Virginia squeaks by host Stanford
Singh rallies from down a set to record clinching team point
STANFORD, Calif. -- Top-ranked Virginia advanced to the semifinals of the 2011 NCAA Championship with a 4-3 win against host Stanford on Saturday at the Taube Tennis Center.
The Cavaliers' (33-0) win against the eighth-seeded Cardinal (21-6) gives them their fourth semifinal appearance in five years.
"I am really proud of this team," said coach Brian Boland. "I think this was a situation we needed to go through in order to have the success we want to have this season. I think we needed this adversity a lot. If you look at our scores this year, we haven't had a lot of close matches. Stanford gave us everything they had in a great environment for college tennis. We will now learn from this and get ready for another tough match in the semifinals."
The Cavaliers opened the match by winning the doubles point. Sanam Singh and Alex Domijan downed Jamin Ball and Alex Clayton 8-5 at the No. 3 position. In a battle of two of the top three ranked teams in the nation at No. 1 doubles, second-ranked Michael Shabaz and Drew Courtney defeated third-ranked Ryan Thacher and Bradley Klahn 8-4 to clinch the first point for Virginia.
In singles, Stanford answered by winning four of six first sets. However, in the two matches the Cavaliers won the first set, they won in straight sets to take a 3-0 lead.
Julen Uriguen cruised to a 6-4, 6-1 victory against Daniel Ho at No. 6. Jarmere Jenkins followed with a 6-4, 6-2 win against Denis Lin at the No. 4 spot. Thacher got the Cardinal its first point with a 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 2 against Domijan, snapping his 25-match win streak. Klahn added a 6-4, 6-2 win against Shabaz at the top spot to cut the advantage to 3-2.
The other two matches saw Virginia win the second set to force a decisive third.
Matt Kandath tied the match with his 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 victory against Justin Shane at the No. 5 position. The match came down to the battle at No. 3, where Singh rallied from down a set and a break in the second to force the third set at No. 3 against Clayton.
In the final set, Singh held serve at 2-all after being down 0-40 in the game and the set remained on serve through seven games. Singh broke Clayton's serve to take a 5-3 lead and then served out the match to give Virginia the victory.