Men's Tennis: 2008 in a Nutshell
A look back at last season's success
By: Pravin Patel // Sports Editor
Despite losing, arguably there best player, Luigi D'Agord, the Canes came into the season seemingly unphased by the loss. Carried by the leadership of senior Vivek Subramanian and junior All-American Daniel Vallverdu, the Canes came running out the gates, putting together a 9-2 start.
This, though, was before the Canes got into the heart of their Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) schedule. Having taken their first two ACC games, the Canes hit a roadblock, as they dropped four straight to Florida State, Duke, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
Having dropped to a 9-6 record, the Hurricanes turned to their ace, the nation's No. 5-ranked player, Daniel Vallverdu. Staring their final four games of the regular season in the face, the Hurricanes turned it on, posting a 4-0 record before the start of post-season play, finishing the regular season 13-6.
With renewed confidence, the No. 25 Hurricanes went into the ACC Championship with confidence and momentum. After handily taking care of Maryland, 4-1, the Canes faced tough matches against North Carolina and Florida State. In the end, though, Miami proved victorious in both matches, coming away with 4-3 wins.
This set up an ACC Championship finals match between the Hurricanes and the Virginia Cavaliers, the team that ousted the Hurricanes from the ACC Championship a year earlier. Miami played tough, but they proved to be no match for the nation's No. 1-ranked team, losing 4-0.
Despite the loss, the Hurricanes had put together a solid tournament, which advanced them in the rankings to No. 19. The Hurricanes hoped that they could build off their performance in the ACC Championship to make a run at a National Championship at the NCAA Championship.
A first round matchup against the University of South Florida proved to be no problem for the Canes, as they toughed out a 4-2 victory. Their second round matchup against the University of Florida, though, was an entirely different outcome. Having beaten the Gators, 4-3, earlier in the year, the Canes had experience and momentum on their side. This proved futile, though, as the Gators quickly put an end to the Hurricanes' hopes, dropping the Hurricanes 4-1.
Despite falling short of a National Title, the Canes can look back at the season and hold their heads high, as they have a great deal to be proud of. The Canes stayed tough throughout the year, hanging around in the top 25 for a majority of the season. The Canes also saw the growth and development of many of their players, including Vallverdu, who climbed all the way up to a No. 3 singles ranking at one point during the season, ultimately finishing ranked No. 5. Additionally, the doubles team of Vallverdu and freshman Carl Sundberg finished the season ranked as the No. 3 doubles tandem in the nation.
The Hurricanes have much to be proud of and much to look forward to, and they should come into this upcoming season with confidence and hunger, knowing they have the pieces in place to make a run for tennis greatness.
Pravin Patel may be contacted at email@example.com.