May 15, 2010

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Top-ranked Virginia advanced to the second round of the NCAA Men's Tennis Tournament with a 4-0 victory over Navy Saturday afternoon at the Snyder Tennis Center in Charlottesville, Va. The Cavaliers, now 36-1 on the season, will play host to Wake Forest on Sunday, while the Midshipmen see their season come to a close with a 16-14 record.

"Virginia was too tough for us today," said Navy head coach John Officer, who this season guided his fifth team to the NCAA Tournament over the last 12 years. "They are ranked first nationally for a reason and they showed that today. This is a better Virginia team than we faced last year in the NCAA Tournament (when the Cavaliers also won a 4-0 decision over the Mids)."

Virginia jumped on Navy right from the start of the doubles matches, winning at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles by the identical score of 8-1. Houston Barrick and Sanam Singh, the #41 doubles team in the country, won their match at No. 2 doubles over Nick Birger (Jr., Belleville, Ill.) and Ramsey Lemaich (Sr., Danville, Calif.), while Jarmere Jenkins and Lee Singer posted a victory over Zach Nicholson (So., Bowie, Md.) and Marcus Rebersak (So., Pittsburgh, Pa.) at No. 3 doubles.

In the match that was left unfinished, Virginia's Drew Courtney and Michael Shabaz led Owen Bullard (Jr., Concord, N.C.) and Nicholas Gutsche (Fr., Sarasota, Fla.) by the score of 6-2 at No. 1 doubles. The Virginia tandem is ranked 14th nationally.

The Cavaliers continued their strong play in the singles portion of the match. Singh posted a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Rebersak at No. 2 singles to make the score 2-0, then Shabaz won a 6-2, 6-1 decision over Bullard at No. 1 singles. The match came to an end when Jenkins recorded a 6-1, 6-1 win over Anderson Walls (Fr., Alpharetta, Ga.) at No. 3 singles.

Singh is ranked 14th nationally, Shabaz is ranked 11th and Jenkins is ranked 57th.

Virginia players also led in each of the three matches that were halted when the Cavaliers clinched the overall match victory. Courtney, who is ranked 46th in the country, held a 6-2, 4-1 lead over Jeremy New (Jr., Glen Allen, Va.) at No. 4 singles, Barrick, the No. 106 singles player nationally, led Nicholson by the score of 6-3, 2-1 at No. 5 singles and Singer, who is ranked 72nd, had a 6-1, 2-0 advantage over Gutsche at No. 6 singles.

"Virginia serves very well," said Officer. "They all have strong first serves and they also are good off the return of serve. They put a lot of pressure on us today."

Though Navy was appearing in its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament, the winners of four straight Patriot League titles had perhaps its most inexperienced lineup during its current run of success take to the courts Saturday. Navy's eight-player lineup that competed against the Cavaliers was comprised of one senior, three juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen, with only four of those eight players having previously played in an NCAA Tournament match in their respective careers.

"I was very proud of this team," said Officer. "We lost four all-league players from last year and were able to get back to the NCAA Tournament. We fought hard all day today and didn't quit."