Feb. 15, 2009
Fifth-ranked Virginia took an early lead over eighth-ranked Tennessee and never looked back Sunday afternoon dropping UT, 4-0 to leave the Vols one match short of reaching the championship match at the ITA Indoor National Championships.
"We continue to make strides forward as a program," UT head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "Our goal is to win championships, so we are very disappointed we were unable to advance but we will be a better team because of this overall experience. There are many positives we can take back with us to Knoxville. We can better prepare ourselves for the upcoming SEC season and the championship opportunities we have ahead of us because of this weekend.
"Virginia played with a lot of confidence and composure and this was obviously not their first time here. They played like a team defending their championship.
"The great thing for (associate head coach) Chris (Woodruff) and me is that we believe our team is a better outdoor team then indoor, so as we start to get to the part of the season where we play outdoors more, we feel we can get even stronger."
Virginia (11-0) is ranked fifth this season but the Cavs won the ITA Indoor National Championship in 2008, spent the entire regular season ranked No. 1 in the country and did not lose a match until the semifinals of the NCAA tournament. UVA returned four lettermen that were regular contributors to that team.
The Cavs used wins at the Nos. 2 and 3 doubles positions to take a 1-0 lead. Drew Courtney and Lee Singer defeated Matt Brewer and Christian Hansen, 8-4 at the No. 3 position and 27th-ranked Dominic Inglot and Michael Shabaz won 8-3 over UT's Boris Conkic and Matteo Fago to clinch the point.
Tennessee (7-1) had the lost the doubles point Saturday against No. 1 Ohio State but battled back in singles to win the match. On Sunday, the Cavs were just too much for UT and the Vols could never steal any momentum.
Virginia, energized by its doubles play, won the first set in four of the six singles matches.
The Cavs went up 2-0 when Courtney defeated UT's Brewer, 6-4, 6-1 at the No. 6 position. It was Brewer's first defeat since being inserted into the lineup prior to the Vols' victory over Illinois. In the four matches Brewer has played at No. 6 in the UT lineup, the Vols have battled 13th-ranked Illinois, 10th-ranked Baylor, top-ranked Ohio State and now fifth-ranked Virginia.
Steven Rooda put UVA one point from victory with a straight-set win over UT's lone freshman in the lineup, Hansen, at the No. 5 position.
Sanam Singh, ranked 24th in singles, clinched the Virginia victory with a 6-1, 6-3 win over the 103-ranked Conkic at the No. 2 position. Despite the defeat, Conkic still had a memorable tournament. The UT sophomore defeated the 13th-ranked singles player in the country on Friday and on Saturday defeated the sixth-ranked singles player.
John Patrick Smith was leading his match against 43rd-ranked Dominic Inglot of Virginia, 6-2, 4-2 when his match was suspended. Fago was also ahead in his match against 68th-ranked Houston Barrick, 7-5, 2-1 when his match was suspended.
Davey Sandgren had dropped the first set in his match against 11th-ranked Shabaz but was ahead in the second set, 3-2 when Virginia clinched the match.
Virginia advances to Monday's championship match were it will face third-ranked Georgia.
The Vols return to action Saturday when they host Kentucky at 1 p.m. in the Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center. The match is scheduled as a non-conference match and will not count towards the SEC standings. All home matches at the University of Tennessee are free to the public.
|No. 5 Virginia 4 No. 8 Tennessee 0|
|1.||No. 50 John-Patrick Smith (UT)||led||No. 43 Dominic Inglot (UVA)||6-2, 4-2|
|2.||No. 24 Sanam Singh (UVA)||def.||No. 103 Boris Conkic (UT)||6-1, 6-3*|
|3.||No. 11 Michael Shabaz (UVA)||led||Davey Sandgren (UT)||6-4, 2-3|
|4.||Matteo Fago (UT)||led||No. 68 Houston Barrick (UVA)||7-5, 2-1|
|5.||Steven Rooda (UVA)||def.||Christian Hansen (UT)||6-2, 6-2|
|6.||No. 108 Drew Courtney (UVA)||def.||Matt Brewer (UT)||6-4, 6-1|
|Order of Finish: 6,5,2*|
|1.||No. 3 Barrick/Singh (UVA)||led||Sandgren/Smith (UT)||7-6|
|2.||No. 27 Inglot/Shabaz (UVA)||def.||No. 21 Conkic/Fago (UT)||8-3|
|3.||Courtney/Singer (UVA)||def.||Brewer/Hansen (UT)||8-4|
|Order of Finish: 3,2|