Virginia’s top-ranked men’s tennis team was defeated in the NCAA tournament final, 4-3, by No. 2 Southern California on Tuesday in Palo Alto, Calif.
The Cavaliers rallied after falling behind, 3-0, but in the decisive match Daniel Nguyen defeated Sanam Singh, 7-5, 0-6, 6-4, in No. 3 singles to clinch the third consecutive national championship for the Trojans (27-2). Virginia, playing in its first NCAA final, suffered its only loss in 35 matches this season.
The Trojans won the doubles point by taking two of three matches. Then Emilio Gomez beat freshman Justin Shane (Stuart High), 6-0, 6-3, at No. 5 singles and Steve Johnson downed Michael Shabaz of Fairfax, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3, in No. 1 singles for a 3-0 lead.
Alex Domijan gave the Cavaliers their first point with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Jaak Poldma at No. 2 singles and Julen Uriguen beat Peter Lucassen, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, at No. 6 singles to make it 3-2. Jarmere Jenkins rallied to win his match at No. 4 singles, beating Ray Sarmiento, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Before the match, three Cavalier players drew honors from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Shabaz was named ITA/Farnsworth National Senior Player of the Year. Domijan (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) was named ITA National Rookie of the Year. Singh (Chandigarh, India) was presented with the ITA/Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award.