URBANA, Ill. - Chris Camillone and David Holiner defeated their third consecutive top-5 opponent to advance to the finals of the NCAA Doubles Championship on Sunday evening at the Atkins Tennis Center.
The unseeded team of Camillone and Holiner toppled No. 3 seed Nik Scholtz and Jonas Lutjen of Mississippi in three sets (6-2, 5-7, 6-3) to become the first NCAA doubles finalists from Texas since 1995. The duo defeated the draw’s No. 1 seed on Friday and the No. 5 seed on Saturday to reach the semifinals.
Head coach Michael Center explained, “They served great. They returned great. They put balls away. They just played unbelievable tennis in the last four games to win the match. I’m so proud of them. We are really excited about tomorrow for a chance to play for a national title.”
Texas is seeking its first NCAA Doubles title in the modern era and sixth in the program’s history (1923, 1924, 1931, 1943, 1944).
Camillone and Holiner played to a 2-2 tie in the first set and went on a seven-game run, including three service breaks, to win the first set, 6-2, and take a 3-0 lead in the second set.
Scholtz and Lutjen shifted momentum in the second set with three service breaks to take a 6-5 lead. After an hour-and-a-half rain delay, the No. 3 seed team from Mississippi won the second set, 7-5. Their momentum continued into the third set, jetting to a 3-1 lead over the Longhorns.
Camillone and Holiner clawed back in the third set by holding serve in the ensuing game and tying the set, 3-3, with a service break. The two Texas natives would not lose another game, going on win the third and deciding set, 6-3.
“After we held serve when we were down 3-1, you could feel the momentum shifting in our favor,” Center said. “They made a couple spectacular plays to hold serve and from that point on our guys were amazing. I don’t know what else to say. When moments got away from them, they weren’t down mentally for one second.”
Camillone and Holiner will face No. 4 seed Jarmere Jenkins and Mac Styslinger of Virginia to decide a doubles national champion. The two duos met on March 15 in Austin, but the match did not finish as Virginia clinched the doubles team point with Jenkins/Styslinger leading 5-3.
Monday’s doubles national title match will begin no later than 2 p.m. CT at the University of Illinois’ Atkins Tennis Center – after the singles national title match is complete. Video coverage of the match will be on NCAA.com.
• Chris Camillone and David Holiner are the first Texas doubles team to reach the finals of the NCAA Doubles Championship since 1995, when Chad Clark and Trey Phillips finished as national the runner-up.
• Texas improves to 5-0 in five trips to the semifinals of the NCAA Doubles Championship (since 1975).
• Texas is seeking its first NCAA Doubles title in the modern era. UT has won five national titles in doubles (1923, 1924, 1931, 1943, 1944).
CAMILLONE/HOLINER SEASON TIMELINE
• Sept. 7, 2012: began the season ranked No. 8 in the ITA Doubles poll.
• Won seven of their first eight doubles matches.
• Nov. 9, 2012: advanced to the quarterfinals of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships (received a bid to the tournament as an alternate).
• Began the dual match season with a 4-2 record.
• Played in only one doubles match together from March 15 to May 10.
• Went 1-1 in the team NCAA tournament.
• As an unseeded team in the NCAA Doubles Championship, defeated the No. 1 seed, No. 5 seed and No. 3 seed to advance to the national title match.
TEXAS IN THE NCAA DOUBLES FINAL (since 1975)
2013 – Chris Camillone / David Holiner
1995 – Chad Clark / Trey Phillips
1990 – Mitch Michulka / Michael Penman
1985 – Charles Beckman / Royce Deppe
1978 – Gary Plock / Kevin Curren
TEXAS DOUBLES NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
1923: Lew White / Louis Thallheimer
1924: Lew White / Louis Thallheimer
1931: Bruce Barnes / Karl Kamrath
1943: John Hickman / Walter Driver
1944: John Hickman / Felix Kelley