No. 1 Virginia Holds Off Threat From No. 8 Duke

The top-ranked Virginia men’s tennis team opened its conference schedule Friday with a 4-3 victory over No. 8 Duke at the Snyder Tennis Center. The Cavaliers (12-0, 1-0 ACC) extended their win streak to 94 consecutive victories over ACC competition.

“We have so much respect for Duke and they played a great match,” said head coach Brian Boland. “I think we grew a lot as a team today. We had to play in some tough conditions against a quality opponent. When you are battling against the elements and good competition, it forces you to be tougher. That is why I was glad we played this match outdoors and we learned a lot about ourselves today.”

Virginia won the doubles point to start the match, which proved to be crucial.

In singles, the Virginia lead was quickly doubled. Mitchell Frank needed less than an hour at No. 3, winning 6-0, 6-0. The Blue Devils answered with three wins to give them a 3-2 lead in the match.

The Cavaliers needed to win the final two matches on the courts to keep their ACC win streak alive. Mac Styslinger recorded a 6-1, 7-6(7) victory to even the match at 3-3.

In the decisive match at No. 6, Julen Uriguen closed out the match-clinching 7-6(6), 6-4 win.

“We struggled in some areas today,” said Boland. “Some guys who have been so consistent for us all season had an off day, but that’s going to happen at times. They will bounce back. What is great about that is it gives other guys an opportunity to feel the pressure and have the chance to play last match on with your team depending on you. Mac and Julen rose to the occasion today and I am very proud of them for how they closed out this victory.”

Virginia continues its homestand on Sunday as it hosts No. 70 North Carolina.

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