CHARLOTTESVILLE – The top-ranked Virginia men’s tennis team advanced to the round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the seventh consecutive season with a 4-0 win over No. 22 Wake Forest in a second round match Sunday afternoon at the Snyder Tennis Center. The Cavaliers (37-1) will meet another ACC rival, Duke, in the round of 16 Friday in Athens, Ga.
“It is always a great accomplishment to reach the round of 16 and the final site of the NCAA Tournament,” said head coach Brian Boland. “I thought we played some of our best tennis of the year this weekend. Wake is a great team and we knew we were going to have to play well today in order to beat them. I thought we came out strong in doubles and that carried into singles.”
Virginia took a 1-0 lead by taking the doubles point from the Demon Deacons (16-10). Michael Shabaz (Fairfax, Va.) and Drew Courtney (Clifton, Va.) put forth a dominating performance at the No. 1 position, downing Iain Atkinson and Steven Forman 8-1. Houston Barrick (Brentwood, Tenn.) and Sanam Singh (Chandigarh, India) clinched the opening point for the Cavaliers at No. 2, overcoming an early 4-0 deficit for an 8-5 win over Jonathan Wolff and Zach Leslie.
The Cavaliers extended their lead to 2-0 early in singles as Shabaz topped Forman 6-2, 6-4 at the top position. Courtney made the score 3-0 with his 6-3, 6-4 win at No. 4 over Wolff before Jarmere Jenkins (College Park, Ga.) closed out the match with his 6-1, 6-4 win over Atkinson at No. 3.
“Virginia showed why they are No. 1 as they are always playing at the highest level,” said Wake Forest head coach Jeff Zinn. “You have to play above your level in order to compete with them and today we couldn’t do that. We had a few chances in some places, but couldn’t capitalize on them.”
The Cavaliers remain undefeated at home in NCAA Tournament play (14-0). The victory also extended their winning streaks to 62 straight wins against ACC competition and 74 straight home wins.
“I can’t wait to get to Athens,” said Boland. “I am excited for the opportunity that this team has in front of it. We are playing our best tennis of the year right now, but I know we can still take our game to another level. I feel really good about where we are right now. This is a team that rises up and plays better when the stakes are higher. They love the pressure. The next couple of weeks are going to be fun.”
Virginia will play Duke in the round of 16 on Friday at the Dan Magill Tennis Center in Athens, Ga. The match time is noon. It marks the fourth time in the past five years that the Cavaliers will meet an ACC foe in the NCAA Round of 16.
No. 1 Virginia 4, No. 22 Wake Forest 0
1. #14 ShabazCourtney (UVa) def. #21 Forman/Atkinson (WF) 8-1
2. #41 Barrick/Singh (UVa) def. Wolff/Leslie (WF) 8-5
3. Singer/Jenkins (UVa) led Kreyman/Carleton (WF) 6-4 DNF
1. #11 Michael Shabaz (UVa) def. #26 Steven Forman (WF) 6-2, 6-4
2. #48 Tripper Carleton (WF) led #14 Sanam Singh (UVa) 6-3, 3-5 DNF
3. #57 Jarmere Jenkins (UVa) def. #98 Iain Atkinson (WF) 6-1, 6-4
4. #46 Drew Courtney (UVa) def. #118 Jonathan Wolff (WF) 6-3, 6-4
5. #106 Houston Barrick (UVa) led Danny Kreyman (WF) 6-2, 3-2 DNF
6. Zach Leslie (WF) led #72 Lee Singer (UVa) 6-4, 2-2 DNF
Order of Finish: