No. 2 Virginia downs No. 8 Duke
Cavs extend ACC win streak to 92, capture sixth consecutive title
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Second-ranked Virginia won its sixth consecutive ACC tournament title with a 4-1 victory against eighth-ranked Duke in Sunday's championship match at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center. The match was moved indoors due to rain, but that didn't faze the Cavaliers (24-1) as they defeated the Blue Devils (22-5) in the final for the third consecutive year.
"We played well and needed to because Duke played a great match," Virginia head coach Brian Boland said. "We have so much respect for Duke and knew we would need to play at a high level to win. 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."
The Cavaliers opened the match by winning the doubles point. Alex Domijan and Mitchell Frank topped Torsten Wietoska and Raphael Hemmeler 8-5 at the No. 3 position to give Virginia an early edge. Duke drew even at No. 2 where Fred Saba and David Holland downed Steven Rooda and Justin Shane 8-2.
The opening point came down to the match at No. 1, where each side held serve through the first 13 games. With Jarmere Jenkins and Drew Courtney leading 7-6 against Henrique Cunha and Chris Mengel, they broke Cunha's serve for the only service break of the match to take an 8-6 win and seal the doubles point.
In singles, the Cavaliers doubled their lead as Domijan cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 win against Mengel at the No. 2 position. Duke got on the board at No. 6 where Jason Tahir defeated Julen Uriguen 6-3, 6-4.
Courtney extended the Cavalier lead to 3-1 with his 7-6(5), 6-3 win at No. 4 against Saba. Jenkins clinched the championship with his win at No. 1, defeating Cunha 6-3, 7-6(4).
The championship was Virginia's eighth overall, all coming in the last nine years. Sunday's win was the Cavaliers' 92nd consecutive victory against ACC competition (regular season and postseason), extending its conference record.
"The success we have had in the ACC shows the consistency we have had as a team," Courtney said, the ACC Tournament MVP. "Winning six consecutive championships starts from what we do day-in and day-out in practice and that hard work carries over when we take the courts. We are proud to keep the tradition going."