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Holding Serve

Men's tennis looks to defend NCAA title

Coach Brian Boland gets drenched after his team captures the 2013 NCAA Championship. Matt Riley

To say the men’s tennis team had a good run in 2013 would be playing down a record-setting year. The team brought Virginia its first men’s tennis NCAA Championship, making the school the first in the Atlantic Coast Conference to capture that title.

“Our kids felt the pressure to cross the finish line and bring the national championship to Virginia,” says Coach Brian Boland. “It was a tremendous moment for the program.”

Now the team is starting its season ranked as No. 1 in the 2014 preseason Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings. Last year’s ITA National Player of the Year Jarmere Jenkins (Col ’13) has graduated, but the team’s returnees include five singles players and one doubles team in the latest individual rankings. Four first-year students are joining the team as well, giving it more depth than in previous years. “This year’s team is as good as any we have had,” says Boland, now in his 13th season at UVA.

Team members aren’t complacent about their success, Boland says. They are “still hungry to continue to get better. Many players on our team have professional aspirations.”

This year Boland wants the team to concentrate on the process and not the end result, even though he realizes expectations are high. “We still want to win the national championship, but we don’t want to focus on it,” he says. “We want to make every player better and have them come together collectively as a team.”