Virginia wins top-10 showdown
Cavaliers drop just one set in the match while sweeping Illini
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Top-ranked Virginia improved to 2-0 on the season with a 7-0 victory against No. 16 Illinois before 712 fans at the Boyd Tinsley Courts at the Boar’s Head Sports Club. The Cavaliers dropped just one set all night to hand the Fighting Illini a loss in their season opener.
“We are about where I thought we would be at this point of the season,” said head coach Brian Boland. “The season has a long way to go and we need to still improve in a lot of areas. This was a good win for us. Illinois is a great team and with this being their opener, we didn’t catch them playing their best. They are going to get better and be a contender later this year.”
In doubles, the Cavaliers swept all three matches to take the opening point. Sanam Singh and Steven Eelkman Rooda rolled to an 8-2 win at No. 3 against Stephen Hoh and Brian Alden.
At the top two positions, Virginia pulled out close matches. In the top spot, Michael Shabaz and Drew Courtney downed Dennis Nevolo and Johnny Hamui 9-8(2) to clinch the opening point and remain unbeaten in 2010-11. Alex Domijan and Jarmere Jenkins completed the sweep with a 9-7 win at No. 2 against Abe Souza and Bruno Abdelnour.
In singles, Virginia won all six matches, dropping just one set in the process.
Shabaz made the score 2-0 with his 6-1, 6-4 victory over 11th-ranked Nevolo. Domijan quickly made it 3-0 as he completed a 6-2, 6-2 win over Hamui at the No. 2 position. Courtney clinched the victory with his 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 5 over Alden. Julen Uriguen then scored a 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 6 over Abdelnour, Singh downed Souza 6-4, 6-3 at No. 3 and Jenkins rallied for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 4 against Hoh to complete the shutout.
During intermission, Virginia retired the jersey of Brian Vahaly. The 2001 graduate was a four-time All-American and went onto to a No. 57 ATP ranking as a professional. He joins Somdev Devvarman as the only two Cavaliers to have their jersey retired.
The win extended Virginia’s school-record home win streak to 76 consecutive matches.