'Hoos Top Penn State, Advance to Round of 16

The fourth-ranked Virginia men's tennis team advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 for the 11th consecutive year with a 4-1 victory over No. 23 Penn State in a second round match Sunday at the Snyder Tennis Center.

The Cavaliers, who are now 25- this year, remained unbeaten all-time in home NCAA Tournament matches, while Penn State ended the year with a 22-6 record.

Virginia will play Notre Dame in the round of 16 on Friday at the Dan Magill Tennis Center in Athens, Ga. Match time is slated for noon.

"It is always a special accomplishment to advance to the Round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament, and we are honored to have the opportunity to go back, " said head coach Brian Boland, who had high praise for his team after the win. "I've coached a lot of teams that can play at a high level and can win National Championships. This is as good a team as I've ever had in my 18-year career as a head coach. Certainly there are some teams that you can argue are as good, but I don't think there are any that are better."

The Nittany Lions took an early lead in the match by winning the doubles point. Mitchell Frank and Justin Shane gave Virginia the early edge with an 8-1 win at No. 3 over Matt Barry and Roman Trkulja. Penn State drew even as Russell Bader and Leonard Stakhovsky topped Luca Corinteli and Mac Styslinger 8-5 at the No. 1 position. With the opening point on the line, the Penn State duo of Michael Reilly and Chris Young handed Alex Domijan and Harrison Richmond their first loss of the season, 8-5, at No. 2 to give the Nittany Lions the lead.

Virginia rallied in singles, taking five of the six first sets to grab momentum in the match. Justin Shane cruised to a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Trkulja at No. 5 to tie the match. Domijan gave the Cavaliers the lead with his 6-1, 6-2 victory at No. 1 over Stakhovsky. Frank made the score 3-1 with a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 2 over Bader. Ryan Shane sealed the victory for Virginia with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Alex Fennell at No. 3 singles.

"We faced some adversity today and I thought we all rebounded really well in singles," said senior Alex Domijan. "We're really looking forward to Athens. I think it's going to be a good test for us. I think we're ready for it. We're looking to get there tomorrow and be ready for Friday."

The Cavaliers' streak of 11 consecutive NCAA Round of 16 appearances is the third longest active streak in the nation. Virginia has advanced to at least the quarterfinals in each of the past nine tournaments.


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