CHARLOTTESVILLE – Second-seeded Virginia advanced to its third consecutive ITA National Team Indoor Championship final with a 4-1 win over third-seeded Ohio State Sunday afternoon at the Boyd Tinsley Courts at the Boar’s Head Sports Club. The Cavaliers will look to win its third consecutive title on Monday at noon when they meet fifth-seeded Tennessee in the final.
“We have been coming out with a lot of energy every day and a big reason for that is our fans,” said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. “Every match has had a great atmosphere and our guys just feed off that. I have been pleased with our focus and composure throughout the tournament.”
The Cavaliers (7-1) took a 1-0 lead in the match by winning the doubles point. Ohio State (8-1) took an early edge as Matt Allare and Shuhei Uzawa topped Lee Singer (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) and Sanam Singh (Chandigarh, India) 8-5 at No. 3 doubles. Seconds later the Cavaliers drew even as Michael Shabaz (Fairfax, Va.) and Drew Courtney (Clifton, Va.) defeated Justin Kronauge and Chase Buchanan 8-6 at the No. 1 position. Houston Barrick (Brentwood, Tenn.) and Jarmere Jenkins (College Park, Ga.) clinched the opening point with their 8-5 win at No. 2 over Dino Marcan and Balasz Novak.
“Doubles has been giving us a lot of momentum,” said Boland. “When you head into singles after winning the doubles, you can either use that momentum or waste it. We have been doing a good job of jumping out strong in singles.”
Virginia won four of the six first sets and won three matches in straight sets. Courtney topped Uzawa 6-3, 6-3 at No. 4 singles, Barrick won 6-2, 6-4 over Novak at No. 5 singles and Singh clinched the victory with his 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 2 over Kronuage.
“We have been playing great across the board, from No. 1 to No. 6 in the lineup,” said Boland. “It was a total team effort and we are going to need another one tomorrow against a tough Tennessee team.”
Tennessee advanced to the final with a 4-1 win over eighth-seeded Texas in Sunday’s other semifinal.
Virginia will be looking to win its third consecutive ITA National Team Indoor Championship. Stanford, who won the first three tournaments held from 1973-76, is the only school to win three consecutive tournament titles.
Monday’s match is set for noon at the Boar’s Head Sports Club and admission is free.
No. 2 Virginia 4, No. 3 Ohio State 1
1. Courtney/Shabaz (UVa) def. Buchanan/Kronauge (OSU) 8-6
2. Barrick/Jenkins (UVa) def. Marcan/Novak (OSU) 8-5
3. Allare/Uzawa (OSU) def. Singh/Singer (UVa) 8-5
1. #3 Michael Shabaz (UVa) vs. #103 Chase Buchanan (OSU) 4-6, 6-3, 0-0 DNF
2. #12 Sanam Singh (UVa) def. Justin Kronauge (OSU) 6-3, 6-3
3. Dino Marcan (OSU) def. #16 Jarmere Jenkins (UVa) 6-1, 6-4
4. #31 Drew Courtney (UVa) def. #34 Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) 6-3, 6-3
5. #58 Houston Barrick (UVa) def. Balazs Novak (OSU) 6-2, 6-4
6. #28 Lee Singer (UVa) led Matt Allare (OSU) 6-3, 3-4 DNF
Order of Finish: