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Team scores back-to-back victories

Virginia continues momentum of ITA tourney win, prepares to face strong Hokie squad

The No. 1 Virginia men's tennis team, freshly crowned as the nation's top squad after winning the ITA Indoors Feb. 15, swiftly defeated No. 35 Louisiana State and Boston College Saturday at its home courts at the Boar's Head Sports Club, winning both matches 7-0.

"I was extremely pleased with our performance this weekend," Virginia coach Brian Boland said. "I thought that we played with a lot of confidence."

The team continued its recent trend of winning all of its singles matches, taking down both LSU and BC in straight sets.

Boland said the Cavaliers' ITA victory helped energize them for this past Saturday and for the rest of the season.

Against the Tigers, junior Michael Shabaz won at No. 1 singles 6-4, 6-2, while fellow junior Sanam Singh won in the No. 2 slot, 6-0, 6-2. Freshman Jarmere Jenkins, sophomore Drew Courtney and sophomore Philippe Oudshoorn all won in straight sets at No. 3, No. 4 and No. 6 respectively. Senior Houston Barrick also won at No. 5, prevailing 7-6(3) in the first set and was leading 3-2 in the second set before his opponent, sophomore Mark Bowtell, retired.

In doubles, the Cavaliers won first at the No. 3 spot with Singh and senior Lee Singer by a score of 8-4, followed by wins in tiebreakers at the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, as Shabaz and Courtney won 9-8(9) and Barrick and Jenkins followed suit, 9-8(5).

Boland realigned the team's doubles pairings before last weekend's ITAs, matching Shabaz with Courtney, Jenkins with Barrick and Singh with Singer. The revamped lineup, Boland said, is starting to perform well, and it is just "a matter of time" before the team's doubles lineup is as formidable as its singles squad, he said.

Following the win against LSU, the team continued its dominance against Boston College, sweeping both singles and doubles in straight sets.

"We went out there with full preparation and got the job done," Singh said, adding that the match against the Eagles provided Boland with an opportunity to rest starters and play younger members on the team who do not normally see time on court.

Shabaz and Courtney won 8-4 against No. 21 Thomas Nolan and Erik Kreutzer at No. 1 doubles, while Oudshoorn and sophomore Steven Eelkman Rooda won 8-1 at No. 2, and senior Milo Johnson and freshman Julen Uriguen prevailed 8-4 at No. 3.

In singles, only sophomore Santiago Villegas lost more than four games in a set, winning 6-2, 7-5. No. 120 Steven Eelkman Rooda pulled off the double bagel against Brian Locklear, burying the Boston College junior 6-0, 6-0.

The team now looks to No. 19 Virginia Tech, which it will play today in Blacksburg.

Tech's only loss this season came against then-No. 15 Illinois by a score of 6-1. The Hokies defeated the only team to have beaten the Cavaliers this season, topping then-No. 14 Kentucky Jan. 27 by a score of 5-2. They lost the doubles point during the match but rallied to take five of the six singles matches to upset the Wildcats.

Overall, the Cavaliers have dominated the Hokies in recent years, winning every match since April 2003 and will look to continue that trend today against a strong Hokie squad.\n"I think we're going to be looking forward to the Virginia Tech match," Boland said. "They have an excellent team"

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