Cavaliers Rally for 4-3 Win Over UCLA in National Indoor Quarterfinals
SEATTLE The Virginia men’s tennis team reached the semifinals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships for the third time in the past four seasons with a thrilling 4-3 come-from-behind win over UCLA Saturday at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. The win improves the Cavaliers’ record to 9-0 on the season, the best start in school history.
“This is a great win for us,” said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. “I thought we came out with a lot of energy and effort in doubles, but UCLA played extremely well and took the opening point. From that point on, I was so proud of how we were able to dig deep, especially when we had our backs against the wall trailing 3-1. I know we can play a lot better, but we are still growing as a team. It is a long season, but you only get better by playing the best teams and UCLA is right up there.”
The Bruins took the opening point by winning at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. The top-ranked Cavalier duo of Somdev Devvarman (Chennai, India) and Treat Huey (Alexandria, Va.) downed Nick Meister and Harel Srugo 8-5 at No. 1 doubles. The Bruins drew even as Jeremy Drean and Michael Look defeated Houston Barrick (Brentwood, Tenn.) and Michael Shabaz (Fairfax, Va.) 8-5 at No. 3 doubles. At No. 2 doubles, Mathieu Dehaine and Holden Seguso clinched the doubles point for UCLA with an 8-4 win over Ted Angelinos (Athens, Greece) and Lee Singer (Laguna Niguel, Calif.).
In singles, Virginia tied the match at 1-1 as Sanam Singh (Chandigarh, India) topped Look 6-1, 6-3 at the No. 4 position. With the victory, Singh improved to 9-0 in dual match singles play this season. UCLA would answer with a pair of wins to retake the lead, 3-1. Drean topped Barrick 7-5, 6-4 at No. 5 singles and Seguso defeated Huey in three sets at No. 3 singles.
At No. 2 singles, Dominic Inglot (London, England), playing his first singles match in three weeks, returned to the lineup with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 win over Dehaine at No. 2 singles. Angelinos tied the match as he completed a 7-5, 6-4 win over Meister at No. 6 singles.
“Dom Inglot is a tough kid,” said Boland. “He has just improved so much in the past few months. Even in the past three weeks when he couldn’t be on the courts as much as he would like, he did the things to keep his body and mind sharp. All those extra runs paid off today.”
The match would be decided at No. 1 singles, in a matchup with a lot of history. Devvarman faced Srugo, who transferred to UCLA from Old Dominion, where he played his first three seasons. Last season, the two met twice with Devvarman winning both matches.
The first matchup between the players this season began with Srugo winning the first set 7-6. Devvarman answered by taking the second set 6-3. In the final set, the players remained on serve with Devvarman serving at 3-4. In that game, Devvarman fell behind 15-40 but fought off two break points against him and held serve to even the set at 4-4. In the next game, he used the momentum from his service hold to break Srugo and put the match on his racquet at 5-4. Devvarman served out the match and gave the Cavaliers the 4-3 dual match victory.
“When I was on the bench in that final match, I thought to myself, If it is going to be 3-3 and come down to one match, this is the guy I want out there for us’”, said Boland of Devvarman. “He is one of, if not the most, mentally tough players I have ever coached. He knows how to keep his composure and rises to take advantage of the opportunity in front of him.”
The Cavaliers start the season 9-0 for the first time in school history. Virginia opened both the 2005 and 2007 seasons with 8-0 records.
The Cavaliers will meet No. 5 Mississippi in the semifinals on Sunday. The Rebels topped Oklahoma State 4-0 on Saturday in their quarterfinal matchup. The teams have met just twice before, both at the National Team Indoors. In 2005, the Cavaliers scored a 4-1 win over Ole Miss in the semifinals and last year topped the Rebels 4-3 in the quarterfinals. Sunday’s semifinal match is slated for 11 a.m. (PT) at the Nordstrom Tennis Center.
No. 1 Virginia 4, No. 8 UCLA 3
1. #1 Devvarman/Huey (UVa) def. Meister/Srugo (UCLA) 8-5
2. Dehaine/Seguso (UCLA def. #17 Angelinos/Singer (UVa) 8-4
3. Drean/Look (UCLA) def. Barrick/Shabaz (UVa) 8-5
1. #1 Somdev Devvarman (UVa) def. Harel Srugo (UCLA) 6-7, 6-3, 6-4
2. #3 Dominic Inglot (UVa) def. #32 Mathieu Dehaine (UCLA) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6
3. Holden Seguso (UCLA) def. #12 Treat Huey (UVa) 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
4. Sanam Singh (UVa) def. Michael Look (UCLA) 6-1, 6-3
5. Jeremy Drean (UCLA) def. #83 Houston Barrick (UVa) 7-5, 6-4
6. Ted Angelinos (UVa) def. Nick Meister (UCLA) 7-5, 6-4
Order of Finish: Doubles- 1,3,2 Singles- 4,5,3,2,6,1
Records: Virginia (9-0), UCLA (6-1)