Virginia swipes Stanford to advance
Cavs reach semifinals for fifth time in past six years
ATHENS, Ga. -- Virginia advanced to its third consecutive NCAA tournament semifinal with a 4-0 quarterfinal victory against No. 11 Stanford on Sunday at the Dan Magill Tennis Center. The Cavaliers (28-1) reached the semifinals for the fifth time in the past six years, while the Cardinal ends its season with a 20-9 record.
"I was pleased with the way that the team played today," said head coach Brian Boland. "We came out with a lot of energy. It was something that stayed with us throughout the match. I thought we had a little bit of a lull in our match against Cal, but today that energy level stayed up throughout the match, from start to finish. They played with a great purpose."
The Cavaliers will meet No. 7 Pepperdine in the semifinals on Monday. The Waves upset No. 2 seed and host Georgia 4-3 in their semifinal match.
It was the third consecutive major tournament that Virginia eliminated Stanford in the quarterfinals. The Cavaliers edged the Cardinal 4-3 in the 2010 NCAA quarterfinals, held on the Stanford campus. Earlier this year, Virginia downed Stanford 4-1 in the quarterfinals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Charlottesville.
Virginia opened the match by taking a close doubles point for a 1-0 lead. The Cavaliers took an early advantage at No. 3 where Justin Shane and Julen Uriguen jumped out to a 4-0 lead and cruised to an 8-4 win against Matt Kandath and Jamin Ball. Stanford drew even at the No. 2 position as Bradley Klahn and John Morrissey defeated Mitchell Frank and Alex Domijan 8-5. The opening point was decided by the match at No. 1 between Virginia's Jarmere Jenkins and Drew Courtney and Stanford's Denis Lin and Ryan Thacher. The Stanford duo had an early lead as they broke Courtney's serve in the opening game. Three games later, the Cavalier team broke Lin's serve to even the match at 2-all. The match remained on-serve the rest of the way and would be decided by a tiebreaker. Courtney and Jenkins raced out to a 5-1 lead in the breaker and won it 7-2 to give Virginia the doubles point.
"I was pleased to win the doubles point, but I am confident in this team either way," said Boland. "Doubles is something we have spent a lot of time on lately and the guys continue to get better. Certainly I didn't feel like it was any bigger than the other six points we still had to play. It gave us some momentum, but I was confident in the team, whether we won or lost it."
Virginia carried its momentum into singles, winning five of the six first sets. The Cavaliers quickly took three of those matches in straight sets to seal the win, with the three northern-Virginia natives picking up the victories. Frank was first off the courts, posting a 6-2, 6-0 win against Kandath at No. 3 to double the lead. Courtney followed with a 6-2, 6-4 victory at the No. 4 position over Morrissey. Shane clinched the victory with his 6-4, 6-1 win at No. 5 over Daniel Ho. Shane edged Domijan off the court, who had match point at No. 2 when his match was abandoned.
"Everyone played a full, complete match today," said Courtney. "We stepped out there knowing every spot, 1-6, had to play a complete match and it wasn't going to be easy. It turned out that we were able to do that, and we know that we need to do that again tomorrow."
The Cavaliers have won each of their first four NCAA tournament matches by a 4-0 score. The last team to reach the semifinals with four straight shutouts was the 2007 Georgia team.