New 'super regional' round keeping 'Hoos at home

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- The Virginia men's tennis team gets to stay at home this weekend for the NCAA's round of 16. That's a first for a program that has won four national titles in the last six years.

Thanks to a new format for the bracket this spring, this 'super regional' round is being played at host sites -- with winners advancing to next week's championships in Orlando. No. 5 national seed UVA will host Stanford on Saturday.

"Two really good teams, we played them once this season. So yeah, being home with the fan support is a huge advantage," UVA senior Aswin Lizen said at practice on Thursday morning. "Having our exams out of the way, and being able to play at home and not having to worry about traveling is huge."

UVA's last loss in the NCAA's third round came back in 2004. The Wahoos have won their last 13 matches in the round of 16. This year's team already beat the Cardinal 4-2 in February to advance to the quarterfinals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.

Virginia is also 30-0 all-time in NCAA matches played in Charlottesville, including beating St. John's 4-0 and then South Carolina 4-1 in last weekend's regional round.

"What we've been really impressed with this team is how well this team's handled the pressure," UVA assistant coach Scott Brown said Thursday. "We've been in some very tough situations. We play in the toughest conference in the country. So we're very battle-tested. So we're ready for anyone, and we're willing to suffer against anybody."

"Honestly, we just do our best in practice, make sure we're preparing the best way that we can. And then when we're out there competing, just compete as hard as we can," said Lizen. "Represent the V-sabre as well as we can, and hopefully it all goes well. I think it all comes down to preparation."



 
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