News & Features
Virginia Claims Second Consecutive ITA Men's Team Indoor Championship
by Colette Lewis
, 19 February 2009
The University of Virginia put an end to a long losing streak against the University of Georgia, and in the process defended their ITA Men's Team Indoor title by posting a 4-1 victory over the No. 3 ranked Bulldogs Monday at the Midtown Tennis Club in Chicago, Ill.
The fifth-ranked Cavaliers had suffered only two losses in 61 dual matches dating back to March of 2007, both of them to the Bulldogs, and both in the semifinal round of the NCAA championships. In 2008, undefeated and top-ranked, Virginia was a decided favorite in Tulsa, but Georgia spoiled the Cavaliers' quest for their first appearance in the finals with a 4-3 victory, making them a perfect 14-0 in their meetings with Virginia.
"Someone said, oh, you have a rivalry with Georgia," Virginia head coach Brian Boland said after his team had posed for the championship trophy photographs. "And I said, it's not a rivalry until we can beat them, so maybe it is now."
With top seeds Ohio State and Texas falling in the quarterfinals to No. 8 Tennessee and No. 11 Stanford respectively, the parity in men's Division I competition was obvious throughout the weekend. Virginia had a scare of its own in the quarterfinals, when it lost the doubles point and four of the six first sets in singles against No. 4 UCLA, but rallied for a 4-3 win. Georgia dropped two points to Stanford in the semifinals, but was the only final four team avoiding the tension of surviving a last singles match.
In the final, played before hundreds of mostly neutral spectators, the doubles point got the competition off to a rousing start.
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