©Colette Lewis 2007--
It doesn't get any closer than Virginia's 4-3 quarterfinal win over Ole Miss Saturday at the ITA Men's Team Indoor. The doubles point went to Virginia in a tiebreak in the third and deciding match, and when Ole Miss brought themselves even at 3-3, some four hours later, it came down to a tiebreak in the third set of No. 6 singles.
Freshman Lee Singer was the hero for the Cavaliers, battling from a set down to defeat Jakob Klaeson 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5), to advance the No. 4 seeds to the semifinals on Sunday.
"I was really impressed with Lee," said Virginia head coach Brian Boland, "It was the second time he's been last on this year; he clinched our 4-3 win at VCU too. He did a great job handling the situation, especially after having those match points."
At 4-5 in the third, Klaeson serving, Singer had three opportunities to end the match, but Klaeson held him off each time. A junior from Sweden, Klaeson is vocal and animated, even by college tennis standards, and despite being three hours into his match with Singer, he kept himself pumped up with yells of "Go Rebs" and energetic, side-winding fist pumps.
When at 4-3 in the final tiebreak, Singer serving, Klaeson hit two consecutive forehand winners, giving himself a chance serve it out and give his team the win. But the Californian responded with a winner of his own on a backhand return of a second serve, and when Klaeson hit a forehand just wide on the next point, it was Singer with the match on his racquet.
With the entire crowd of spectators at the Midtown Tennis Club craning to see the far court's dramatics, Singer hit a dangerously short ball that Klaeson netted. Singer's teammates streamed on the court to celebrate, as their glum Mississippi counterparts looked on.
But despite the jubilation, there was a sobering note for the Cavaliers. Junior Ted Angelinos suffered an ankle injury at 4-4 in the third set of his match at No. 5 with Karl Norberg. Although the right ankle was taped and he continued to play, pain etched his face on every shot and even hobbling to a collect a stray ball was a chore. Norberg eventually closed him out 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 for Ole Miss's third point, and both moved to the scene of the dramatic final match.
Angelinos left the club on crutches and Boland said he would be taken to a hospital for x-rays.
Ole Miss got its first point at No. 4 when Robby Poole defeated Houston Barrick 7-6 (5), 6-3, but that was the only two-set match of the six. Virginia's No. 1, Somdev Devvarman, eked by Erling Tveit 7-6 (2), 0-6, 6-4 and their No. 2, Treat Huey, came from behind in the third set to defeat Eric Claesson 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. And at No. 3 Matthias Wellerman of Ole Miss got by Dominic Inglot 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4.
"It was just a great college tennis match," said Boland. "if you didn't enjoy that, you're something wrong with you. Ole Miss is a great team and really played well."
The other early quarterfinal match saw top seed and defending champion Georgia shut out 2006 Team Indoor finalist Pepperdine 4-0.
For complete details, see the tournament website.
Saturday, February 17, 2007