ATHENS, Ga. – For the first time in program history, the Virginia men’s tennis team has two quarterfinalists at the NCAA Singles Championship. Mitchell Frank (Annandale, Va.) and Alex Domijan (Wesley Chapel Fla.) advanced to the quarterfinals during Friday’s round of 16 play at the Dan Magill Tennis Center.
This year marks the seventh consecutive year Virginia has had a player reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA Men’s Singles Championship. It sets a new record for the longest streak in the modern era (since 1977), a mark previously held by USC (1993-98) and Stanford (1997-2002).
Frank, the No. 2 seed, advanced with a 6-1, 6-4 third round win over No. 11 Wil Spencer of Georgia. Domijan, ranked No. 39 nationally, downed No. 15 Alex Musialek of Kentucky 6-0, 3-6, 6-2 in his third round match. They become the fifth and sixth Cavaliers in history to reach a NCAA quarterfinal, joining Brian Vahaly (2000, 2001), Somdev Devvarman (2006, 2007, 2008), Sanam Singh (2009), and Michael Shabaz (2010, 2011).
Domijan had a dominant first set against Musialek, winning it 6-0 and dropping just a total of six points in the process. The second set remained on serve until 3-3 when Musialek won the final three games to force a third set. Domijan broke Musialek twice to take a 3-0 lead in the final set, but the Wildcat rebounded to cut the advantage to 3-2. Domijan answered by winning the final three games to wrap up his 6-0, 3-6, 6-2 victory. He will meet top seed and defending NCAA Champion Steve Johnson of USC in the quarterfinals, who extended his collegiate winning streak to 69 consecutive singles matches with his round of 16 win.
“The first set was a combination of playing well and Musialek not starting strong,” said Domijan. “Then he kind of got his rhythm in the second set. After we split, we had the 10-minute break before the third set due to the heat rule. That allowed me to recollect my thoughts and I was able to go up two breaks in the third and take it from there. I am looking forward to a good match tomorrow. I believe I can beat anyone I play, it is just a matter of executing. I am going to give him my best shot and we will see what happens.”
Frank posted his third straight-set win of the tournament. In the first set he jumped out to a 4-0 lead and took the set 6-1. The second set was on serve until Frank broke Spencer’s serve for a 4-2 lead. It proved to be the only break of the set as Frank served out his 6-1, 6-3 win. He will play No. 9 Blaz Rola of Ohio State in the quarterfinals.
“I played a solid match today,” said Frank. “It was warm out and I think that helped my strategy. He seemed to wear down a little bit as the match went along and forced some shots, which caused more errors than he normally makes. I just tried to stay steady out there. It is exciting to be in the quarterfinals and look forward to playing Rola. This tournament is just a great experience.”
In doubles, the team of Jarmere Jenkins (College Park, Ga.) and Drew Courtney (Clifton, Va.) fell 6-2, 7-5 in the second round to Antoine Baroz and Alexis Heugas of VCU. The loss was the final match of Courtney’s career. The senior is Virginia’s second three-time doubles All-American, joining Shabaz, and ends his career with 122 career doubles wins, fourth in school history. He won the 2010 NCAA Doubles Championship with Shabaz.