Cavalier Corner

June 2015

Cavalier Corner is the publication just for UVa sports fans!

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 25 of 53

BY WHITELAW REID W HEN OKLAHOMA'S Andrew Harris netted a forehand, Vir- ginia's Mitchell Frank dropped to a knee. In an instant, the fourth-year captain was mobbed by teammates who had hopped a short fence at the Hurd Tennis Center in Waco, Texas. With that, the Cavaliers were NCAA champions for the second time in three years. "I couldn't be more proud of the players and the time and effort they put in this year," said Virginia head coach Brian Boland during the post-match press conference. "They've really bought into a being a true team. The culture was tremendous. "When they put the orange and blue on, they wear it with such pride each and every day, and they make themselves and everyone around them better. It's been a great journey, and I couldn't be more proud of them." It was a journey that got off to an unusually slow start. In February, Virginia lost to Baylor, 4-3, at the ITA National Indoors in Chicago. Two weeks later, Virginia lost to Baylor again — this time in Waco by a 5-2 score. But Boland, whose squad was playing without two starters, wasn't the least bit discouraged. "They were the better team today," said Boland following that match, "but I am so pleased with our process. What a tremendous group of guys, doing things the right way. We continue to get better as this group of guys really understands and accepts the process. "[Assistant coaches] Dustin Taylor and Scott Brown and the rest of the staff are doing a great job with this group. The best is in front of us and we continue to get better with each day." But nine days later, Virginia lost to top-ranked Oklahoma. After losing just three times in the previous two seasons, the Cavaliers had lost three times in six matches. "We will stick to the process and keep improv- ing," Boland said. "I love this team." Boland's faith was rewarded when Virginia went on to win its next 14 consecutive matches, extending its ACC winning streak to 139 — the longest in league history in any sport. Frank, who had led Virginia to its first NCAA title in 2013 when he won the decisive match against UCLA, was the unquestioned leader of the squad. During a match against Duke's Nicolas Alvarez in March, he fired the team up by running suicide sprints during a changeover. "I wanted to show [Alvarez] that I have an un- limited amount of energy," Frank said afterward. In the ACC Tournament, Virginia had one of its gutsiest wins of the season. With Frank sidelined by back spasms, Alexander Ritschard, the redshirt first-year from Switzerland, won the clinching NCAA CHAMPIONS UVa Men's Tennis Team Makes It Two National Titles In The Last Three Seasons

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cavalier Corner - June 2015