CHARLOTTESVILLE – The Virginia men’s tennis team began its quest for a third consecutive ITA National Team Indoor Championship with a 4-0 win over Alabama in a round of 16 match Friday night at the Boyd Tinsley Courts at the Boar’s Head Sports Club. The second-seeded Cavaliers will meet seventh-seeded Georgia in a quarterfinal match Saturday night at 6:30 p.m.
“I am really happy with the performance,” said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. “The first match of any tournament is always the toughest. The guys played with the focus and composure that we needed. We came out from the start with a lot of energy and got our tournament off to a good start.”
The Cavaliers (5-1) jumped out to a quick start with a dominating doubles performance as a brand new doubles lineup produced immediate results. At No. 1 doubles, Michael Shabaz (Fairfax, Va.) and Drew Courtney (Clifton, Va.) cruised to an 8-1 win over Ricky Doverspike and Michael Davis. Virginia clinched the opening point at No. 2 doubles, where Houston Barrick (Brentwood, Tenn.) and Jarmere Jenkins (College Park, Ga.) topped Saketh Myneni and Jarryd Botha 8-2.
“We completely changed all our doubles teams,” said Boland. Our doubles teams clicked right away, which was a testament to a great week of practice. That was a big positive for us.”
Virginia carried its momentum into singles where they recorded three straight set wins to close out the win. At No. 2 singles, Sanam Singh (Chandigarh, India) defeated Doverspike 6-2, 6-2. Courtney posted a 6-2, 6-2 win of his own at No. 4, downing Botha. Jenkins clinched the win for the Cavaliers with his 6-2, 6-2 win over Michael Thompson.
The Virginia-Georgia quarterfinal will be a rematch of the 2009 ITA National team Indoor final, won by the Cavaliers in Chicago.
“We played them in the final last year and that was a great match,” said Boland. “We have a lot of respect for their program and they have been tough on us over the years. We have had some great matches with them and last year we got the better of them. We will see what happens tomorrow. We are at home and hope to have our fans backing us just like they do when we play them in Athens. It should a great atmosphere.”
Georgia advanced to the quarterfinals with a 4-3 win over No. 10 seed Mississippi. Other first round scores were No. 3 Ohio State defeating No. 14 Louisville 4-2, No. 11 Florida defeating No. 6 Baylor 4-2, No. 1 USC defeating No. 16 Fresno State 4-0, No. 8 Texas defeating No. 9 Stanford 4-0, No. 4 UCLA defeating No. 13 Kentucky 4-1, and No. 5 Tennessee defeating No. 12 Illinois 4-0.
Play on Saturday begins at 9 a.m. at the Boar’s Head Sports Club and admission is free. The quarterfinals match-ups are Ohio State-Florida at 9 a.m., USC-Texas at noon, UCLA-Tennessee at 3 p.m. and Virginia-Georgia at 6:30 p.m. The consolation matches are Louisville-Baylor at 9 a.m., Fresno State-Stanford at noon, Kentucky-Illinois at 3 p.m. and Alabama-Mississippi at 6:30 p.m.
No. 2 Virginia 4, No. 15 Alabama 0
1. Courtney/Shabaz (UVa) def. Doverspike/Davis (Ala) 8-1
2. Barrick/Jenkins (UVa) def. Myneni/Botha (Ala) 8-2
3. Singh/Singer (UVa) led Chadwell/Thompson (Ala) 6-3 DNF
1. #62 Syketh Myneni (Ala) led #3 Michael Shabaz (UVa) 6-3, 1-6, 2-1 DNF
2. #12 Sanam Singh (UVa) def. Ricky Doverspike (Ala) 6-2, 6-2
3. #16 Jarmere Jenkins (UVa) def. #123 Michael Thompson (Ala) 6-2, 6-2
4. #31 Drew Courtney (UVa) def. Jarryd Botha (Ala) 6-2, 6-2
5. #58 Houston Barrick (UVa) led Houssam Yassine (Ala) 7-5, 2-3 DNF
6. #28 Lee Singer (UVa) led Ian Chadwell (Ala) 6-3, 4-2 DNF
Order of Finish: