TULSA, Okla. Top-seeded Virginia advanced to the NCAA Semifinals for the second consecutive year with a 4-2 win over No. 9 Baylor in a quarterfinal match Sunday at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center. The Cavaliers will meet No. 4 Georgia Monday at 5 p.m. CT for a berth Tuesday’s championship match.
“We expected it to be a tremendous match and we got everything we expected,” said head coach Brian Boland. “Baylor played a great match as well. I was pleased with our overall effort and how we battled for the win.”
The Cavaliers (32-0) took the early 1-0 lead by winning the doubles point. Houston Barrick (Brentwood, Tenn.) and Sanam Singh (Chandigarh, India) improved to 4-0 at No. 3 doubles in the tournament with an 8-3 win over Dominik Mueller and Jordan Rux. Somdev Devvarman (Chennai, India) and Treat Huey (Alexandria, Va.) secured the opening point for the Cavaliers with an 8-6 win at No. 1 doubles over David Galic and Denes Lukacs. The win was the duo’s 36th victory of the season, tying the school record set by Devvarman and Huey last season.
“This was one of those matches where I felt like the doubles was important,” said Boland. “I really pleased with how we played at No. 1 and particularly at No. 3. They have been doing a great job for us.”
Virginia extended the lead to 2-0 as Michael Shabaz (Fairfax, Va.) won his eighth consecutive match, topping Attila Bucko 6-2, 6-4 at No. 5 singles. Baylor (25-9) cut the lead in half as Mueller defeated Singh 6-3, 6-4 at the No. 4 position.
Devvarman pushed the Cavalier lead to 3-1 as he dismantled Lars Poerschke, ranked No. 8 nationally, 6-3, 6-2 at the No. 1 position.
“Somdev is playing great tennis,” said Boland. “He has been a team leader for us all year. He continues to go out with enthusiasm and energy and the other guys feed off that. I haven’t seen him play better than this and he has a lot of confidence out there.”
After Lukacs cut the lead to 3-2 with his 6-4, 7-6 (5) win over Huey at No. 2 singles, the match came down to matches at No. 3 and No. 6, both of which went to the third set. At No. 3 singles Dominic Inglot (London, England) rallied from losing the first set against Galic in a tiebreaker to win the second set 6-3. In the final set, both players held serve easily in the first seven games as Inglot took a 4-3 lead. The Cavalier had a pair of break points as Galic served at 3-4 but he was able to hold serve and even the set at 4-4. Inglot again took a 15-40 lead on Galic’s serve at 5-6 to have double-match point. On his first match point, Galic’s second serve hit the net and landed wide to give Inglot and the Cavaliers the win.
“I just tried to stay focused on my match and not what it was going to mean,” said Inglot. “It is tough not to pay attention that you could clinch it. I had full confidence that Teddy (Angelinos) was going to win his match, so that took a lot of pressure off me. I knew that if I focused on every single point and every single game, then I was confident that I would come through for the team.”
Virginia will play Georgia in the semifinals for the second consecutive season. Last year, the top-seeded Bulldogs downed Virginia 4-1 in Athens as they went on to win the NCAA Championship. It will mark the third consecutive season that the teams have met in the NCAA Tournament with the Cavaliers looking for their first ever win against the Bulldogs (0-13 all-time).
No. 1 Virginia 4, No. 9 Baylor 2
1. #1 Devvarman/Huey (UVa) def. Galic/Lukacs (BU) 8-6
2. Bucko/Poerschke (BU) led Shabaz/Inglot (UVa) 7-3 DNF
3. Barrick/Singh (UVa) def. Mueller/Rux (BU) 8-3
1. #1 Somdev Devvarman (UVa) def. #8 Lars Poerschke (BU) 6-3, 6-2
2. 9 Denes Lukacs (BU) def. #28 Treat Huey (UVa) 6-4, 7-6 (5)
3. #17 Dominic Inglot (UVa) def. David Galic (BU) 6-7 (3), 6-3, 7-5
4. #79 Dominik Mueller (BU) def. Sanam Singh (UVa) 6-3, 6-4
5. Michael Shabaz (UVa) def. Attila Bucko (BU) 6-2, 6-4
6. Ted Angelinos (UVa) led Jordan Rux (BU) 7-6 (2), 3-6, 3-2 DNF
Order of Finish: Doubles- 3,1 Singles- 5,4,1,2,3
Records: Virginia (32-0), Baylor (25-9)