The 2008 team, in my opinion, had the most talent 1 through 6 of any team they've ever fielded; I mean when your #6 guy goes on to win 14 titles (and counting) on the Future circuit (7 singles/7 doubles) you know you had some quality depth. The starting 6 from the 2008 team has won 28 singles and 70 doubles titles at the pro level which is a pretty staggering number. The only college teams that could rival that number would be some of the Stanford teams with the Bryan Brothers in the late 90s.
Before we jump into the 2008 season let's take a quick look at how Virginia worked its way up from ACC also-rans into a regular on top of the podium.
Brian Boland's arrival in Charlottesville for the 2001-02 season signaled a change in the landscape for not only Virginia but for the ACC and the nation. Prior to Boland's arrival Virginia had won 0 ACC Championships and made 0 appearances in the NCAA Round of 16 however within just 3 years Virginia would achieve both.
Boland would keep improving the roster and the Cavs would start the 2006 season ranked #1 for the first time in school history but it would be a short stay at the top. They would lose at Pepperdine 4-3 and then a few weeks later they'd go down at Illinois 5-2. The 2006 team had some promise though they were a few pieces short of being a serious contender and would end up losing 9 matches on the year and would get blanked by #1 Georgia in the NCAA Quarterfinals. Half of the starting 6 off the 24-9 team would depart with Rylan Rizza, Doug Stewart, and Darrin Cohen all graduating so Boland would have to restock the shelves.
The 2007 team had 3 newcomers earn starting spots with Houston Barrick (Fr), Dominic Inglot (Fr), and Teddy Angelinos (Jr-Tulane) joining the 3 returnees which were Somdev Devvarman (Jr), Treat Huey (Jr), and Marko Miklo (Sr). This team would go undefeated in ACC play and would be the #4 seed in the NCAAs but would fall 4-1 to eventual national champion and #1 seed Georgia in the NCAA Semifinals. Virginia, which finished 30-4, was the only team to take a point off Georgia in the NCAAs.
So after knocking on the door for a few years it looked like the 2007-08 team was going to be the one to break through. Devvarman, Huey, and Angelinos were seniors while Barrick and Inglot were into their second year. Boland brought in 2 highly touted freshman in Michael Shabaz and Sanam Singh (both top 35 ITF juniors) so Virginia had 7 guys capable of playing and playing well. Devvarman was the defending NCAA and ITA National Indoor singles champion and Devvarman and Huey were the defending ITA All American and ITA National Indoors doubles champs.
Below are each's high ITF junior ranking along with the TRN info for the Americans.
High ITF Junior Ranking:
Somdev Devvarman - 40
Treat Huey - 292
Dominic Inglot - 104
Sanam Singh - 4
Michael Shabaz - 33
Teddy Angelinos - 466
Houston Barrick - 418
TennisRecruiting.Net Rating & Highest Class Ranking:
Huey - Blue Chip #4
Shabaz - Blue Chip #1
Barrick - Blue Chip #6
The 2008 team started off the year ranked #1 but they faced a big test in the 2nd match of the year when they went to Champaign to face an Illinois team that was returning 4 starters off a NCAA runner-up team from the year before. Two years prior Illinois took out a #1 Virginia team early in the year and it looked like it was going to happen again after the Illini jumped out to a 3-1 lead. Virginia cut the deficit to 3-2 after Somdev Devvarman got a straight set win at #1 over Ryan Rowe but Illinois would be in a clinching position on each of the remaining courts. Illinois's Brandon Davis would serve for the match against Teddy Angelinos up 6-3, 5-4 at #6 and later on Billy Heiser would serve for the match against Dominic Inglot up 5-4 in the 3rd at #3.
Davis would have match point at 40-30 but Angelinos passed him at the net and would go on to break and would end up taking the second set in a tiebreak to force a 3rd set. Heiser would lead Inglot 5-3 in the 3rd at #3 but Inglot reeled off 3 straight, including a break of Heiser's serve at 4-5, to go up 6-5. Heiser did hold to force the tiebreak but Inglot would pull out the tiebreak 7-5 to even the match at 3-3. Angelinos would clinch it at #6 as he pulled away from Davis to take it 6-2 in the 3rd and give Virginia the come from behind 4-3 win.
The Hoos next test would come on February 8th when they welcomed in a decent Kentucky team. A full strength Virginia team probably would have won this 6-1 or 7-0 but the Hoos were without Devvarman (Davis Cup) and Inglot (arm injury) so everyone else had to step up. Virginia squeezed out a tight doubles point with 2 new pairings and then got straight set wins from Singh and Angelinos at #3 and #5 to go up 3-0. Kentucky answered with wins from Will Ward and Will Beck at #2 and #6 to make it 3-2 before Barrick clinched it #4. In the end this wasn't as close as the final score but Kentucky would be 1 of just 4 teams to take 3 points off Virginia.
A week later Virginia would head to Seattle for the National Indoors and as the top ranked team they would have a big target on their back. They shutout Penn State in the opener but would get a whole lot more from UCLA in the quarterfinals. The Bruins jumped out to a 3-1 lead but one by one Virginia would chop them down on the remaining courts. Dominic Inglot, playing his first match in 3 weeks, closed out Mathieu Dehaine 7-6 in the 3rd at #2, Teddy Angelinos won a tight straight setter over Nick Meister at #6, and then in the decider at #1 Somdev Devvarman broke Harel Srugo to go up 5-4 in the 3rd and then he served it out to give Virginia the 4-3 win.
February 17, 2008 - Seattle, WA (National Indoors Semifinals)
1. #1 Devvarman/Huey (UVa) def. #4 Berg/Tveit (Miss) 8-6
2. #24 ten Berge/Wellermann (Miss) def. #25 Barrick/Inglot (UVa) 8-3
3. #28 Shabaz/Singh (UVa) def. Poole/Klaeson (Miss) 8-5
1. #1 Somdev Devvarman (UVa) def. #26 Erling Tveit (Miss) 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-0
2. #3 Dominic Inglot (UVa) def. #5 Matthias Wellermann (Miss) 6-7(3), 7-6(3), 6-4
3. #48 Robbye Poole (Miss) def. #12 Treat Huey (UVa) 6-2, 1-6, 6-2
4. Sanam Singh (UVa) def. #58 Bram ten Berge (Miss) 7-5, 6-1
5. Jonas Berg (Miss) def. #83 Houston Barrick (UVa) 7-5, 3-6, 6-4
6. Kalle Norberg (Miss) led Ted Angelinos (UVa) 7-6(2), 5-7, 1-0 DNF
Order of Finish: Doubles- 2,3,1; Singles- 4,3,5,2,1
In the NTI finals Virginia would meet an Ohio State squad that was playing in its 2nd consecutive NTI finals after the Buckeyes took out Georgia 4-1 in the semis. The doubles point was a tight one with both #2 and #3 going to a tiebreak after Virginia won 8-5 at #1. It looked like Virginia would close it out at #2 after going up 5-0 in the tiebreak however Ohio State's Justin Kronauge and Drew Eberly would take 8 of the next 9 points to take the tiebreak 8-6. In the tiebreak at #3 it was even at 3-3 when Virginia got the mini-break to go up 4-3. Michael Shabaz and Sanam Singh would pull away for a 7-4 win to give the Hoos the doubles point.
Somdev Devvarman and Sanam Singh quickly made it 3-0 with wins at #1 and #3 but Ohio State's Steven Moneke would put the Buckeyes on the board with a routine win at #2. Ohio State's Matt Allare had a chance to close out Houston Barrick in straight sets at #5 but Barrick won a tight tiebreak to force a 3rd set while at #6 singles Ohio State's Drew Eberly was just points away from a straight set win over Teddy Angelinos.
Virginia was hoping its senior at #3 singles would be able end the suspense and Treat Huey would do just that as he fought off 2 set points in the 2nd set tiebreak to clinch Virginia's 1st ever National Team Indoor Championship with a 7-5, 7-6(8) win over Bryan Koniecko.
#1 Virginia (11-0) def. #3 Ohio State (11-1) 4-1
February 18, 2008 - Seattle, WA (National Indoors Finals)
1. #1 Devvarman/Huey (UVa) def. #19 Allare/O'Connell (OSU) 8-5
2. #29 Kronauge/Eberly (OSU) def. #25 Barrick/Inglot (UVa) 9-8 (6)
3. #28 Shabaz/Singh (UVa) def. Koniecko/Moneke (OSU) 9-8 (4)
1. #1 Somdev Devvarman (UVa) def. #6 Justin Kronauge (OSU) 6-1, 6-3
2. #60 Steven Moneke (OSU) def. #3 Dominic Inglot (UVa) 6-2, 6-2
3. #12 Treat Huey (UVa) def. #85 Bryan Koniecko (OSU) 7-5, 7-6 (8)
4. Sanam Singh (UVa) def. Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) 6-2, 6-3
5. #83 Houston Barrick (UVa) led Matt Allare (OSU) 6-7 (3), 7-6 (6), 2-1 DNF
6. #95 Drew Eberly (OSU) led Ted Angelinos (UVa) 6-4, 6-6 DNF
Order of Finish: Doubles- 1,2,3 Singles- 4,1,2,3
After several close calls at the National Team Indoors the conference schedule wouldn't be nearly as daunting. Virginia went undefeated in ACC play and won both the regular season and conference championships for the second year in a row. The Cavaliers only yielded 11 points in conference play and posted shutouts in 6 of 14 matches. North Carolina, Duke, and NC State were the only teams to take 2 points off Virginia. As you can see from the box scores below none of these 5-2 matches were in too much doubt.
The conference tournament was more of the same as Virginia rolled past NC State, Wake Forest, and Miami by a combined score of 12-2. Virginia only dropped 1 set in the conference championship match with Miami.
#1 Virginia (28-0) def. #25 Miami (16-7), 4-0
April 20, 2008 - Altamonte Springs, FL
1. #1 Devvarman/Huey (UVa) led #7 Vallverdu/Sundberg (UM) 7-5 DNF
2. Shabaz/Inglot (UVa) def. #49 Rosenfeld/Subramanian (UM) 8-5
3. #53 Angelinos/Singer (UVa) def. Nieto/Crowley (UM) 8-3
1. #1 Somdev Devvarman (UVa) led #3 Daniel Vallverdu (UM) 7-5, 0-0 DNF
2. #29 Treat Huey (UVa) def. Vivek Subramanian (UM) 6-2, 6-1
3. David Rosenfeld (UM) led #11 Dominic Inglot (UVa) 6-4, 3-3 DNF
4. Sanam Singh (UVa) led Carl Sundberg (UM) 6-2, 5-5 DNF
5. Michael Shabaz (UVa) def. Keith Crowley (UM) 6-3, 6-1
6. Ted Angelinos (UVa) def. Barnabas Carrega (UM) 6-3, 6-2
Order of Finish: Doubles- 2,3 Singles- 2,5,6
For the first time in school history Virginia would be the #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Cavaliers cruised past Fairleigh Dickinson and Penn State in the regionals and then they blanked Michigan in the Round of 16.
Virginia would get pushed by Baylor in several spots in the quarterfinals. The Cavs took the doubles point and picked up quick wins from Devvarman and Shabaz at #1 and #5 but Baylor answered with straight set wins from Lukacs and Mueller at #2 and #4. While the match at #6 was nearing the midway point of the 3rd set the match between Inglot and David Galic at #3 was in the home stretch. Galic was serving to stay in the match down 5-6 and he quickly fell behind 15-40. Inglot wouldn't have to play another return as Galic double faulted and with that Virginia had the 4-2 win. Next up would be a semifinal rematch from the previous year against the defending National Champion Georgia Bulldogs.
#1 Virginia (32-0) def. #9 Baylor (25-9), 4-2
May 18, 2008 - Tulsa, OK
1. #1 Devvarman/Huey (UVa) def. Galic/Lukacs (BU) 8-6
2. Bucko/Poerschke (BU) led Shabaz/Inglot (UVa) 7-3 DNF
3. Barrick/Singh (UVa) def. Mueller/Rux (BU) 8-3
1. #1 Somdev Devvarman (UVa) def. #8 Lars Poerschke (BU) 6-3, 6-2
2. #9 Denes Lukacs (BU) def. #28 Treat Huey (UVa) 6-4, 7-6 (5)
3. #17 Dominic Inglot (UVa) def. David Galic (BU) 6-7 (3), 6-3, 7-5
4. #79 Dominik Mueller (BU) def. Sanam Singh (UVa) 6-3, 6-4
5. Michael Shabaz (UVa) def. Attila Bucko (BU) 6-2, 6-4
6. Ted Angelinos (UVa) led Jordan Rux (BU) 7-6 (2), 3-6, 3-2 DNF
Order of Finish: Doubles- 3,1 Singles- 5,4,1,2,3
In the semifinals the doubles point would come down to #2 after Virginia took #1 and Georgia took #3. Georgia's #2 team of Javier Garrapiz and Luis Flores jumped out to an early 3-0 lead but Michael Shabaz and Dominic Inglot took 7 of next 8 games to go up 7-4. Garrapiz and Flores would take the next 3 to even it at 7 but Virginia broke the Garrapiz serve to go up 8-7. Dominic Inglot would serve it out to give Virginia the doubles point and the early 1-0 lead.
Georgia jumped on Virginia in singles by going up an early break on all 6 courts and would end up taking 5 first sets. Georgia's Nate Schnugg, Luis Flores, and Javier Garrapiz each won in straight sets at 2, 3, and 5 to put the Bulldogs up 3-1 so it was going to take another big comeback from Virginia to keep its season going. Somdev Devvarman and Teddy Angelinos did their part with each coming back from a set down to win in 3 sets to even the match at 3. The only match left on court was at #4 singles between Sanam Singh and Jamie Hunt.
Singh took the first set 6-3 but with the match tied at 3-3 in the second set Singh would start to cramp. Hunt took the next 3 games to take the set 6-3 and then Singh took an extended 10 minute break between sets which was permitted due to temperature going above 90. Singh took an additional 3 minute medical timeout to start the 3rd set but in the end it would be all for naught because Singh never recovered from the cramps and went down 6-0 in the 3rd.
Virginia's season came to an end for the 3rd year in a row against Georgia but this loss was definitely the harshest of the 3.
#4 Georgia (26-3) def. #1 Virginia (32-1), 4-3
May 19, 2008 - Tulsa, OK
1. #1 Devvarman/Huey (UVa) def. #17 Hunt/Schnugg (UGA) 8-4
2. Shabaz/Inglot (UVa) def. Garrapiz/Flores (UGA) 9-7
3. Helgeson/Vitulli (UGA) def. Barrick/Singh (UVa) 8-5
1. #1 Somdev Devvarman (UVa) def. #4 Travis Helgeson (UGA) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
2. #15 Nate Schnugg (UGA) def. #28 Treat Huey (UVa) 6-4, 6-2
3. #59 Luis Flores (UGA) def. #17 Dominic Inglot (UVa) 6-2, 6-1
4. #38 Jamie Hunt (UGA) def. Sanam Singh (UVa) 4-6, 6-3, 6-0
5. #121 Javier Garrapiz (UGA) def. Michael Shabaz (UVa) 7-5, 6-3
6. Ted Angelinos (UVa) def. Christian Vitulli (UGA) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
Order of Finish: Doubles- 3,1,2 Singles- 3,2,5,6,1,4
Final Statistics from 07-08 season:
Somdev Devarrman: 25-0 dual match, 44-1 overall
Treat Huey: 25-6 dual match, 32-8 overall
Dominic Inglot: 7-8 dual match, 22-11 overall
Sanam Singh: 24-5 dual match, 28-8 overall
Michael Shabaz: 17-7 dual match, 18-8 overall
Teddy Angelinos: 24-0 dual match, 33-3 overall
Houston Barrick: 18-3 dual match, 22-6 overall
Lee Singer: 4-1 dual match; 6-6 overall
Andrew Downing: 0-1 dual match; 3-5 overall
The guys on the 2008 team occupy 3 of the top 4 and 5 of the top 10 spots in Virginia's career singles wins list.
Career Pro Highlights
- Somdev Devarrman - high ATP singles ranking of 62 (7/25/11), current singles ranking of 148, high ATP doubles ranking of 139 (10/31/11), current doubles ranking of 255, 9 singles titles (5 Challengers/4 Futures), 6 doubles titles (2 Challenger/4 Futures), been ranked inside the top 150 in singles in 5 of the last 6 year-end rankings.
- Treat Huey - high ATP doubles ranking of 20 (3/3/14), current doubles ranking of 58, 26 doubles titles (4 ATP/14 Challengers/8 Futures), high ATP singles ranking of 689 (11/30/09), been ranked inside the top 60 in doubles in the last 4 year-end rankings
- Dominic Inglot - high ATP doubles ranking of 18 (5/12/14), current doubles ranking of 40, 20 doubles titles (3 ATP/5 Challengers/12 Futures), high ATP singles ranking of 561 (8/23/10), been ranked inside the top 50 in doubles in the last 3 year-end rankings
- Sanah Singh - high ATP singles ranking of 293 (12/31/12), current singles ranking of 310, high ATP doubles ranking of 138 (2/9/15), current doubles ranking of 168, 8 singles titles (all Futures), 9 doubles titles (3 Challengers/6 Futures)
- Michael Shabaz - high ATP singles ranking of 394 (12/23/13), current singles ranking of 980, high ATP doubles ranking of 482 (1/14/13), current doubles ranking of 1105, 4 singles titles (all Futures), 2 doubles titles (all Futures), been ranked inside the top 403 in singles in the last 3 year-end rankings
- Teddy Angelinos - high ATP singles ranking of 251 (12/2/13), current singles ranking of 787, high ATP doubles ranking of 373 (5/20/13), 7 singles titles (all Futures), 7 doubles titles (all Futures)
So after looking over the accolades of this team who do you think was the best Virginia team ever - the 2008, 2013, or 2015 teams?
Early posts about the best teams not to win a National Championship:
2006 Georgia Bulldogs
2005 Baylor Bears