As the University of Virginia football and baseball teams push toward the national elite, the Cavaliers also are experiencing unprecedented success in men's tennis.
Four weeks after winning its first ACC championship, Virginia (22-3) will host the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament for the first time today and Saturday in Charlottesville. The sixth-seeded Cavaliers open with American (14-7), champion of the Patriot League, for the third year in a row.
"We're real excited," said sophomore Doug Stewart, the No. 9 singles player in the country. "I don't think any of us thought we'd be hosting regionals this year."
The history of Virginia tennis includes individual stars such as current ATP pro Brian Vahaly, but this season, thanks to the recruiting efforts of third-year coach Brian Boland, the Cavaliers' singles lineup has the overall depth to complement its stars.
"Although it seems like the results came very quickly, there's still a lot of work to do," Boland said, alluding to the fact that his top players are five sophomores and a freshman. "We still feel like there's so much room to improve in terms of the program and individual players, so I'm really excited about the future. . . . I really believe this is just the beginning."
-- Jim Reedy