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Team downs Vols to claim ITA title

For the fourth consecutive season, the Virginia men's tennis team won the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, downing No. 3 Tennessee, 4-0, in the title match yesterday afternoon in Seattle, Wash. The top-ranked Cavaliers (14-0, 3-0 ACC) became the first team in the history of the event to win four consecutive titles, dropping just one point in each round before sweeping Tennessee in the finals.

Virginia coach Brian Boland, who had expressed consternation about the play of his team's doubles pairings after last weekend's victory against Virginia Tech, split up senior Michael Shabaz and junior Drew Courtney - the defending NCAA doubles titleholders - before the event. Courtney moved to No. 3 doubles, where he played with junior Steven Eelkman Rooda. Senior Sanam Singh paired with sophomore Jarmere Jenkins at No. 2 doubles, while 6-foot-7 freshman Alex Domijan joined Shabaz at No. 1 doubles.

Domijan and Shabaz lost at the No. 1 doubles spot against Tennessee in the finals, but Virginia still managed to secure the doubles point, earning tie-break victories at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions. During singles play, Shabaz dominated sophomore Rhyne Williams, the nation's top-ranked singles player, in two easy sets, 6-2, 6-2. Jenkins and Domijan each earned straight-set victories to capture the title for the Cavaliers.

En route to the finals, the Cavaliers topped No. 29 Washington, No. 8 Illinois and No. 4 Ohio State, all by a score of 4-1 and without dropping the doubles point. No. 2 Southern California - the two-time defending NCAA title-holder responsible for ending the Cavaliers' season each of the past two years - was upset in the first round by No. 15 Duke, which won 4-3. Duke won its next match but lost in the semifinals against Tennessee.

The Cavaliers will continue their 11-match road trip against No. 35 Louisiana State March 9.

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-compiled by Rodger Nayak

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