Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Virginia's incredible streak ends in National Indoors

Virginia's Collin Altamirano, practicing in his home-
town of Sacramento in 2014, came within one game
of going undefeated in singles and doubles in the ITA
Team Indoors. Photo by  Paul Bauman 
   At least Collin Altamirano didn't contribute to Virginia's historic loss on Monday.
   The sophomore from Sacramento helped the top-ranked Cavaliers win the doubles point, and his match at No. 3 singles was abandoned in a stunning 4-2 loss to No. 7 North Carolina in the final of the ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Va.
   The Cavaliers had won 140 consecutive dual matches against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents, the longest winning streak in ACC history in any sport.
   It was Virginia's first loss to a conference foe in almost 10 years -- since April 23, 2006.
   The defending NCAA champion Cavaliers (8-1) were seeking their sixth ITA Indoors title, while the Tar Heels (9-0) were playing in the final for the first time.
   Altamirano and J.C. Aragone clinched the doubles point for Virginia with a 6-3 victory over Blaine Boyden and Ronnie Schneider on Court 3.
   Aragone then won on Court 5 to give the Cavaliers a 2-0 lead. North Carolina pulled within 2-1, but Ryan Shane and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski won the first set on Court 1 and Court 2, respectively, before losing third-set tiebreakers.
   Jack Murray outlasted Mac Styslinger 6-4, 0-6, 7-5 on Court 4 to clinch the victory for North Carolina. Altamirano trailed Brett Clark 4-5 in the third set on Court 3 when the match was halted.    
   "Credit to North Carolina," Virginia coach Brian Boland said on virginiasports.com. "They just hung in there and gave themselves a chance to win in the end. It would have been very easy for them to look up at the scoreboard and go away, but they kept fighting on every court."
   Altamirano came within one game of going undefeated in singles and doubles in the 16-team tournament, finishing 3-0 and 3-1, respectively. He and Aragone lost 7-6 to Romain Bogaerts and Dennis Uspensky of Wake Forest in the quarterfinals.
   Altamirano, the 2013 USTA Boys 18 national champion, made the NCAA All-Tournament team at No. 3 singles and No. 3 doubles last season.

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