The No. 1 Virginia men's tennis team will square off in a triple-header tomorrow against Wofford, Liberty and Longwood on its home turf at the Boar's Head Sports Club.
The team enters the contest after topping No. 18 Virginia Tech Tuesday night and hopes to continue its eight-match win streak, during which the Cavaliers rose to the nation's top ranking after winning the ITA National Indoor Championship last weekend.
But Virginia coach Brian Boland said the team cannot become too complacent. Even though Virginia's opponents this Saturday are all unranked in the ITA, the lineup of three matches in one day for the Cavaliers will present a challenge in terms of sheer quantity of matches - potentially testing Virginia's depth, he said.
Moreover, the Cavaliers must be particularly aware of the doubles lineup. The loss of the doubles point continuously has plagued Virginia recently. Against Tech, freshman Jarmere Jenkins and senior Houston Barrick lost 9-7 at No. 2, and junior Sanam Singh and senior Lee Singer lost 8-4 at No. 3. Sophomore Drew Courtney and junior Michael Shabaz won their match at No. 1 doubles, 8-7 (5), but only after the Hokies already had the point secured.
Boland realigned the team's doubles pairings prior to the ITA Indoors last weekend, and hope remained that the Cavaliers's strong singles play would carry into the team's doubles performance.
"I think these doubles teams are working well, and we can work some more and hopefully get better for the future," Singh said after the ITA tournament final against Tennessee earlier this month, during which Virginia also lost the doubles point.
Boland said following the Tech match Tuesday that doubles pairings, with time, will improve and perform against the nation's top teams.
"I really was pleased with our performance at Tech, and I thought we played really well despite our struggle in the doubles point." Boland said. "We came out strong in singles and without question we'll be [as big of a] force in doubles with enough time and work." The team is set to play Wofford at 9 a.m., Liberty at 1 p.m. and Longwood at 5 p.m.
"It's certainly going to be a long day of tennis, but an excellent opportunity for us to play a lot of matches and look at some of the things we need to work on," Boland said. "We'll be able to utilize a number of the players on our roster [and] I know they're really looking forward to competing"