The No. 1 men's tennis team in the country continued its dominance this weekend, as Virginia defeated No. 49 Miami, No. 22 Florida State and Delaware at home. Because of inclement weather this weekend, all three matches were played indoors. Coach Brian Boland said this move did present some difficulties for the team, especially in the first matchup against Miami. Though Virginia won 7-0 Friday, the squad still had to adjust its game styles to faster play that lacked the influence of weather conditions after having played and practiced outdoors for most of the past month.
"It was a little bit more difficult than I thought for us to go from as much outdoor tennis as we have played and for the first time in weeks" go to an indoor setting, Boland said.
He added, though, that Miami also had to make the difficult switch from outdoors to indoors.
Against Miami, Virginia won all its doubles either in straight sets or without tiebreakers. The team won all its singles matches in straight sets, expect for at No. 1 - where junior Michael Shabaz beat his opponent junior Christian Blocker 6-7(5), 7-6(3), 10-6 - and at No. 3, where freshman Jarmere Jenkins beat his opponent junior Keith Crowley 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
The Cavaliers followed up on this victory by taking down highly ranked Florida State 5-2 and Delaware 10-1 in a successful doubleheader yesterday afternoon. Virginia's strong performances largely relied on the doubles matches, which the team consistently has dominated throughout the season.
"Doubles is working really well right now," sophomore Drew Courtney said. "Doubles is a huge point, especially for us, and we like to get that point ... It makes singles easier."
To secure their 10-1 victory against Delaware, the Cavaliers won their seven singles matches and won all of their doubles matches except at the No. 1 position, where sophomores Steven Eelkman Rooda and Phillipe Oudshoorn lost in a close 7-9 match.
Earlier in the day, Virginia did not have an easy time taking the doubles point against Florida State, as the No. 19 doubles team of junior Sanam Singh and senior Houston Barrick lost to their opponents 5-8. The team also lost two singles points at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, in which Singh lost to his opponent 3-6, 5-7, and Courtney lost 4-6, 7-6 (5), 1-6.
"It was kind of hard at first," Courtney said of the adjustment to the indoor court. "Your timing's off, and the courts are faster, but I thought our team fought through it and we got the job done."\nCourtney was not only dealing with switching to the indoor court, like the rest of his teammates, as he was moved from his usual No. 4 singles spot to Jenkins' usual No. 3 spot.
The squad may have faced its share of challenges and setbacks throughout the weekend, but Boland thought Virginia rose to the occasion, he said.
"Going from outdoors to indoors is always an easier transition, but by no means is it any easy one," Boland said. "I thought we competed hard."
The team next will take a road trip this weekend, facing North Carolina in Chapel Hill Friday and Duke the following afternoon.