No. 1 Virginia and No. 3 Ohio State Reach Final at ITA National Team Indoor Championships
Feb. 17, 2008
SEATTLE - Top seed Virginia and No. 3 seed Ohio State picked up victories in Sunday's semifinals at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Men's Team Indoor Championship at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. The University of Washington is hosting this year's event.
Top seed Virginia beat No. 5 Mississippi 4-2 today. This is the second time in four years that the Cavaliers have beaten the Rebels in the semifinals; in 2005, No. 6 seeded Mississippi was upset by an unseeded Virginia team in the semifinals at this tournament, 4-1. In today's match, Virginia won the doubles point, and got singles wins from Sanam Singh, and Dominic Inglot. The match came down to No. 1 singles, where Somdev Devvarman beat Erling Tveit 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-0. Robbye Poole and Jonas Berg notched singles wins for the Rebels.
"I thought that it really helped us today to win the doubles point against Ole Miss," Virginia head coach Brian Boland said. "They're obviously an outstanding team, and we came out with a lot of energy in doubles, and we were able to execute and do a good job with the doubles point, which is something we've failed to do for a while. I think that gave us a lot of confidence going into the singles, but give Ole Miss credit: they battled and it was a great match all the way through. It was well contested, and we were fortunate to come out on the successful end of it. So we're pretty pleased with our performance."
"They've done a great job all year long of winning close matches, and that's what they did today," Mississippi head coach Billy Chadwick said after the match. "We felt that we had a good chance coming into the match because we were playing well, and I just have to give credit to them: they played well from top to bottom. And when it comes down to the last match on, it's very difficult to beat [Somdev] Devvarman. Time and time again he just comes through in the clutch, and to me, that was the difference in today's match. They showed why they're No. 1."
This will be the second finals appearance for the Cavaliers at this tournament; after upsetting Ole Miss in 2005, Virginia advanced to the finals, where they lost 4-1 to Baylor.
No. 3 Ohio State upset the defending champions and No. 2 seeded Georgia Bulldogs 4-1 to advance to the finals. The Buckeyes will be making their second finals appearance in as many years. Ohio State's win over Georgia snapped a 38-match winning streak that started over a year ago. Georgia (6-1) had captured the last two ITA National Team Indoor titles. Last year Georgia beat Ohio State 4-0 in the championship match in Chicago and went on to record a perfect season and capture the NCAA crown. Coach Manuel Diaz's Georgia squad was trying to become just the second school to win three straight ITA National Team Indoor titles. But Ohio State stopped that from happening with a resounding 4-1 win. The Buckeyes got the doubles points, and then singles wins from Christian Vitulli, Bryan Koniecko and Drew Eberly. Georgia's lone point came from Javier Garrapiz at No. 4.
"The guys all played well," Ohio State head coach Ty Tucker said. "They kept fighting, the spirit was good, and we kept competing. You know last year we got beat by Georgia in about an hour and a half in the finals, so there was a bad taste in the guys' mouth, and they wanted to come out and show that they at least belonged on the same court, you know. And for one day, they did belong on the same court. That's not to take anything away from Georgia; they're an unbelievable team, and they haven't lost in a long, long time. But I'll tell you, we were in it in all the matches except for one, so that was great. We'll see about tomorrow. Virginia's unbelievable, and we'll have our hands full, but we're going to try and enjoy this win first."
"I thought Ohio State played a very good match, and I'm very proud of my team," Georgia head coach Manny Diaz said. "I think we played hard the whole tournament, especially today. We just came up a little bit short. We're a little bit short-handed. I believe we will be a better team when [injured senior] Luis Flores gets back in our lineup, but we also will be a better team because of what we are having to go through right now. So, I'm proud of what we've accomplished this tournament."
This event, which features 16 of the nation's top programs, has annually crowned a national indoor champion every year since 1973. This is the third time in five years Nordstrom Tennis Center and Washington have served as hosts.