Deacs Claim ACC Title in Dramatic Fashion
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April 24, 2016
By Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeMTennis)
CARY, N.C. -- Wake Forest freshman Dennis Uspensky's victory in a third-set tiebreaker at No. 6 singles lifted the seventh-ranked Demon Deacon men's tennis team to its first-ever ACC Tournament title on Sunday. The Deacons outlasted top-ranked Virginia, 4-3, at Cary Tennis Park to end the Cavaliers' nine-year run as conference champions.
With the match tied, 3-3, the championship came down to Uspensky's court. After dropping his first set in a 7-4 tiebreaker and falling behind, 4-1, in his second set to Luca Corinteli, the Deacon rookie battled back to pull even and negated two match points to force a tiebreaker, which he won, 7-3. In the final set, Uspensky overcame a 4-2 deficit to send the match to another breaker.
After Uspensky jumped out to a 5-2 lead, Corinteli cut the gap to two at 5-3 and then 6-4, but double faulted on match point, making Uspensky the victor.
Second-seeded Wake Forest struck first by staking claim to the doubles point. The No. 1-seeded Cavaliers won first when 17th-ranked Thai-Son Kwiatkowski and Mac Styslinger won, 6-2, at the second spot, but the Deacs secured the 1-0 lead by registering match-clinching holds at No. 1 and No. 3 seconds apart.
At No. 1, the 13th-ranked duo of Skander Mansouri and Christian Seraphim took an early break and ran with it, edging the second-ranked tandem of Corinteli and Ryan Shane, 6-4. Uspensky and Romain Bogaerts did the same at No. 3 to top Collin Altamirano and J.C. Aragone.
After losing in straight sets to defending NCAA singles champion Shane twice during regular-season play, Mansouri turned the tables on the Virginia captain for a 6-0, 6-3 triumph that made it 2-0, Deacons.
The Cavaliers quickly erased Wake Forest's lead with wins by No. 116 Aragone and No. 6 Kwiatkowski at the No. 4 and No. 3 positions, respectively. No. 40-ranked Altamirano then gave Virginia a 3-2 lead by coming from behind to defeat Petros Chrysochos, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Needing a win to keep his team in the match, Seraphim found himself down 3-0 in the third set at No. 5. The Demon Deacon redshirt sophomore did not give in, however, taking six of the final seven games to take down Henrik Wiersholm, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, to set the stage for Uspensky's heroics.
Wiersholm defeated Seraphim in three sets on two occasions in regular-season action, but Seraphim did not allow history to repeat itself.
Uspensky earned tournament MVP honors after going 6-0 in singles and doubles combined on the weekend. The win for the Deacs was their first over Virginia since 2003 and was their 29th victory of the season, a program record.
Wake Forest will receive the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The complete NCAA Tournament field will be announced on Tuesday, May 3 at 5:30 p.m. in a live-streaming selection show on NCAA.com.
No. 7 Wake Forest 4, No. 1 Virginia 3
1. No. 14 Skander Mansouri (WF) def. No. 8 Ryan Shane (VA) 6-0, 6-3
2. No. 40 Collin Altamirano (VA) def. No. 19 Petros Chrysochos (WF) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
3. No. 6 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA) def. Jon Ho (WF) 6-2, 6-2
4. No. 116 J.C. Aragone (VA) def. No. 118 Romain Bogaerts (WF) 6-1, 6-4
5. Christian Seraphim (WF) def. Henrik Wiersholm (VA) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
6. Dennis Uspensky (WF) def. Luca Corinteli (VA) 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4)
Order of Finish: 1,4,3,2,5,6
1. No. 13 Skander Mansouri/Christian Seraphim (WF) def. No. 2 Ryan Shane/Luca Corinteli (VA) 6-4
2. No. 17 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Mac Styslinger (VA) def. Petros Chrysochos/Jon Ho (WF) 6-2
3. Romain Bogaerts/Dennis Uspensky (WF) def. Collin Altamirano/J.C. Aragone (VA) 6-4
Order of Finish: 2,1,3
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