CARY, N.C. – The top-ranked Virginia men’s tennis team captured its fifth consecutive ACC Championship, the program’s seventh title in the past eight years, with a 4-0 victory over No. 13 Duke in Sunday’s tournament final at the Cary Tennis Park. The Cavaliers (29-0) extended their ACC-record win streak to 77 consecutive victories over conference competition, while Blue Devils (20-9) lost in the ACC final for the second consecutive year.
“We have so much respect for the Atlantic Coast Conference,” said head coach Brian Boland. “There are so many great teams in this conference. Each championship is special and this one feels every bit as good as the first. I am elated for this group of players that have worked so hard to get to this level.”
The Cavaliers opened the match by winning the doubles point. Jarmere Jenkins (College Park, Ga.) and Julen Uriguen (Guatemala City, Guatemala) got a break at 6-all and served out an 8-6 win at No. 2 over David Holland and Chris Mengel. Almost simultaneously, Virginia clinched the point at No. 3 as Sanam Singh (Chandigarh, India) and Alex Domijan (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) closed out an 8-4 win over Fred Saba and Jared Pinsky.
In singles, the opening sets were close throughout, but the Cavaliers won two crucial tiebreakers to give them four of the six first sets and momentum in the match. Co-Tournament MVP Singh made the score 2-0 with his 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 3 over Mengel. It was Singh’s third singles win of the tournament. Michael Shabaz (Fairfax, Va.), also Co-Tournament MVP, extended the lead to 3-0 with his 7-5, 6-1 win at the top position over Henrique Cunha. Domijan closed out the match as he downed Reid Carleton at No. 2 by a 7-6(7), 6-0 score.
“I thought Duke played a very good match,” said Boland. “They fought hard and deserve a lot of credit. The final score is not indicative of how close this match was. We know we are going to get everyone’s best effort, and we want that, because it brings the most out of us.”
Virginia won this year’s tournament by defeating all three opponents by 4-0 scores, becoming just the second team in ACC history to accomplish the feat. The Cavaliers also posted three shutouts en route to the 2009 title. Virginia also becomes the first team in the dual match era of the ACC Tournament (since 1986) to win five consecutive titles.
“It means a lot to us to win another championship,” said Shabaz. “I think it is one of those things we are going to appreciate even more 10 years down the road. When you invest so much into your four years in this program, to go undefeated for four years in the ACC, regular season and tournament, it is an amazing accomplishment.”
The Cavaliers will receive the ACC’s automatic bid to next month’s NCAA Tournament. The field of 64 will be announced on May 3.
#1 Virginia 4, #13 Duke 0
1. #7 Cunha/Carleton (Duke) led #2 Courtney/Shabaz (UVa) 6-5 DNF
2. Jenkins/Uriguen (UVa) def. Holland/Mengel (Duke) 8-6
3. Domijan/Singh (UVa) def. Saba/Pinsky (Duke) 8-4
1. #5 Michael Shabaz (UVa) def. #7 Henrique Cunha (Duke) 7-5, 6-1
2. #2 Alex Domijan (UVa) def. #13 Reid Carleton (Duke) 7-6(7), 6-0
3. #36 Sanam Singh (UVa) def. Chris Mengel (Duke) 6-3, 6-3
4. #53 Jarmere Jenkins (UVa) vs. Fred Saba (Duke) 3-6, 6-3, 0-0 DNF
5. #39 Drew Courtney (UVa) vs. Torsten Wietoska (Duke) 7-6(1), 0-6, 0-0 DNF
6. Luke Marchese (Duke) led Julen Uriguen (UVa) 6-2, 5-5 DNF
Order of Finish