No. 1 Virginia Slips By Wake Forest in NCAA Tournament
May 14, 2011
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Faced with a matchup against the consensus No. 1 team in the nation, the Wake Forest men's tennis team put a serious scare into top-seeded Virginia before Michael Shabaz pulled out a 7-5 third-set win to send the Cavaliers past the Demon Deacons 4-1 in the second round of the NCAA Championships in Charlottesville, Va.
The Cavaliers (31-0) will advance to face Illinois in the Round of 16. The Deacs end the season at 14-12.
The Deacons knew heading into the match that to have a chance to upset the Cavaliers, who have now won 78 straight matches against ACC teams, they would need a lot of heart and a little bit of luck.
Jonathan Wolff, David Hopkins and Amogh Prabhakar provided the heart, playing three sets with their highly-touted Virginia opponents. Adam Lee was the recipient of the luck when his opponent Drew Courtney suffered a foot injury in the second set that left him essentially unable to move.
But the depth of the Cavalier lineup eventually proved to be too much for the Deacons to get the win as No. 5 Shabaz rallied from a 4-2 third-set deficit to edge Jonathan Wolff 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
"I can't say enough about how proud I was of the guys today," said head coach Jeff Zinn. "They played their hearts out against the best team in the country and were this close to pulling off the upset.
"It was an entire team effort that was led by our two seniors Jon Wolff and Iain Atkinson," Zinn continued. "They went toe-to-toe with two top-5 players and gave them everything they could handle. While they are disappointed that they lost, the way that they played today was a fitting end to their fantastic careers."
The Cavaliers had taken the doubles point with wins at the bottom two positions. At No. 3 doubles, Alex Domijan and Sanam Singh defeated Adam Lee and Amogh Prabhakar 8-2, and at No. 2 doubles, Jarmere Jenkins and Julen Uriguen topped Danny Kreyman and Jonathan Wolff 8-2.
In singles, No. 34 Singh got off to a hot start and earned the Hoos' second point with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Kreyman. No. 2 Domijan got breaks in each set against Iain Atkinson at No. 2 and then used his big serve to hold onto the advantage, taking the match 6-3, 7-5 to put Virginia on the verge of clinching at 3-0.
But the rest of the matches would be dogfights. At No. 5 singles, Virginia's Drew Courtney took an easy 6-1 first set against Adam Lee, but the Kiwi put on a strong effort in the second. Courtney was ahead 4-3 in the second set when he sustained a serious foot injury that left him unable to serve or run. He refused to retire but would win only one game the rest of the match as the Wake Forest freshman stepped up to finish off a 1-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory for Wake Forest's lone point.
At No. 4 singles David Hopkins won the first set against No. 56 Jenkins and was up 5-1 in the second at before the Virginia junior rallied back to take it in a tiebreak to force a third frame. Jenkins led 2-1 in the final set when the match was stopped.
Playing in the lineup for only the fifth time all season, Prabhakar was edged in a tiebreak by Justin Shane in the first set at No. 6 but stormed back to take the second set 6-3. Shane led 4-1 in the final set when the match ended.
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#1 Virginia 4, #33 Wake Forest 1