Virginia to battle Duke for ACC Men's Tennis Championship
April 21, 2012
CARY, N.C.- The 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Tennis Championship is set to follow a familiar script. For the third straight year, Virginia will face Duke in the title match.
Top-seeded Virginia (23-1) advanced with a 4-0 shutout of fifth-seeded Florida State in Saturday's semifinal round, while the third-seeded Blue Devils (22-4) scored a 4-2 win over third-seeded North Carolina.
Sunday's championship match is slated for an 11 a.m. start at Cary Tennis Park, though the area forecast calls for heavy rain. Please check for theACC.com or call Cary Tennis Park at 919-462-2061 for possible schedule updates.
Virginia will seek its sixth straight ACC Championship and its eighth in nine years on Sunday. Coach Brian Boland's Cavaliers stretched their conference-record winning streak against ACC opposition to 91 matches with Saturday's victory.
Virginia's last loss to a fellow ACC team came against Duke, a 4-3 decision in the 2006 ACC Championship final. The Cavaliers defeated the Blue Devils by a 4-2 score in the 2010 finals and by a 4-0 count in the finals last year.
The Cavaliers wrapped up their semifinal win over FSU in just a shade over two hours on Saturday, taking the doubles point and then posting straight-sets wins in singles by Drew Courtney at No. 4, Alex Domijan at No. 2 and Justin Shane at No. 5. Shane provided the clinching points with a 6-4, 6-4 decision over the Seminoles' Cristian Gonzalez-Mendez.
Virginia has now recorded five straight 4-0 shutout victories in ACC Championship competition dating back to last year's tournament.
For Duke, Saturday's win over the rival Tar Heels proved doubly sweet. The Blue Devils had dropped a 4-3 decision to UNC in the final week of the regular season, seeing the Tar Heels rally from a 3-1 deficit. The outcome allowed UNC to earn the No. 2 seed in the ACC Championship, as both teams finished with 9-2 conference records.
The Tar Heels clinched the regular-season marathon match when Brennan Boyajian turned back the Blue Devils' Chris Mengel on the No. 2 court. Mengel turned the tables on Saturday, besting Boyajian 7-5, 6-4 to provide Duke with its fourth and deciding point.
The Blue Devils also won the doubles point and saw Henrique Cunha down Jose Hernandez 6-2, 6-4 on the No. 1 court (another reversal from the regular- season match), while Fred Saba defeated Joey Burkhardt 6-1, 6-4.
#1 Virginia 4, #5 Florida State 0
Records: Virginia 23-2; Florida State 18-9
#3 Duke 4, #2 North Carolina 2
Records: Duke 22-4; North Carolina 13-7