May 22, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The No. 8 seeded Virginia men’s tennis team had its 2006 season come to a close Sunday night with a 4-0 loss to No. 1 Georgia in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. The match, initially scheduled to be played at the Taube Tennis Center on the campus of Stanford University was moved 35 miles north to the indoor courts at the San Francisco Tennis Club due to rain.
Georgia (28-0) opened the match by taking the doubles point. The team of Colin Purcell and Ricardo Gonzalez defeated Doug Stewart (Malibu, Calif.) and Darrin Cohen (Lafayette, Calif.) 8-4 at No. 3 doubles. The Bulldogs clinched the opening point as Luis Flores and Matic Omerzel topped Somdev Devvarman (Chennai, India) and Treat Huey (Alexandria, Va.) 8-5 at the No. 2 position. In the suspended match at No. 1 doubles, Rylan Rizza (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) and Nick Meythaler (Owensboro, Ky.) led 6-5 over John Isner and Antonio Ruiz, the 2005 NCAA Doubles Champions.
Singles play began with the matches at No. 1-4 due to the court availability at the San Francisco Tennis Club. The Bulldogs extended their lead to 2-0 as Omerzel defeated Huey 6-1, 6-4 at No. 4 singles. That lead became 3-0 as Flores rallied from dropping the first set to win in three sets against Rizza at No. 2 singles. The decisive point for Georgia came at No. 1 singles, where Devvarman and Isner both held serve in every game of the match, but Isner won both the first and second set tiebreakers for the victory. In the abandoned matches, Stewart led Ruiz 4-2 in the third set, while the matches at No. 5 and No. 6 were still in the first set due to starting late once courts were available.
“I was pleased with our effort tonight,” said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. “We got caught in a bad situation tonight, as it is always tough to play the national indoor champion inside. Congratulations to Georgia on playing a great match. They have proven all season long that they are a tough team to beat, and they were the better team tonight. I think it is a shame for college tennis when the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament get moved inside, since this championship is designed to be played outdoors. Unfortunately mother nature didn’t cooperate today, and we didn’t rise to level we needed to win.”
The loss closes out the Cavaliers’ record at 24-9 this season. Four Cavaliers will remain in California for the NCAA Individual Championships later this week. Rizza and Meythaler will compete in the NCAA Doubles Championship. Devvarman and Rizza will compete in the NCAA Singles Championship, while Huey could also make the singles field after being named an alternate.
No. 1 Georgia 4, No. 8 Virginia 0
1) #7 Rizza/Meythaler (UVa) led #9 Isner/Ruiz (UGA) 6-5 DNF
2) #50 Flores/Omerzel (UGA) def. Huey/Devvarman (UVa) 8-5
3. Purcell/Gonzalez (UGA) def. Cohen/Stewart (UVa) 8-4
1. #2 John Isner (UGA) def. #14 Somdev Devvarman (UVa) 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4)
2. #19 Luis Flores (UGA) def. #54 Rylan Rizza (UVa) 3-6, 6-4, 6-0
3. #95 Doug Stewart (UVa) led Antonio Ruiz (UGA) 4-6, 6-4, 4-2 DNF
4. #64 Matic Omerzel (UGA) def. #63 Treat Huey (UVa) 6-1, 6-4
5. Colin Purcell (UGA) led Marko Miklo (UVa) 5-4 DNF
6. Darrin Cohen (UVa) led Ricardo Gonzalez (UGA) 4-3 DNF