SEATTLE - The finals have been set for the 16 teams competing in the 2011 ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship hosted by the University of Washington at the Nordstrom Tennis Center and Seattle Tennis Club, with the third-ranked Tennessee Volunteers looking to avenge last year's loss to top-ranked Virginia in a title tilt rematch.
Last year, Tennessee jumped out with the lead after winning the doubles point, but Virginia took control early in singles and won 4-1 on the Cavaliers' home courts in Charlottesville, Va.
ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship: Finals
#1 Virginia vs. #3 Tennessee
ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship: Semifinals
#1 Virginia 4, #4 Ohio State 1
#3 Tennessee 4, #15 Duke 2
ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship: Quarterfinals
#1 Virginia 4, #8 Illinois 1
#4 Ohio State 4, #5 Texas 1
#3 Tennessee 4, #6 UCLA 1
#15 Duke 4, #10 Florida 1
ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship: First Round
#1 Virginia 4, #16 Washington 1
#8 Illinois 4, #9 Texas A&M 1
#4 Ohio State 4, #13 Texas Tech 1
#5 Texas 4, #12 Kentucky 2
#6 UCLA 4, #11 Louisville 1
#3 Tennessee 4, #14 Georgia 2
#10 Florida 4, #7 Stanford 3
#15 Duke 4, #2 USC 3
More on the Semifinalists:
#1 VIRGINIA: The top-ranked Virginia men's tennis team reached the ITA National Team Indoor final with a 4-1 win over No. 4 Ohio State Sunday in a semifinal match at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. The Cavaliers (13-0) will look for an unprecedented fourth consecutive National Team Indoors Championship on Monday as they meet No. 3 Tennessee in a rematch of last year's final.
In an ultra-competitive doubles session that saw each match come down to the wire, Virginia squeaked by the Buckeyes to claim the initial point of the match. The Cavaliers' new doubles combinations once again worked well to give them a 1-0 lead. Drew Courtney and Steven Rooda topped Matt Allare and Ille Van Engelen 8-5 at No. 3. At the top spot, Michael Shabaz and Alex Domijan downed sixth-ranked Chase Buchanan and Blaz Rola 9-7 to clinch the first point of the match.
All 10 players competing in singles matches at Nos. 1 through No. 5 were ranked in the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings, ranging from No. 2 Domijan of Virginia to No. 103 Engelen of Ohio State.
Singh, the 13th-ranked player in the country put Virginia up 2-0, defeating Van Engelen in straight-sets 6-1, 6-2 at No. 3 singles for his first win of the tournament. The Buckeyes caught a glimpse of hope after No. 55 Devin McCarthy cut Virginia's lead to, 2-1, with a 6-4, 7-5 upset over No. 23 Courtney at No. 5.
However, Virginia would prove its No. 1 ranking worthy, winning the next two matches at Nos. 1 and 2 to advance to the final to face No. 3 Tennessee. The second-ranked player nationally, Cavalier Domijan downed Buchanan 6-4, 6-3 and Shabaz handed No. 5 Rola a 6-4, 7-5 setback to claim the fourth and final point.
Virginia is looking to become the first school to win four consecutive National Team Indoor titles. Stanford is the only other school to win three straight championships, winning the first three events in the mid-1970s.
First Round Matchup: No. 1 Virginia 4, No. 16 Washington 1
Quarterfinal Matchup: No. 1 Virginia 4, No. 8 Illinois 1
Semifinal Matchup: No. 1 Virginia 4, No. 4 Ohio State 1
Finals Matchup: No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 3 Tennessee
#1 Virginia 4, #4 Ohio State 1
1. Shabaz/Domijan (UVA) def. #6 Buchanan/Rola, 9-7
2. Singh/Jenkins (UVA) vs. #66 McCarthy/Novak, 7-7 DNF
3. Courtney/Rooda (UVA) def. Allare/Van Engelen, 8-5
1. #15 Michael Shabaz (UVA) def. #5 Blaz Rola (OSU), 7-5, 6-4
2. #2 Alex Domijan (UVA) def. #21 Chase Buchanan (OSU),
3. #13 Sanam Singh (UVA) def. #113 Ille Van Englen, 6-1, 6-2
4. #25 Jarmere Jenkins (UVA) vs. #45 Matt Allare (OSU), 7-6 , 6-5, DNF
5. #55 Devin McCarthy (OSU) def. #23 Drew Courtney (UVA), 6-4, 7-5
6. Balazs Novak (OSU) def. #78 Julien Uriguen (UVA), 2-6, 2-2 DNF
#3 TENNESSEE: The Vols defeated 15th-seeded Duke 4-2 in Sunday's semifinals despite being without 46th-ranked sophomore Tennys Sandgren, who has been out with an illness nearly the entire tournament. Against those odds, the lower half of the singles lineup produced three wins to propel the third-ranked Vols past 15th-seeded Duke and into the finals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championship for the second year in a row and third time in school history. The first appearance came in 1993, where Associate head coach Chris Woodruff played a vital role as a sophomore on the team.
After the match, Woodruff had this to say about the Vols team's performace today. "If I said that Rhyne (Williams) and JP (Smith) were going to lose today and Tennys Sandgren would be sick and out of the lineup, how many people would have expected us to win?" Woodruff said. "That was a real team effort out there."
After Tennessee took the doubles point, veteran senior Boris Conkic quickly grabbed his 100th career singles victory to put the Vols up 2-0, but by contrast, the final two points came much later from the least-experienced members of the UT singles lineup: sophomore Edward Jones and January freshman addition Jarryd Chaplin, who had taken Sandgren's place in singles and doubles. Both players won in three sets, and Jones clinched the semifinal victory by beating Jared Pinsky 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 on court 5.
"What we're realizing is that we have six different ways to win points," Tennessee head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "We're not relying on any one person. Guys get better in this program, and we're seeing that."
In doubles, Chaplin was inserted into the lineup at the No. 2 position for the second match this tournament with Sandgren unable to play. Again, the freshman from Sydney, Australia, helped the Vols win the point. He and Williams defeated Pinsky and Fred Saba 8-2. Jones and senior Matteo Fago clinched the point with their 11th consecutive victory on court 3, defeating Chris Mengel and David Holland 8-3.
With the doubles point in hand, Conkic wasted no time in becoming the eighth Vol in history to reach 100 wins, beating Saba 6-1, 6-1 on court 4, but that was the last point the Vols got for a while.
Duke rallied with two straight-set wins from the top of its lineup. Henrique Cunha, ranked 10th, downed top-ranked Williams 6-4, 6-2 on court 1, and sixth-ranked Reid Carleton defeated 17th-ranked Smith 6-3, 6-3 on court 2 to tie the match 2-2.
Chaplin was playing in just his second singles match in team competition at UT. His debut was on Friday, where he quickly fell to Georgia's Hernus Pieters. Although he lost, Chaplin said the experience of being in a high-pressure match helped him keep his composure Sunday against Luke Marchese on court 6. With his teammates at his back cheering in the balcony seating, Chaplin came back from a rough second set to serve out a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 victory. Immediately after Chaplin put the Vols ahead 3-2, Jones served for the match on court 5.
"The closer the match got, I felt like I was able to handle my emotions better than my opponent," Chaplin said. "It's very easy to give my best every time I walk out there when I've got such a close group of friends with me. They'll say the exact same thing. That makes competing your hardest very easy, when you're competing for the boys as well."
First Round Matchup: No. 3 Tennessee 4, #14 Georgia 2
Quarterfinal Matchup: No. 3 Tennessee 4, No. 6 UCLA 1
Semifinal Matchup: No. 3 Tennessee 4, No. 15 Duke 2
Finals Matchup: No. 3 Tennessee vs. No. 1 Virginia
#3 Tennessee 4, #15 Duke 2
1. #8 Smith/Conkic (UT) vs. #9 Cunha/Carleton (DUKE), 6-6 DNF
2. Chaplin/Williams (UT) def. Pinsky/Saba (DUKE), 8-2
3. Jones/Fago (UT) def. Mengel/Holland (DUKE), 8-3
1. #10 Henrique Cunha (DUKE) def. #1 Rhyne Williams (UT), 6-4, 6-2
2. #6 Reid Carleton (DUKE) def. #17 John-Patrick Smith (UT), 6-3, 6-3
3. #68 Matteo Fago (UT) vs. Chris Mengel (DUKE), 6-4, 6-7, 3-2 DNF
4. #119 Boris Conkic (UT) def. Fred Saba (DUKE), 6-1, 6-1
5. Edward Jones (UT) def. Jared Pinsky (DUKE), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
6. Jarryd Chaplin (UT) def. Luke Marchese (DUKE), 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
For complete results, visit www.itatennis.com. Play continues Sunday at 9 am PT at the Nordstrom Tennis.