Virginia adds to record ACC title run
Cavs increase streak to 77 consecutive victories vs. ACC foes
CARY, N.C. -- Top-ranked Virginia captured its fifth consecutive ACC Championship -- and the program’s seventh title in the past eight years -- with a 4-0 victory against No. 13 Duke in Sunday’s tournament final at the Cary Tennis Park. The Cavaliers (29-0) extended their ACC-record win streak to 77 consecutive victories against conference competition, while Blue Devils (20-9) lost in the ACC final for the second consecutive year.
“We have so much respect for the Atlantic Coast Conference,” said head coach Brian Boland. “There are so many great teams in this conference. Each championship is special and this one feels every bit as good as the first. I am elated for this group of players that have worked so hard to get to this level.”
The Cavaliers opened the match by winning the doubles point. Jarmere Jenkins and Julen Uriguen got a break at 6-all and served out an 8-6 win at No. 2 against David Holland and Chris Mengel. Almost simultaneously, Virginia clinched the point at No. 3 as Sanam Singh and Alex Domijan closed out an 8-4 win against Fred Saba and Jared Pinsky.
In singles, the opening sets were close throughout, but the Cavaliers won two crucial tiebreakers to give them five of the six first sets and momentum in the match.
Co-tournament MVP Singh made the score 2-0 with his 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 3 against Mengel. It was Singh’s third singles win of the tournament. Michael Shabaz, also co-tournament MVP, extended the lead to 3-0 with his 7-5, 6-1 win at the top position against Henrique Cunha. Domijan closed out the match as he downed Reid Carleton at No. 2 by a 7-6(7), 6-0 score.
“I thought Duke played a very good match,” Boland said. “They fought hard and deserve a lot of credit. The final score is not indicative of how close this match was. We know we are going to get everyone’s best effort, and we want that, because it brings the most out of us.”
Virginia won the tournament by defeating all three opponents by 4-0 scores, becoming just the second team in ACC history to accomplish the feat. The Cavaliers also posted three shutouts en route to the 2009 title. Virginia also becomes the first team in the dual match era of the ACC Tournament (since 1986) to win five consecutive titles.
“It means a lot to us to win another championship,” Shabaz said. “I think it is one of those things we are going to appreciate even more 10 years down the road. When you invest so much into your four years in this program, to go undefeated for four years in the ACC, regular season and tournament, it is an amazing accomplishment.”
The Cavaliers will receive the ACC’s automatic bid to next month’s NCAA Tournament. The field of 64 will be announced on May 3.