STANFORD, Calif. — Top-ranked Virginia advanced to the first NCAA final in program history with a 4-2 semifinal win against No. 4 Ohio State on Monday at the Taube Tennis Center. The Cavaliers (34-0) will meet two-time defending champion Southern California in the final on Tuesday.
“I am really proud of the team today,” head coach Brian Boland said. “We overcame the adversity of losing the doubles point. I was proud of how we came out in singles and refocused on the match. Ohio State is a great team and we have had a lot of great battles with them in recent years. I am happy that we were able to pull through and have a chance to play for a championship tomorrow.”
The Buckeyes (34-3) opened the match by winning the doubles point, the first time the Cavaliers had dropped the opening point in 16 matches (at Texas on Mar. 20). Chase Buchanan and Shuhei Uzawa won 8-6 at No. 2 against Jarmere Jenkins and Julen Uriguen. Blaz Rola and Balazs Novak added an 8-6 win at No. 3 against Sanam Singh and Alex Domijan to clinch the opening point.
In singles, the Cavaliers began strong, winning four of the six first sets. Domijan tied the match at 1-1 as he cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 win against Buchanan at the No. 2 spot. Michael Shabaz gave Virginia a 2-1 lead with his 6-4, 6-4 win against Rola at the top spot.
The other four matches split sets and went to a decisive third set. Devin McCarthy rallied from losing the first set for a 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 5 against Justin Shane to tie the match at 2-2. Jenkins gave Virginia the lead again as he topped Matt Allare 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-2 at No. 4 singles. Singh clinched the match for the Cavaliers as he defeated Ille Van Engelen 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 at No. 3 singles.
Virginia is the first ACC team to reach the championship match of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship. Tuesday’s match will mark the third consecutive year Virginia and USC have met in the tournament. The Trojans (26-2) have defeated the Cavaliers in each of the last two NCAA Tournaments, in the quarterfinals in 2009 and the semifinals in 2010.