Virginia Claims Sixth Straight ACC Men’s Tennis Championship
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Virginia maintained its firm hold on the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Tennis Championship on Sunday, downing Duke by a 4-1 score in the title match at Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.
In a match played indoors due to heavy rain at Cary Tennis Park, the Cavaliers claimed their sixth straight ACC title and their eighth in nine years. The win was Virginia's 92nd consecutive victory against ACC competition (regular season and postseason), extending its conference record. Virginia owns a 27-3 record in the ACC Championship under head coach Brian Boland.
The Cavaliers (24-1) defeated the Blue Devils (22-5) in the championship match for the third straight season. Virginia took a No. 2 national ranking into Sunday’s match, while the Blue Devils were ranked eighth.
Senior Drew Courtney, who posted three tournament wins in straight sets and was part of two key doubles wins, was named the ACC Championship MVP.
“We played well today and needed to because Duke played a great match today,” Boland said. “We have so much respect for Duke, and knew we would need to play at a high level to win today. I think we needed a good, competitive match like this to get ready for the NCAA Tournament. Each championship we have won is special. Every year it is a different group of guys and you want to see them be successful as a reward for all their hard work.”
Top-seeded Virginia clinched Sunday’s win when Jarmere Jenkins defeated Henrique Cunha 6-3, 7-6 (4) in a matchup if nationally top-10 ranked players on the No. 1 court. It marked Jenkins’ second dual match win of the season over the Duke junior.
Prior to Jenkins’ clinching win, Virginia sophomore Alex Domijan registered a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Chris Mengel at No. 2, and Courtney posted a 7-6 (5), 6-3 decision over Fred Saba on the No. 4 court.
Third-seeded Duke snapped the Cavaliers’ string of five straight shutouts in ACC Championship play when Jason Tahir posted a 6-3, 6-4 win over Julen Uriguen at No. 6.
In a reversal from Virginia’s 4-3 regular-season win at Duke, the Cavaliers claimed the doubles point on Sunday to grab a 1-0 lead. Mitchell Frank and Domijan teamed for an 8-5 win over Rapahel Hemmeler and Torsten Wietoska at No. 3. After Duke’s Saba and David Holland downed Justin Shane and Steven Rooda by an 8-2 score at No. 2, the doubles point came down to a decisive match on the No. 1 court.
In another nationally-ranked battle, Virginia’s Jenkins and Courtney outlasted Cunha and Mengel, 8-6. That underscored the turnaround from the March 23 match, which saw Cunha and Mengel win by an 8-6 margin to earn the doubles point for Duke.
Virginia and Duke will now await word of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championship selections and pairings. The field for the 64-team tournament will be announced Tuesday, May 1, at 5:30 p.m., live on NCAA.com. The announcement of those selected for individual and doubles competition will be made after 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2, and will also be carried by NCAA.com.
Nine ACC teams were chosen for the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championship, marking the seventh straight year that at least seven ACC teams had been selected for the NCAA men's tennis field. Eleven players from the conference were chosen for individual competition, along with five ACC doubles teams.
No. 1 Virginia 4, No. 3 Duke 1
1. Jarmere Jenkins (VA) def. Henrique Cunha (DU) 6-3, 7-6 (4)
2. Alex Domijan (VA) def. Chris Mengel (DU) 6-2, 6-2
3. Mitchell Frank (VA) vs. Torsten Wietoska (DU) 6-3, 4-6, 4-1 DNF
4. Drew Courtney (VA) def. Fred Saba (DU) 7-6 (5), 6-3
5. Justin Shane (VA) vs. Raphael Hemmeler (DU) 6-3, 5-7, 1-2 DNF
6. Jason Tahir (DU) def. Julen Uriguen (VA) 6-3, 6-4
1. Jenkins/Courtney (VA) def. Cunha/Mengel (DU) 8-6
2. Saba/David Holland (DU) def. Steven Rooda/Shane (VA) 8-2
3. Domijan/Frank (VA) def. Hemmeler/Wietoska (DU) 8-5
Records: Virginia 24-1; Duke 22-5
National Rankings: Virginia 2nd; Duke 8th
Order of Finish: Doubles (3,2,1*) Singles (2,6,4,1*)