Yet again, Bulldogs deflect Cav tennis title shot

Feel free to insert a corny “Georgia On My Mind” reference here: UVA continued its role as tennis whipping boy to the University of Georgia. In the NCAA men’s semifinals tennis championships in Tulsa, Georgia knocked the Cavaliers out of the NCAA tournament with a 4-3 victory, the first and only loss of UVA’s season.

Based on performance, Somdev Devvarman, the reigning NCAA singles champion, is the best men’s tennis player to have ever worn a UVA uniform. By press time, he was still competing for the NCAA singles and doubles championships.

Last year, UVA was booted from the tournament at the hands of Georgia—just like the year before. This most recent defeat made for 14 consecutive losses to the Bulldogs.

The loss capped the best season in school history. UVA finished 32-1 and reached the tennis equivalent of the Final Four for the second straight year. In February, the Cavaliers won the National Team Indoor Championship. They spent the year ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation.

Heap onto that accolade pile its fourth ACC championship in the last five years and you get just the sort of high expectations that were dashed, once again, by Georgia.

UVA’s season came down to the last match. Georgia’s Jamie Hunt came from behind to beat UVA freshman Sanam Singh in a match where Singh was dogged by cramps.

After the loss, UVA Coach Brian Boland looked at the loss in terms of the future.

“This is tough to swallow, and we’ll see what Virginia is made of as we move forward, particularly that young man, Sanam Singh,” he said. “For anyone that knows him, this is very painful for him. He is one of the finest young men you’ll ever meet, and I know this is very difficult for him.

“We’ll see how tough he is.”

On May 20, Boland was named National Coach of the Year. Senior Somdev Devvarman, who spent the season ranked No. 1 in both singles and doubles with partner Treat Huey, was named National Senior Player of the Year.

“This is obviously not how we wanted it to end,” said Devvarman. “It’s just unfortunate for us, but like coach said, you can’t take away anything that we have achieved this season.”

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