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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Virginia Earns Return Trip to Indoor Team Final with Shutout of Tennessee

©Colette Lewis 2009--
Chicago IL--

The defending team indoor champions will meet the 2007 indoor champions on Monday, after the No. 5 Virginia Cavaliers breezed past No. 8 Tennessee 4-0, in a rare tournament shutout.

Virginia came out strong in the doubles, going up a break on all three courts, and took the No. 3 and No. 2 matches for the point.

While the Illinois and Baylor consolation match was given the preferred courts due to the home state crowds anticipated, Virginia and Tennessee played on the less spectator friendly courts, including Nos 13 and 14, which are only accessible by walking through the center of the four front courts. But tucked back out of view, Cavalier freshmen Steven Rooda and Drew Courtney at Nos. 5 and 6 respectively, helped Virginia dominate the singles. Courtney was finished first, with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Matt Brewer, and Rooda followed soon after with a 6-2, 6-2 over Volunteer freshman Christian Hansen.

On the front four courts, the action was more even, with Tennessee up a set at No. 1 and No. 4, but Virginia's Sanam Singh, at No. 2, was so dominate against Boris Conkic that the fourth point seemed inevitable. Showing off his tremendous speed, Singh couldn't miss in the first set, and won nearly every big point in the second on his way to a much less dramatic clinching win than he enjoyed Saturday evening against UCLA. Singh beat Conkic 6-1, 6-3 to set up the match between the past two Indoor champions.

Two years ago, Virginia had a great chance to reach the finals when they were up a set in five of the six singles against Georgia in the semifinals, but Georgia came back to record a 4-2 win. The Cavaliers have also lost the Bulldogs in the last three NCAAs, the most painful loss coming in last year's semifinal, when Virginia was undefeated before losing to Georgia 4-3 when Jamie Hunt defeated a cramping Singh at No. 4 singles. The two will be playing each other again, with similarly high stakes, at No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles, and Virginia head coach Brian Boland wouldn't have it any other way.

"We're really excited, wouldn't want it any other way," Boland said, no doubt considering Georgia his team's nemesis. "We've lost to them in the NCAAs three years in a row and we've only lost about five matches in three years. But with that being said, they've all been extremely competitive matches, most recently in May, when it came down to an unfortunate situation, but with all that being said, it's been fun. It's great for both teams and we're looking forward to it, are really excited about it. We're playing well right now and are looking forward to playing another great team."

Georgia can claim both men's and women's Indoor titles on Monday, as the women's team has also advanced to the final in Madison, Wisc., with a 4-2 win over No. 2 Cal. They will play top seeded Northwestern, who beat Notre Dame 4-1 to reach the finals for the second consecutive year.

For complete women's results, see the ITA tournament page.

For complete men's scores, see the ITA results page.


Joe said...

Hoos 4-1

Hoos take doubles, 4, 5, 6

Dawgs take 1

2 and 3 DNF

If Bernstein beats Rooda, could be 4-3 either way, but I'd guess either Singh or Shabaz (who are both undefeated this season) would get a win between them.

Austin said...

Well I said before it started this tournament would be a crapshoot and thats exactly what its been. The same teams rising to the top again. I like UVA to win today. If UGA can get the dubs point it could be interesting, but if they cant I dont think they can win 4 of 6 singles matches. Will be a great match regardless.

Colette Lewis said...

Congratulations on your prediction; I'd love to have your crystal ball for the NCAAs. You were 100% correct, which is pretty scary. I think everybody on the site will sit up and take notice when you post again on college tennis!

Stephen said...

Joe, you really messed with my mind. I thought that you posted results and that the "live scoring" was just way behind.

Joe said...

Yeah, the day that college tennis takes the NFL's spot as the #1 betting sport, I am going to be in business! It also helps that the school you support ends up winning.

A little early for NCAA predictions; as one poster pointed out, Virginia hasn't played outside yet. They go to Texas fairly soon, unless it gets warm in c-ville soon, they could drop that match to an outdoor ready UT. They have an interesting team though, their 1,2,3 is good enough to beat some teams and their 4,5,6 is good enough to beat others. They also have a ton of depth, it wouldn't surprise me to see some lineup changes and reordering once the outdoor season starts. Not bad for a rebuilding year.

This Buchannan to OSU thing is interesting, what is his schooling situation? Could he really get cleared that fast? I know it took Shabaz a year to get cleared and Seguso at UCLA took forever as well. If he does get cleared, that's a nice deal. Start up in March, take the end of April and the beginning of May off for the tournament. that would have sure made my first semester in college a lot easier!