UVA junior Ryan Shane (Falls Church, Va.) will play for the NCAA Singles Championship on Monday at the Hurd Tennis Center on the campus of Baylor University. Shane reached the final with a straight set win during Sunday’s semifinal action, while his teammate, sophomore Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Charlotte, N.C.) fell in the other semifinal.
Shane, the tournament’s No 8 seed, reached the final with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over No. 9-16 seed Quentin Monaghan of Notre Dame. Monaghan got off to a quick start, breaking Shane in the opening game of the match and taking a 3-1 lead in the first set. Shane got back on serve at 3-3 and broke Monaghan again in the final game of the set to win it 6-4. In the second set, Shane raced out to a 5-0 lead before serving out the straight set victory. The win avenged a regular season loss Shane had to Monaghan, 7-6, 6-3, on March 20 in the Cavaliers’ 6-1 dual match victory at Notre Dame.
“I played him in the regular season, and he is a great player who gets a lot of balls back,” said Shane. “The first few games, I was a little on edge. After he broke, I was able to relax a little bit. The rest of the match, I just tried to focus on being as relaxed as I could be and that definitely helped.”
Monday’s match will mark the sixth time a Cavalier will be in the NCAA Singles Championship final. Somdev Devvarman reached three consecutive finals, winning the title in 2007 and 2008 after a runner-up finish in 2006. Brian Vahaly was the first Virginia finalist in 2001 and Jarmere Jenkins was the tournament’s runner-up in 2013.
Shane’s opponent in the final will be seventh-seeded Noah Rubin of Wake Forest, who defeated Kwiatkowski 6-4, 6-4 in the other semifinal. Rubin took the opening set by capturing the only break midway through the set. Kwiatkowski responded by taking a 3-0 lead in the second set, only to have Rubin roll off five straight games. Kwiatkowski held for 4-5 before Rubin served out the match and earn his place in the final.
This season marks the first NCAA final between two players from the same conference since 2002, when Georgia’s Matias Boeker won his second straight title, defeating Jesse Witten of Kentucky. It will be the second meeting of the season between Shane and Rubin. Rubin won the first matchup, 7-6(5), 6-3, when the two met at No. 1 singles on April 26 as the Cavaliers defeated the Demon Deacons 4-2 in the final of the ACC Tournament.
Monday’s final is slated for noon (CT) at the Hurd Tennis Center. Live scoring and video of the NCAA Singles Championship is available onNCAA.com.