JTCC alum Mitchell Frank (pictured above) and the University of Virginia men’s tennis team (6-0) toppled USC yesterday in the finale of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships held at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle. This marks the fifth time in six years that the Cavaliers have won the indoor tournament. The Trojans were vying for their second straight title.
“I am so proud of this team and what they accomplished this week,” said UVA head coach Brian Boland. “During the last two matches, there were times where we kind of had our backs against the wall and we handled the adversity well. Every guy played a role and stepped up when the team needed them. This is another stepping stone for our program, to win another National Indoor Championship. We now have to get ready for the outdoor season and continue to get better to accomplish the goals this team has for itself.”
“Playing USC is always a challenge,” said Boland. “They have a great program and we have so much respect for them. We have had a lot of great battles with them in the past, and today was no exception, and we know that there will be more to come in the future. We look forward to it because the high level of our matches is why college tennis is so great.”
In doubles play, Mitchell Frank and partner Alex Domijan cruised to victory (8-4) in a mere 40 minutes. Shortly after, UVA teammates Julen Uriguen and Justin Shane clinched the doubles point (8-3).
Frank encountered more of a challenge in his singles match. With the Cavaliers leading 3 – 1 in the overall match, he had a chance to seal the title. In a closely contested second set, Frank finished off his counterpart by breaking at love (6-3, 7-5).
“I looked up at the scoreboard and I saw we were up 3-1 and I figured it was going to come down to me,” said Frank. “I was calm in the moment and just wanted to play my game. When I was able to save the break points and hold for 6-5, it gave me some momentum. I had been in a bunch of his service games all day and I was able to get some returns in play. I had been passing well all day and on three of those points he came in and I was able to pass him for winners. It was just a great feeling to get the win for the team.”
For the past six years, the Cavaliers have been a fixture in the ITA National Team Indoors Championships. With their victory yesterday, UVA is behind only Stanford (12) and UCLA (7) in overall titles in ITA history.
The Cavaliers will return to the court on March 3 as they host No. 8 Oklahoma at the Snyder Tennis Center.
*Photo and quotes courtesy of UVA Athletic Department website