4, 6-3 at No. 1, Singh won in straight sets at No. 2, and Courtney added his straight-set win at No. 5.
Wake Forest, which entered the Championship title match ranked 20th nationally, slipped to 20-9 with the loss. Virginia has now won 45 straight matches against ACC opposition.
“It wasn’t easy today – it’s never easy in this conference,” Boland said. “We had some very tough matches yesterday against Florida State, (and) lost several sets. And there were tough matches out there today.”
Boland feels this year’s team began to hit its stride in mid-February, when the Cavaleirs captured the ITA National Indoors Tournament at Chicago. Virginia moved to the top of the national rankings immediately following that championship and has been ranked No. 1 all but one week since.
“Chicago was really important for us,” Boland said. “We came together as a team and learned a lot about playing in a tournament. I think we are in a good position heading into the NCAA Tournament.”
Virginia, Wake Forest and the rest of the ACC will now look forward April 28 and the announcement of NCAA Tournament selections. Boland believes the ACC could have eight or more teams in the field.
“This is a very deep conference and certainly is up there with the nation’s best,” Boland said. “I haven’t paid a lot of attention to rankings, to be honest. But I would expect our conference a good number of teams selected.”
For more on the 2009 ACC Men’s Tennis Championship, please see the following link: