Top-Ranked Cavaliers Blank No. 16 Illinois 7-0
CHARLOTTESVILLE – The top-ranked Virginia men’s tennis team improved to 2-0 on the season with a 7-0 victory over No. 16 Illinois Friday night before 712 fans at the Boyd Tinsley Courts at the Boar’s Head Sports Club. The Cavaliers dropped just one set all night to hand the Fighting Illini a loss in their season opener.
“We are about where I thought we would be at this point of the season,” said head coach Brian Boland. “The season has a long way to go and we need to still improve in a lot of areas. This was a good win for us. Illinois is a great team and with this being their opener, we didn’t catch them playing their best. They are going to get better and be a contender later this year.”
In doubles, the Cavaliers swept all three matches to take the opening point. Sanam Singh (Chandigarh, India) and Steven Eelkman Rooda (Amersfoort, The Netherlands) rolled to an 8-2 win at No. 3 over Stephen Hoh and Brian Alden. At the top two positions, Virginia pulled out close matches. At the top spot, Michael Shabaz (Fairfax, Va.) and Drew Courtney (Clifton, Va.) downed Dennis Nevolo and Johnny Hamui 9-8(2) to clinch the opening point and remain unbeaten in 2010-11. Alex Domijan (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) and Jarmere Jenkins (College Park, Ga.) completed the sweep with a 9-7 win at No. 2 over Abe Souza and Bruno Abdelnour.
In singles, Virginia won all six matches, dropping just one set in the process. Shabaz made the score 2-0 with his 6-1, 6-4 victory over 11th-ranked Nevolo. Domijan quickly made it 3-0 as he completed a 6-2, 6-2 win over Hamui at the No. 2 position. Courtney clinched the victory with his 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 5 over Alden. Julen Uriguen (Guatemala City, Guatemala) scored a 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 6 over Abdelnour, Singh downed Souza 6-4, 6-3 at No. 3 and Jenkins rallied for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 4 over Hoh to complete the shutout.
During intermission, Virginia retired the jersey of Brian Vahaly. The 2001 graduate was a four-time All-American and went onto to a No. 57 ATP ranking as a professional. He joins Somdev Devvarman as the only two Cavaliers to have their jersey retired.
The win extended Virginia’s school-record home win streak to 76 consecutive matches.
The Cavaliers continue their homestand Sunday with a doubleheader at the Boyd Tinsley Courts. Virginia hosts No. 36 Notre Dame at noon and Eastern Kentucky at 6 p.m. Admission is free.
#1 Virginia 7, #16 Illinois 0
1. #3 Courtney/Shabaz (UVa) def. Nevolo/Hamui (Ill) 9-8(2)
2. #10 Domijan/Jenkins (UVa) def. Souza/Abdelnour (Ill) 9-7
3. Singh/Rooda (UVa) def. Hoh/Alden (Ill) 8-2
1. #27 Michael Shabaz (UVa) def. #11 Dennis Nevolo (Ill) 6-1, 6-4
2. #3 Alex Domijan (UVa) def. #111 Johnny Hamui (Ill) 6-2, 6-2
3. #10 Sanam Singh (UVa) def. #121 Abe Souza (Ill) 6-4, 6-3
4. #19 Jarmere Jenkins (UVa) def. Stephen Hoh (Ill) 3-6, 6-1, 6-3
5. #17 Drew Courtney (UVa) def. Brian Alden (Ill) 6-2, 6-4
6. #77 Julen Uriguen (UVa) def. Bruno Abdelnour (Ill) 6-3, 6-3
Order of Finish