Tennessee to Play Two-Time Defending
Champion and Tournament Host
Virginia in ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship Finals
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Finals have been set for the 16 teams
competing in the 2010 ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship hosted
by the University of Virginia at the Boar's Head Sports Club.
More on the Finalists:
#2 Virginia: Tournament host and second-seeded Virginia continues to
hold serve in defending their title and setting their sights on winning
a third consecutive ITA National Men's Team Indoor title. One night
after Virginia fans packed the house recording a facility record crowd
of 1,250 in UVA's sweep of Georgia, their was little to no drop in the
attendance figures for today's 4-1 win over No. 3 seeded Ohio State. The
two-time defending champs advanced to their third consecutive final
where they will face red-hot fifth-seeded Tennessee.
"We have been coming out with a lot of energy every day and a big reason
for that is our fans," said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. "Every
match has had a great atmosphere and our guys just feed off that. I have
been pleased with our focus and composure throughout the tournament."
The Cavaliers (7-1) took a 1-0 lead in the match by winning the doubles
point. Ohio State (8-1) took an early edge as Matt Allare and Shuhei
Uzawa topped Lee Singer and Sanam Singh 8-5 at No. 3 doubles. Seconds
later the Cavaliers drew even as Michael Shabaz and Drew Courtney
defeated Justin Kronauge and Chase Buchanan 8-6 at the No. 1 position.
Houston Barrick and Jarmere Jenkins clinched the opening point with
their 8-5 win at No. 2 over Dino Marcan and Balasz Novak.
"Doubles has been giving us a lot of momentum," said Boland. "When you
head into singles after winning the doubles, you can either use that
momentum or waste it. We have been doing a good job of jumping out
strong in singles."
Virginia won four of the six first sets and won three matches in
straight sets. Courtney topped Uzawa 6-3, 6-3 at No. 4 singles, Barrick
won 6-2, 6-4 over Novak at No. 5 singles and Singh clinched the victory
with his 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 2 over Kronuage.
"We have been playing great across the board, from No. 1 to No. 6 in the
lineup," said Boland. "It was a total team effort and we are going to
need another one tomorrow against a tough Tennessee team."
Virginia will be looking to win its third consecutive ITA National Team
Indoor Championship. Stanford, who won the first three tournaments held
from 1973-76, is the only school to win three consecutive tournament
First Round Matchup: No. 2 Virginia def. No. 15 Alabama, 4-0
Quarterfinal Matchup: No. 2 Virginia def. No. 7 Georgia, 4-0
Semifinal Matchup: No. 2 Virginia def. No. 3 Ohio State, 4-1
Final Matchup: No. 2 Virginia vs. No. 5 Tennessee - 12:00 p.m. (ET)
No. 2 Virginia 4, No. 3 Ohio State 1
1. Courtney/Shabaz (UVa) def. Buchanan/Kronauge (OSU) 8-6
2. Barrick/Jenkins (UVa) def. Marcan/Novak (OSU) 8-5
3. Allare/Uzawa (OSU) def. Singh/Singer (UVa) 8-5
1. #3 Michael Shabaz (UVa) vs. #103 Chase Buchanan (OSU) 4-6, 6-3, 0-0
2. #12 Sanam Singh (UVa) def. Justin Kronauge (OSU) 6-3, 6-3
3. Dino Marcan (OSU) def. #16 Jarmere Jenkins (UVa) 6-1, 6-4
4. #31 Drew Courtney (UVa) def. #34 Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) 6-3, 6-3
5. #58 Houston Barrick (UVa) def. Balazs Novak (OSU) 6-2, 6-4
6. #28 Lee Singer (UVa) led Matt Allare (OSU) 6-3, 3-4 DNF
#5 Tennessee: Fifth-seeded Tennessee punched their ticket to the ITA
National Team Indoor Championship for the first time in 17 years, where
they fell to UCLA, 5-2.
After securing a close doubles point, the fifth-seeded Vols quickly
built momentum in singles to defeat eighth-ranked Texas 4-1, propelling
the southeast UT into tomorrow's final versus two-time defending champs
and tournament host, Virginia.
J.P. Smith and freshman Rhyne Williams picked up wins on courts one and
three, before freshman Tennys Sandgren shut the door on Texas with a
6-3, 6-3 victory over Jean Andersen at the No. 4 position.
"Texas is a really good team, and they're going to be one of the teams
to beat at the end of the year," Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham
said. "For us to go out and play like we did against them, I thought we
played with lots of confidence and the commitment we've been talking
about the whole year. That's what it's going to take on every court to
beat these teams and win championships."
Reaching the finals has been a long time coming for the Vols, who last
made it to the championship match in 1993 when Associate Head Coach
Chris Woodruff was playing No. 1 for the team as a sophomore. Tennessee
came close last year after knocking off top-ranked Ohio State in the
quarters before losing to Virginia in the next round.
"That just shows you how hard it is - it's not easy to reach the
finals," Winterbotham said. "Every year, there are great teams.
"We're certainly proud of that, but we're focused to go out tomorrow and
see if we can win this championship. That was the goal coming into the
event. Now that we've put ourselves in the championship match, we can
see how we respond."
The doubles point proved to be a major factor last year in the Vols' 4-3
loss to Texas in the round of 16 at the NCAA Championships. On Sunday,
however, the Vols used the doubles game to their advantage.
Texas picked up the first doubles match, with Andersen and Daniel
Whitehead winning at the No. 3 position 8-6 against Tennys Sandgren and
Matteo Fago. Smith and Davey Sandgren, ranked seventh nationally, evened
things up by defeating their third ranked opponent of the season before
Williams and junior Boris Conkic clinched the doubles point with an 8-5
victory. It was their 16th doubles victory of the season.
Texas briefly tied the match 1-1 when 38th-ranked Josh Zevala defeated
No. 52 Matt Brewer 6-3, 6-3 at the No. 5 position. After Smith, ranked
second nationally, earned his third victory over No. 5 Dimitar
Kutrovsky, Tennys Sandgren, who had suffered his first career dual-match
loss in the quarterfinals against UCLA in two sets, bounced back to
clinch the match for the Vols.
"Tennys, coming in a freshman this semester, handling himself the way he
did today was just fantastic," Winterbotham said. "It takes a little bit
of time to understand what college tennis is all about, the tremendous
fun of playing for the university and your teammates. I've really seen
Tennys take that to heart. He really gave us some great energy today."
First Round Matchup: No. 5 Tennessee def. No. 12 Illinois, 4-0
Quarterfinal Matchup: No. 5 Tennessee def. No. 4 UCLA - 4-2
Semifinal Matchup: No. 5 Tennessee def. No. 8 Texas, 4-1
Final Matchup: No. 5 Tennessee vs. No. 2 Virginia - 12:00 p.m. (ET)
#5 Tennessee 4, #8 Texas 1
1. #2 John-Patrick Smith, Tenn., def. #5 Dimitar Kutrovsky, Texas, 6-3,
2. #9 Ed Corrie, Texas, led #68 Boris Conkic, Tenn., 6-0, 3-4 DNF
3. #22 Rhyne Williams, Tenn., def. Kellen Damico, Texas, 6-2, 6-2
4. Tennys Sandgren, Tenn., def. Jean Andersen, Texas, 6-3, 6-3
5. #38 Josh Zevala, Texas, def. #52 Matt Brewer, Tenn., 6-3, 6-3
6. Matteo Fago, Tenn., led #104 Vasko Mladenov, Texas, 6-3, 5-4 DNF
1. #7 D. Sandgren/Smith, Tenn., def. #22 Kutrovsky/Zavala, Texas, 8-6
2. #12 Conkic/Williams, Tenn., def. Corrie/Damico, Texas, 8-5
3. Andersen/Whitehead, Texas, def. Fago/T. Sandgren, 8-6
For complete results, visit www.itatennis.com. The final is set for 12
pm at the Boar's Head Sports Club and admission is free.
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