Top-Ranked Cavaliers Top Cornell 7-0 in ITA Opener
CHARLOTTESVILLE – The top-ranked Virginia men’s tennis team opened play at the ITA Kickoff Weekend with a 7-0 win over No. 66 Cornell Friday night at the Boyd Tinsley Courts at the Boar’s Head Sports Club. The Cavaliers will meet No. 51 East Tennessee State, a 6-1 winner over No. 50 Binghamton earlier on Friday, on Saturday night for a spot in next month’s ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
The Cavaliers improved to 5-0 on the season with the win, extending their school-record home win streak to 79 consecutive matches. The Big Red suffered its first loss of the season, falling to 3-1. Cornell is led by first-year head coach Tony Bresky, who spent the previous eight season’s on Brian Boland’s staff at Virginia. Big Red assistant coach Houston Barrick was an All-ACC performer for the Cavaliers from 2007-10.
“I was really impressed with Cornell as a team,” said Boland. “They were well prepared and fought hard in every match. They play with a lot of energy and competitiveness, and that is something I know Tony and Houston have instilled in them. It is only a matter of time before they take Cornell to a national level. This season I think they have an excellent chance to win the Ivy League and make the NCAA Tournament.”
In doubles, the Cavaliers swept all three matches to take a 1-0 lead. Alex Domijan (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) and Jarmere Jenkins (College Park, Ga.) topped Andy Gauthier and Jeremy Feldman 8-2 at No. 2. Sanam Singh (Chandigarh, India) and Steven Eelkman Rooda (Amersfoort, The Netherlands) clinched the opening point with an 8-3 win at No. 3 over Mirza Klis and Evan McElwain. Drew Courtney (Clifton, Va.) and Michael Shabaz (Fairfax, Va.) completed the doubles sweep with an 8-4 win at No. 1 over Evan Bernstein and Jon Jaklitsch.
In singles, Virginia got didn’t drop a set to complete the 7-0 victory. The Cavaliers quickly made the score 4-0 as Singh downed Klis 6-1, 6-2 at No. 3, Domijan defeated Jaklitsch 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2 and Jenkins topped Feldman 6-1, 6-1 at No. 4. Courtney added a 6-4, 6-4 win over Bernstein at No. 5 to make the score 5-0 before Shabaz topped Gauthier 6-3, 7-6(6) at the top position. Justin Shane (Falls Church, Va.) closed out the win with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Zhongming Chen at No. 6.
“It was great to be back here where everything is first class, from the facility, to the fans, to the opponent,” said Bresky. “I thought we competed well in certain spots, but it is always going to be hard when you are up against the best team in the nation. They are No. 1 and they play like it and act like it. This was a great opportunity for our team to play an opponent of this caliber and learn from this experience.”
In the first match of the day, East Tennessee State rallied from dropping the doubles point to win 6-1 over Binghamton. On Saturday, Virginia and ETSU will meet in the championship match at 6 p.m. At 2 p.m., Cornell and Binghamton meet in the consolation match. Admission to both matches is free.
#1 Virginia 7, #66 Cornell 0
1. #3 Courtney/Shabaz (UVa) def. Jaklitsch/Bernstein (Cor) 8-4
2. #10 Domijan/Jenkins (UVa) def. Gauthier/Feldman (Cor) 8-2
3. Singh/Rooda (UVa) def. Klis/McElwain (Cor) 8-3
1. #27 Michael Shabaz (UVa) def. #80 Andy Gauthier (Cor) 6-3, 7-6(6)
2. #3 Alex Domijan (UVa) def. Jon Jaklitsch (Cor) 6-2, 6-1
3. #10 Sanam Singh (UVa) def. Mirza Klis (Cor) 6-1, 6-2
4. #19 Jarmere Jenkins (UVa) def. Jeremy Feldman (Cor) 6-1, 6-1
5. #17 Drew Courtney (UVa) def. Evan Bernstein (Cor) 6-4, 6-4
6. #105 Justin Shane (UVa) def. Zhongming Chen (Cor) 6-3, 7-5
Order of Finish