Whenever my tennis team or one of the players goes up against a high seed in a tournament, one of things I tell them after the match is that it is always fortunate to be able to go up against the best of the best. You don't always get the opportunity to play with the best, so make it count. Learn what you can from the match, find your strength was in that match and figure out what you need to work on. A blowout loss is always an opportunity to learn something; from your opponent and from yourself.
The Miami Hurricanes Men's tennis team had a rough day of it today, going up against the best of the best in the Virginia Cavaliers. The Cavaliers have established themselves as one of the top teams in the history of college tennis within the last ten years. A NCAA championship (2013), five ITA National Indoor titles, six consecutive ACC championships and five NCAA Final Fours. Their players have won multiple NCAA, ITA All-American and ITA Indoor championships. They are one of the favorites, if not the favorite to take the NCAA title again this year.
The Canes have had a great month, getting some wins over some ranked opponents and climbing back up the rankings. But today was a different story. And with their top player, Omar Aly apparently out with a groin injury (Miami will not confirm it), the odds were stacked against them. In doubles, Gabriel Flores and Diego Soto were evenly matched in the No. 1 doubles match, but the other two doubles teams were completely blown off the court to give the Cavaliers the doubles point. Nothing went right in the singles, as the Canes were unable to win a single set and went down to their first 0-7 loss this year.
Their next match on Sunday against the Virginia Tech Hokies looks to be one of the most important matches the Canes have played in the last few years. With a win over the No. 54 Hokies, the Canes could find themselves in range for a spot in the NCAA tournament, their first since 2011. However, to go along with Aly's injury, Virginia Tech had a big win over No. 24 Florida State today so they will have the momentum on their side. The Canes have two days to recover and regroup before they head into Blacksburg. Win or lose, the Canes again have an opportunity to find out what they are made of and what they need to do as they head into the final stretch of the regular season.
The Miami Hurricanes men's tennis team head up to Virginia on Friday for maybe their toughest match of the year. The Canes (12-4, 3-1) will face No. 4 and defending NCAA champion Virginia on Friday at 3 p.m. in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers (12-2, 4-0) have been a tough opponent ever since the Canes joined the ACC in 2004. They have won the last six ACC championships and finally broke through last year to win their first ever NCAA championship over UCLA. Virginia also leads the all-time series 16-4. The Canes have a tough opponent ahead on Friday but one thing we have learned about this team this season is that these guys don't quit. Go Canes!
Next Match: Sunday, March 30 12 p.m. at Virginia Tech