No. 2 Virginia Edged by No. 3 UCLA in Westwood
March 6, 2014
LOS ANGELES – In a rematch of last year’s NCAA final, the second-ranked Virginia men’s tennis team suffered a 4-3 loss to third-ranked UCLA Thursday afternoon at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The Cavaliers (9-2) suffered their second loss of the season, marking the first time since 2007 they have had multiple regular season losses, while the Bruins improve to 10-1 on the year.
“This match was a great opportunity to develop as players and as a team,” said head coach Brian Boland. “Although we didn’t get the result we wanted, we made great strides today and this match will help us in the long run this season.”
The Cavaliers fell behind early, dropping the doubles point for only the third time this season. UCLA took an early advantage as Joseph Di Giulio and Clay Thompson topped Luca Corinteli (Alexandria, Va.) and Mitchell Frank (Annandale, Va.) 8-3 at No. 2 doubles. Virginia drew even with a win at No. 1 doubles as Alex Domijan (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) and Justin Shane (Falls Church, Va.) downed Marcos Giron and Karue Sell 8-4. The opening point came down the match at No. 3 where the Bruins’ Gage Brymer and Mackenzie McDonald defeated Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Charlotte, N.C.) and Mac Styslinger (Birmingham, Ala.) 8-5.
UCLA continued its momentum into singles, winning four of the six first sets. However, only one match was decided in straight sets. McDonald topped Ryan Shane (Falls Church, Va.) 7-5, 6-4 at No. 3 singles to extend the Bruins’ advantage to 2-0.
The other five matches went a decisive third set. Kwiatkowski got Virginia on the scoreboard as he rallied for a three-set win at No. 5, topping Sell 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2. The final four matches on the courts were all tied at 5-5 in the third set as the Bruins needed to win two of them and the Cavaliers needing to win three.
The Bruins extended their lead to 3-1 as Thompson, the nation’s top-ranked player, edged fourth-ranked Frank 7-6(1), 3-6, 7-5 at the No. 1 position. The other three matches all went to a third-set tiebreaker. The first one to finish was at No. 2, where Giron posted a 5-7, 7-6(7), 7-6(4) win over Domijan to give the Bruins the victory.
Virginia won the other two tiebreakers to make the final score 4-3. Justin Shane rallied from a poor first set to post a 1-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(4) win over Di Giulio at No. 6 singles and Styslinger topped Brymer 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(5) at No. 4 singles.
The Cavaliers return to action tomorrow as they visit Loyola Marymount. Match time is 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET).
#3 UCLA 4, #2 VIRGINIA 3
1. J.Shane/Domijan (UVa) def. Giron/Sell (UCLA) 8-4
2. Thompson/Di Giulio (UCLA) def. Frank/Corinteli (UVa) 8-3
3. McDonald/Brymer (UCLA) def. Styslinger/Kwiatkowski (UVa) 8-5
Order of Finish: 2,1,3
1. #1 Clay Thompson (UCLA) def. #4 Mitchell Frank (UVa) 7-6(1), 3-6, 7-5
2. #5 Marcos Giron (UCLA) def. #92 Alex Domijan (UVa) 5-7, 7-6(7), 7-6(4)
3. #35 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA) def. Ryan Shane (UVa) 7-5, 6-4
4. #73 Mac Styslinger (UVa) def. #74 Gage Brymer (UCLA) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(5)
5. Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (UVa) def. #98 Karue Sell (UCLA) 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2
6. Justin Shane (UVa) def. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA) 1-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(4)
Order of Finish: 3,5,1,2,6,4