ATHENS, Ga. – The Virginia men’s tennis team had its 2012 season come to an end as two players fell in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Singles Championship on Saturday at the Dan Magill Tennis Center. Mitchell Frank (Annandale, Va.) and Alex Domijan (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) had become the fifth and sixth different Cavaliers to reach the quarterfinals, but neither could advance to the semifinals.
Frank, the No. 2 seed, fell to No. 9 Blaz Rola of Ohio State 7-6(5), 6-1. Domijan, ranked No. 39 nationally, lost in three sets to No. 1 and defending champion Steve Johnson of USC, 6-0, 5-7, 6-1.
Domijan suffered a slow start that saw Johnson win the first set at love. The second set remained on serve until Domijan broke Johnson’s serve to take a 6-5 lead. He held serve in the next game to win the set 7-5 and force a decisive set. For Johnson, who has a 70-match collegiate winning streak, it was only the fourth set he has lost this spring. Johnson broke Domijan early to take a 3-0 lead in the final set and served for the match at 5-1. It took a seven-deuce game, including Johnson double faulting on his first four match points, to finally serve out with 6-0, 5-7, 6-1 win.
Frank played a close first set with Rola. After Rola held serve in the first game, the players traded four consecutive breaks. They then held serve the rest of the way to set up a tiebreak. Rola won the first four points of the breaker and led 6-2. Frank mounted a comeback in the breaker, getting back to 6-5, but Rola took advantage of his fourth set point. Rola went up 4-0 in the second set and took the set 6-1 to complete his win. The loss snapped Frank’s 22-match winning streak.
This year marked the seventh consecutive year that Virginia had at least one NCAA singles quarterfinalist, setting a new record for the modern era (since 1977).