The Texas Men have advanced to the NCAA finals, winning a 4-2 thriller over UCLA. They will face defending national champs, Georgia, a 4-3 winner over top-ranked UVA in the final.
San Antonio’s own Jamie Hunt clinched the final point for the Bulldogs, 6-0, in the third.
The final will be an interesting match-up between two teams with some history. Travis Helgeson, who left UT after two very successful seasons will have to play his former school. It will also be interesting for Hunt, whose grandfather played for UT, where most of his family also attended.
No. 7 Texas Defeats No. 3 UCLA, Advances to NCAA Title Match
Longhorns take the doubles point and get singles wins from senior Luis Diaz Barriga, junior Miguel Reyes Varela and the second clincher in as many days from sophomore Dimitar Kutrovsky, as Texas advances to its first NCAA Championship match with a 4-2 win over third-seeded UCLA, defeating its second top-three opponent in as many days.
TULSA, Okla. – No. 7 Texas (25-5) continued its run through the NCAA Championship without surrendering the doubles point and collected singles wins from senior Luis Diaz Barriga, junior Miguel Reyes Varela and the second match-clinching victory from sophomore Dimitar Kutrovsky in as many days, as the Longhorns advanced to their first NCAA title match with a 4-2 win over third-seeded UCLA Monday in the NCAA semifinals.
Texas will take on defending NCAA Champion Georgia, a 4-3 NCAA semifinal winner over No. 1 Virginia, in Tuesday’s NCAA Championship match. The contest will air live on ESPNU beginning at 6 p.m. Central from the University of Tulsa’s Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
Texas opened the match by taking its sixth straight doubles point dating back to its Big 12 semifinal match against Texas A&M. Kutrovsky and sophomore Josh Zavala knocked off Jeremy Drean and Michael Look at the third slot, and Diaz Barriga and Reyes Varela held off Mathieu Dehaine and Holden Seguso at the second slot, 8-6, to clinch the doubles point.
UCLA immediately commenced a formidable rally, taking four of the first six sets. The Bruins got on the board at third singles when Dehaine defeated UT freshman Ed Corrie in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2. Drean gave the Bruins the lead when he knocked off senior Milan Mihailovic by a 7-6 (3), 6-2 count at fifth singles.
Diaz Barriga, who took his first set off of UCLA’s Look at fourth singles before surrendering the second, seized control of the match in the final set, winning 6-2 to even the team score at two-all. Reyes Varela dropped his first set to the Bruins’ Nick Meister at sixth singles but took control from there, winning 6-3 in the second set before blanking Meister in the final set, 6-0, to give the Longhorns the lead for good and set the stage for Kutrovsky.
Kutrovsky, who already has earned All-America status this season by way of his 9-16 seed in the 64-player NCAA singles draw to be contested later this week, surrendered his first set to UCLA’s 23rd-ranked Srugo, 6-2. However, just as he did a day earlier against Ohio State’s Bryan Koniecko, Kutrovsky rallied with a vengeance in the second set, winning 6-2 to force the decisive third set.
Kutrovsky opened the final set by holding serve, and Srugo followed suit. Kutrovsky held once more for a 2-1 lead before breaking Srugo’s serve to assume a 3-1 third-set cushion. Kutrovsky held at 4-1 before Srugo regained his serve to cut the deficit to 4-2. The two held service in the ensuing two games before Kutrovsky held serve again to finish off Srugo, 6-3, and send the Longhorns to the NCAA Championship match.
NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship – Semifinals
Michael D. Case Tennis Center – Tulsa, Okla.
No. 7 Texas 4, No. 3 UCLA 2
Doubles – Order of Finish: 3, 2
1 No. 42 Meister/Srugo (UCLA) vs. No. 10 Corrie/Damico (UT) – DNF
2 No. 53 Diaz Barriga/Reyes Varela (UT) def. Dehaine/Seguso (UCLA) – 8-6
3 Kutrovsky/Zavala (UT) def. Drean/Look (UCLA) – 8-5
Singles – Order of Finish: 3, 5, 4, 6, 1
1 No. 10 Dimitar Kutrovsky (UT) def. No. 23 Harel Srugo (UCLA) – 3-6, 6-2, 63-
2 Kellen Damico (UT) vs. Holden Seguso (UCLA) – 6-4, 5-7, 2-2, susp.
3 No. 40 Mathieu Dehaine (UCLA) def. No. 47 Ed Corrie (UT) – 6-4, 6-2
4 Luis Diaz Barriga (UT) def. Michael Look (UCLA) – 6-3, 1-6, 6-2
5 Jeremy Drean (UCLA) def. Milan Mihailovic (UT) – 7-6 (3), 6-2
6 Miguel Reyes Varela (UT) def. Nick Meister (UCLA) – 3-6, 6-3, 6-0
· Texas improves to 34-25 all-time at the NCAA Championship and reaches the NCAA finals for the first time in program history.
· Texas scored its first win, ever, over UCLA in nine tries; the Longhorns and Bruins had not matched up since the 2000 NCAA Championship, when UCLA dealt Texas a 4-0 defeat in the round of 16 in Athens, Ga.
· Texas has now won 26 of 29 doubles points contested this season (a doubles session was not played in Texas’ loss to Baylor at the Big 12 Championship)
· The Longhorns are 24-2 in matches where they have secured the doubles point (losses at Virginia and Texas Tech).
· UT senior Luis Diaz Barriga now ranks 18th and now has 84 singles wins to his credit at Texas.
· Diaz Barriga is 31-5 on the season and holds a 21-2 mark at No. 4 singles; Diaz Barriga holds an incredible 58-9 singles mark over the last two seasons.
· Texas and Georgia met on Feb. 16 at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Seattle, Wash., where the Bulldogs defeated the Longhorns by a 4-2 count in the quarterfinals.