Virginia Defeats No. 15 Illinois 6-1 in Home Opener
CHARLOTTESVILLE The No. 5 Virginia men’s tennis team opened its 2009 home schedule with a 6-1 win over No. 15 Illinois Friday night before a crowd of 649 at the Boyd Tinsley Courts at the Boar’s Head Sports Club. The Cavaliers improve to 2-0 with the win, while the Fighting Illini (3-1) suffered their first loss.
“I was really pleased with the overall performance tonight,” said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. “We are ahead of schedule from where I thought we would be this early in the season. The hard work we put in during the first few weeks of practice has paid off thus far.”
Virginia opened the match by sweeping the doubles contests. The Cavaliers got an early win at No. 3, where Drew Courtney (Clifton, Va.) and Lee Singer (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) topped Marc Spicijaric and Brian Livingston 8-5. The Cavaliers clinched the opening point at the No. 2 position as Dominic Inglot (London, England) and Michael Shabaz (Fairfax, Va.) won in a tiebreaker against Dennis Nevolo and Ruan Roelofse. At No. 1, Houston Barrick (Brentwood, Tenn.) and Sanam Singh (Chandigarh, India) completed the sweep with an 8-5 win over Billy Heiser and Marek Czerwinski.
The Cavaliers used the momentum of doubles, along with the excitement of the jersey retirement ceremony for former Cavalier great Somdev Devvarman at intermission, to get off to a fast start in singles. Virginia won all six first sets and quickly completed three wins to clinch the dual match. At No. 1 singles, No. 43 Inglot downed No. 23 Roy Kalmanovich 6-1, 6-4 to make the score 2-0. Singh cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 win over Spicijaric at No. 3 singles to make the lead 3-0. Barrick then clinched the win with his 6-4, 6-1 win over Roelofse at the No. 4 position. Singer’s win at No. 6 singles over Heiser, 7-6, 6-4, made the score 5-0 before the Illini got their lone point of the night as Czerwinski rallied to defeat Courtney in a superbreaker at No. 5 singles. Shabaz closed out the match with a three-set win over Nevolo at No. 2 singles to make the final score 6-1.
“Illinois is an outstanding team and they pushed us tonight,” said Boland. “We played well when we needed to and the final score is not indicative of how much this was a battle.”
The Cavaliers continue their homestand Sunday as they host No. 30 Notre Dame at the Boyd Tinsley Courts. Match time is noon and admission is free.
No. 5 Virginia 6, No. 15 Illinois 1
1. #3 Singh/Barrick (UVa) def. Czerwinski/Heiser (Ill) 8-5
2. #27 Inglot/Shabaz (UVa) def. Nevolo/Roelofse (Ill) 9-8(3)
3. Singer/Courtney (UVa) def. Spicijaric/Livingston (Ill) 8-5
1. #43 Dominic Inglot (UVa) def. #23 Roy Kalmanovich (Ill) 6-1, 6-4
2. #11 Michael Shabaz (UVa) def. #41 Dennis Nevolo (Ill) 6-3, 6-7(9), 6-4
3. #24 Sanam Singh (UVa) def. #101 Marc Spicijaric (Ill) 6-2, 6-1
4. #68 Houston Barrick (UVa) def. Ruan Roelofse (Ill) 6-4, 6-1
5. Marek Czerwinski (Ill) def. #108 Drew Courtney (UVa) 2-6, 7-6(4), 10-5
6. #109 Lee Singer (UVa) def. Billy Heiser (Ill) 7-6(5), 6-4
Order of Finish