May 25, 2016

24 Chips

And with that, men's tennis brought home their third national championship in the last four years, bringing Virginia's national championship total to 24!

The 24 chips:

Boxing (1): 1938
Lacrosse (5): 1972, 1999, 2003, 2006, 2011
Soccer (7): 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2009, 2014
Tennis (3): 2013, 2015, 2016
Baseball (1): 2015

Cross Country (2): 1981, 1982
Lacrosse (3): 1991, 1993, 2004
Rowing (2): 2010, 2012

TULSA, Okla. - The top-seeded Virginia men's tennis team (30-4) won its second-straight NCAA Championship with a 4-1 victory over No. 11 Oklahoma (20-11) on Tuesday (May 24) playing indoors at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla.

Sophomore Henrik Wiersholm (Kirkland, Wash.) clinched the victory by winning a tiebreaker in the second set at No. 6 singles.

"First of all congratulations to Oklahoma on a great season," said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. "We have so much respect for their team and how hard they competed. You feel for anyone who loses a match like this. I know John Roddick and his team left it all out there on the court. I am really pleased with our overall effort. I couldn't be happier for this team. These guys hung in there all year long, and we went through some adversity in terms of not winning the ACC tournament as well as losing in the finals in the National Indoors. Our guys were extremely persistent. Again, I was really pleased with how they stuck together throughout the entire year as it was a true team effort. I couldn't be happier for the players."

In doubles, junior J.C. Aragone (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and sophomore Collin Altamirano (Sacramento, Calif.) cruised to a 6-1 victory at No. 3 doubles. Junior Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Charlotte, N.C.) and senior Mac Styslinger (Birmingham, Ala.) played a tight match at No. 2, but were broken when serving 5-5. Oklahoma held serve and tied it up with a 7-5 victory. On court one, senior Ryan Shane (Falls Church, Va.) and junior Luca Corinteli (Alexandria, Va.) held serve to take a 6-5 lead and then broke the Sooners to win 7-5 and secure the doubles point for the Cavaliers.

"Coming out we knew it would be tough," Shane said. "Oklahoma had won the doubles point the day before and it was big for them. We knew we had to come out with a lot of energy. I don't know what happened on the other two courts, but I know on our court it came down to a few key points. Going into that match we knew that's how it was going to be, so, mentally we were prepared for it. We just came out with a lot of energy and never got down on ourselves. I think that was a huge key for us to win. I came out and got broken right off the bat, I made all my serves, they came up with some big points, but just kept plowing through and eventually got the job done."

In singles, Aragone put the Cavaliers up 2-0 with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Florin Bragusi on court five. Kwiatkowski, who earned the Outstanding Player of the Tournament honor, trailed 4-1 in the first set, but rallied to give Virginia a 3-0 lead with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Spencer Papa. Shane fell 7-6, 6-0 to Andrew Harris to give Oklahoma its point. On court six, after winning his first set 6-2, Wiersholm battled back from down two breaks in his second set to tie it up 5-5, only to go back down a break. Wiersholm again battled back and tied it back up, 6-6, to force a tiebreaker. Wiersholm won the tiebreaker 7-2 to clinch the match. Sophomore Alexander Ritschard (Zurich, Switzerland) was serving to win his match on court four at the time Wiersholm won on six.

For the second-straight day, the Cavaliers endured a weather delay with lightning and rain moving the match indoors with an hour-late start time.

Aragone and Altamirano were named to the All-Tournament Team at No. 3 doubles with Corinteli and Shane also earning honors at No. 1. In singles, Wiersholm, Aragone, Ritschard and Kwitakowski all were named to the All-Tournament team.

Virginia and Oklahoma met last year in the NCAA final with the Cavaliers winning the program's second NCAA title with a 4-1 victory over the Sooners in Waco, Texas. Virginia won its first championship in 2013 to give the Cavaliers three titles in four years.

The match was taped and will air nationwide on local CBS stations on Saturday, June 18 at 1:30 p.m.

#1 Virginia 4, #11 Oklahoma 1

Singles competition
1. #97 Andrew Harris (OU) def. #8 Ryan Shane (VA) 7-6 (7-3), 6-0
2. #33 Collin Altamirano (VA) vs. #25 Axel Alvarez Llamas (OU) 5-7, 3-4, unfinished
3. #9 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA) def. #82 Spencer Papa (OU) 6-4, 6-4
4. #78 Alexander Ritschard (VA) vs. #61 Alex Ghilea (OU) 6-1, 1-6, 5-2, unfinished
5. #110 J.C. Aragone (VA) def. Florin Bragusi (OU) 6-3, 6-4
6. Henrik Wiersholm (VA) def. Andre Biro (OU) 6-2, 7-6 (7-2)

Doubles competition
1. #4 Luca Corinteli/Ryan Shane (VA) def. #24 Axel Alvarez Llamas/Andrew Harris (OU) 7-5
2. Alex Ghilea/Spencer Papa (OU) def. #16 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Mac Styslinger (VA) 7-5
3. J.C. Aragone/Collin Altamirano (VA) def. Andre Biro/Austin Siegel (OU) 6-1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (5,3,1,6)

Farewell, Dom Starsia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – University of Virginia director of athletics Craig Littlepage announced today that a change in leadership of the men’s lacrosse program will be made and a national search to replace head coach Dom Starsia is underway. Starsia, who has won the most games in Division I men’s lacrosse history, was the head coach at UVA for 24 seasons and his squads won four NCAA championships and made 13 Final Four appearances. He was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2008, has won more games than any other men’s lacrosse coach in Atlantic Coast Conference history (274) and he guided the Cavaliers to six ACC titles. 
“Dom Starsia is a Hall of Fame coach and I want to thank him for all he has done for Virginia men’s lacrosse, UVA athletics, the University of Virginia, and the Charlottesville community,” Littlepage said. “In addition to winning 73 percent of his games at UVA with multiple ACC and NCAA championships, Dom was committed to the development of student-athletes as his teams were cited for their sportsmanship and academic achievements. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have worked with and learned from Dom.
“These decisions are not easy and Dom and I have had a number of substantive conversations over the last several weeks regarding the future of the program.”
“When our season ended, Craig informed me of his decision to make a coaching change,” Starsia said. “I wanted to take this moment to thank everyone who has been so gracious to me and my family during our time in Charlottesville. While blessed to have been part of some great teams, this experience has always been about the people and the relationships. I want to thank the players and their families who have been such an important part of my life. I would also like to thank all the coaches and staff who have propped me up over a lot of years, and especially to Marc Van Arsdale, who was here when I arrived 24 years ago. What a joy it has been to coach with my son Joe these past three years! I am very proud of all that we have accomplished here at the University of Virginia.”
Starsia finished his career at Virginia with a 274-103 record. His teams won ACC championships in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2006, and 2010 and NCAA championships in 1999, 2003, 2006, and 2011. Starsia’s 375 total career wins as the head coach at Brown and UVA are the most in Division I history. He was named the USILA F. Morris Touchstone Division I Head Coach of the Year three times (1985, 1991, and 2011). 
Before coming to Virginia, Starsia was the head coach at his alma mater, Brown University, where he compiled a 101-46 record over 10 seasons and led the Bears to two Ivy League championships and five NCAA Tournament appearances. 
“In our search for the next head coach, we will be looking for a dynamic leader who clearly articulates a plan to build upon the tradition Dom and his staff created over the last two and a half decades and who can position our men’s lacrosse program to compete annually for ACC and NCAA championships while also achieving success academically,” Littlepage said.
Starsia’s contract was set to expire in January 2017. The University will fulfill its financial obligation to pay him approximately $400,000 through January. Compensation owed to Starsia and any assistant coaches not retained by the next head coach will be funded from athletics department funds. The athletics department does not receive state funding.