CARY, N.C. - Adam Lee won the deciding No. 5 singles match in a third-set tiebreak to lead No. 24 Wake Forest past No. 42 Virginia Tech in the quarterfinals of the ACC Championship on Friday at Cary Tennis Park in Cary, N.C.
The third-seeded Demon Deacons (19-7), who were able to fight to a win after losing the doubles point for the second match in a row, move on to face second-seeded and ninth-ranked Duke in the semifinals tomorrow at 1 p.m. The Deacons will be making their first semifinal appearance since 2010.
"That was a great, hard-fought win," said head coach Tony Bresky. "We have a tough group of guys who have a lot of heart and a lot of fight. We've obviously been struggling in doubles. It's tough to come back against a team as good as Virginia Tech and win four singles matches, but we were able to do that, and it's a testament to how hard the guys fight.
"Duke is a great team," said Bresky. "We know it's going to be a challenge tomorrow, but our guys are excited, and it will be interesting to see how we can perform against them."
No. 105 Lee converted on his fifth match point to beat Virginia Tech's Joao Monteiro 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (5) in what was looking like a must-win match for the Deacons. At the time Lee finished, David Hopkins was down a break 6-5 in the third set to the Hokies' Amerigo Contini at No. 1 in the other match on court.
The singles win was Lee's 36th of the season, tying him with Derrick Spice (2002) for the most singles wins in a season in Wake Forest history. Lee has gone 22-2 in dual match singles play and is undefeated in his last 10 singles matches.
"Adam is a warrior; he has a ton of heart," said Bresky. "It's amazing how much he's improved from last year. He's had an unbelievable year for us.
"(Monteiro) has won a lot of matches for (Virginia Tech)," said Bresky. "We knew he was going to be a tough competitor. Adam handled it well and was clutch for us in the end."
The Hokies jumped out to early leads on all three doubles matches and closed out the top and bottom positions to take the doubles point. At No. 1, the Hokie duo of Andreas Bjerrehus and Hunter Koontz took down Wake Forest's No. 48 David Hopkins and Amogh Prabhakar 8-2. Lucas Oliveira and Monteiro clinched the point for the Hokies at No. 3, defeating Anthony Delcore and Jon Ho 8-6.
But Wake Forest's freshmen helped regain the momentum, cruising to straight-set wins at the bottom two singles positions to put the Deacons in front 2-1. Delcore breezed by Aaron Gomez 6-3, 6-1 at No. 6, and Ho used his punishing forehand to blast past Oliveira 6-2, 6-3.
"When you have close matches like this, you tend to talk about the guy who clinched it at the end, and sometimes you forget about the guys who just went out there and took care of business quickly," said Bresky. "Jon and Anthony did a good job of that today."
The other four matches would all go three sets.
No. 78 Prabhakar cruised through the first set against Koontz, but the Hokie came back strong, winning the second set and taking a 2-0 lead in the third. It was at that point that Prabhakar took over, winning six of the next seven games, capped off by a brilliant passing shot on match point, to down Koontz 6-2,4-6, 6-3, pushing the Wake Forest lead to 3-1.
No. 102 Bjerrehus notched Virginia Tech's only singles win of the day just before the match was clinched, downing Danny Kreyman 7-6 (1), 5-7, 6-4. Minutes later, Lee finished off Monteiro to end play.
The Demon Deacons will face off against the Blue Devils tomorrow, looking to reach the ACC Championship final for only the second time. Duke downed Wake Forest 7-0 in Durham in the only meeting between the two teams this season.
#24 Wake Forest 4, #42 Virginia Tech 2
1. David Hopkins (WF) vs. #57 Amerigo Contini (VT) 4-6, 6-4, 5-6, unfinished
2. #102 Andreas Bjerrehus (VT) def. Danny Kreyman (WF) 7-6 (7-1), 5-7, 6-4
3. #78 Amogh Prabhakar (WF) def. Hunter Koontz (VT) 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
4. #105 Adam Lee (WF) def. Joao Monteiro (VT) 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5)
5. Jon Ho (WF) def. Lucas Oliveira (VT) 6-2, 6-3
6. Anthony Delcore (WF) def. Aaron Gomez (VT) 6-3, 6-1
1. Andreas Bjerrehus/Hunter Koontz (VT) def. #48 David Hopkins/Amogh Prabhakar (WF) 8-2
2. Danny Kreyman/Adam Lee (WF) vs. Amerigo Contini/Trpimir Kujundzic (VT) 6-7, unfinished
3. Lucas Oliveira/Joao Monteiro (VT) def. Jon Ho/Anthony Delcore (WF) 8-6
Virginia Tech 15-9; National ranking #42
Wake Forest 19-7; National ranking #24
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3*); Singles (6,5,3,2,4*)
2013 ACC Championship - Quarterfinals