CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The second-ranked Virginia men’s tennis team won its sixth consecutive ACC Tournament title with a 4-1 win over eighth-ranked Duke in a Sunday’s championship match at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center. The match was moved indoors due to rain, but that didn’t faze the Cavaliers (24-1) as they defeated the Blue Devils (22-5) in the final for the third consecutive year.
“We played well today and needed to because Duke played a great match today,” said head coach Brian Boland. “We have so much respect for Duke and knew we would need to play at a high level to win today. I think we needed a good, competitive match like this to get ready for the NCAA Tournament. Each championship we have won is special. Every year it is a different group of guys and you want to see them be successful as a reward for all their hard work.”
The Cavaliers opened the match by winning the doubles point. Alex Domijan (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) and Mitchell Frank (Annandale, Va.) topped Torsten Wietoska and Raphael Hemmeler 8-5 at the No. 3 position go give Virginia an early edge. Duke drew even at No. 2 where Fred Saba and David Holland downed Steven Rooda (Amersfoort, The Netherlands) and Justin Shane (Falls Church, Va.) 8-2. The opening point came down to the match at No. 1, where each side held serve through the first 13 games. With Jarmere Jenkins (College Park, Ga.) and Drew Courtney (Clifton, Va.) leading 7-6 over Henrique Cunha and Chris Mengel, they broke Cunha’s serve for the only service break of the match to take an 8-6 win and seal the doubles point.
In singles, the Cavaliers doubled their lead as Domijan cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Mengel at the No. 2 position. Duke got on the board at No. 6 where Jason Tahir defeated Julen Uriguen (Guatemala City, Guatemala) 6-3, 6-4. Courtney extended the Cavalier lead to 3-1 with his 7-6(5), 6-3 win at No. 4 over Saba. Jenkins clinched the championship with his win at No. 1, defeating Cunha 6-3, 7-6(4).
The championship was Virginia’s eighth overall, all coming in the last nine years. Sunday’s win was the Cavaliers’ 92nd consecutive victory against ACC competition (regular season and postseason), extending its conference record.
“The success we have had in the ACC shows the consistency we have had as a team,” said Courtney, the ACC Tournament MVP. “Winning six straight championships starts from what we do day-in and day-out in practice and that hard work carries over when we take the courts. We are proud to keep the tradition going.”
The Cavaliers receive the ACC’s automatic berth to next month’s NCAA Tournament. The 64-team field will be announced on May 1.
#2 VIRGINIA 4, #8 DUKE 1
1. #18 Courtney/Jenkins (UVa) def. #15 Cunha/Mengel (Duke) 8-6
2. Saba/Holland (Duke) def. Rooda/Shane (UVa) 8-2
3. Domijan/Frank (UVa) def. Hemmeler/Wietoska (Duke) 8-5
1. #5 Jarmere Jenkins (UVa) def. #4 Henrique Cunha (Duke) 6-3, 7-6(4)
2. #42 Alex Domijan (UVa) def. #36 Chris Mengel (Duke) 6-2, 6-2
3. #1 Mitchell Frank (UVa) led #115 Torsten Wietoska (Duke) 6-3, 4-6, 4-1 DNF
4. Drew Courtney (UVa) def. Fred Saba (Duke) 7-6(5), 6-3
5. #79 Justin Shane (UVa) vs. Raphael Hemmeler (Duke) 6-3, 5-7, 1-2 DNF
6. Jason Tahir (Duke) def. Julen Uriguen (UVa) 6-3, 6-4
Order of Finish:
Jarmere Jenkins Postmatch Video