ATLANTA -- Virginia advanced to the semifinals of the 2014 NCAA tournament with a 4-0 victory against Baylor on Sunday afternoon at the Ken Byers Tennis Center on the campus of Georgia Tech, after rain moved the match indoors. The Cavaliers (27-2) advance to the NCAA semifinals for the fifth consecutive year, while the Bears end the season with a 26-6 record.
Virginia will meet top-seeded Southern California in the semifinals Monday. That match will start at 5 p.m. ET at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens on the campus of Georgia."I was pleased with the performance [Sunday]," Virginia head coach Brian Boland said. "It can sometimes be difficult to drive over an hour to play indoors, but the guys handled it well. They were into the match from the start and focused at the task at end."
Virginia opened the match by winning the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead. The Cavaliers grabbed an edge in doubles as Thai-Son Kwiatkowski and Mac Styslinger rallied from down two early breaks 3-0 to post an 8-5 win at No. 2 against Diego Galeano and Tony Lupieri. Baylor drew even with a win at No. 3, where Julian Lenz and Michel Dornbusch topped Mitchell Frank and Ryan Shane 8-6. The opening point came down to the match at No. 1, where neither side could take advantage of break point opportunities, as it went to a tiebreaker. In the breaker, Alex Domijan and Justin Shane came back from a 5-3 deficit to win the final four points of the match for an 8-7(5) victory against Patrick Pradella and Mate Zsiga.
"We made some changes [Sunday] in doubles," Boland sid. "We had some guys who have played together some this year, so we mixed some things up. Alex and Justin came through at No. 1 to clinch it. That was some high-level doubles, on all three courts. It was great atmosphere during the doubles and I hope the guys enjoyed it, I know I did."
Virginia carried the momentum from winning the doubles into singles, taking five of the six first sets to seize control of the match. The Shane brothers extended the lead to 3-0 as Justin downed Zsiga 6-1, 6-3 at No. 5 and Ryan topped Galeano 6-1, 6-3 at No. 3. Domijan sealed the win with a 6-4, 6-3 win against Lenz at No. 1, edging out J.C. Aragone to record the clinching point.
The Cavaliers and Trojans will meet in the NCAA tournament for the sixth time in the past eight years. After Virginia won in the 2007 quarterfinals in Athens, USC defeated the Cavaliers four consecutive years from 2009-12, including in the '11 and '12 finals. The teams haven't met since the '13 ITA National Team Indoor Championship final in Seattle, a 4-2 Cavalier victory.