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Miami, Florida State hope to derail top-ranked men

Cavaliers hope to continue success despite possible need to change strategy

The No. 1 Virginia men's tennis team will take on Miami today at the Snyder Tennis Center followed by a doubleheader Sunday against Florida State and Delaware.

Depending on whether it rains, the Miami match may be played indoors, forcing the Cavaliers to deal with a change in surfaces. Regardless, coach Brian Boland said the team will continue to prepare for the matches as if it is playing outdoors.

Though the team may have to switch up its strategy to adjust to indoor play, its main objective will not change as it hopes to continue its position as the top-ranked team in the country.

"Our whole goal is to be the best team in the country," Barrick said. "When you're No. 1, teams want to beat you ... So you have to be willing to play hard everyday."

Virginia is hoping to continue its dominant play from its wins against Virginia Commonwealth and Richmond Wednesday, losing only one match to each team during the doubleheader.

Against VCU, Virginia finished the match 6-1, with just one loss at the No. 1 position in singles. Junior Sanam Singh, who usually plays at the No. 2 singles position, lost at No. 1 to senior Thibaut Charron 7-6(6), 6-4, in a contested match.

"He fought hard and gave it his all, and that's all you can do," senior Houston Barrick said following Singh's match. "VCU's a great team ... They're really talented, and you never know what you're going to get."

With the exception of the loss at the No. 1 position, the rest of the team rallied and finished all matches, including the doubles, in straight sets. Junior Michael Shabaz and sophomore Drew Courtney won at No. 1, 8-5, while the duo of senior Lee Singer and freshman Jarmere Jenkins won at No. 2 8-7 (3). Singh and Barrick rounded out the lineup with an 8-2 victory at No. 3.

The Cavaliers' matchup with Richmond yielded similar results, as the team also dropped one match at the No. 1 singles position. Sophomore Phillipe Oudshoorn lost to Richmond freshman Sebastien Fauchet 2-6, 6-7(3). The team won all other matches in straight sets, except at the No. 2 position where Virginia sophomore Steven Rooda won in three sets, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

"I think we have a great opportunity," freshman Dino Dell'Orto, who played No. 6 against Richmond, said about getting to play in the doubleheader matches. "It's a chance to prove yourself and fight hard and you try your best and give 100 percent."

The freshman will hope to contribute to the Cavaliers' performances this weekend. Virginia first will face off against Miami this afternoon before taking on Florida State Sunday at noon and then Delaware at 4 p.m.

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