Virginia Commonwealth coach Paul Kostin could not stop smiling after yesterday's men's semifinal matches because he knows -- no matter what happens in today's finals -- he has produced the school's first national title in any sport.
Both of his players, Frank Moser and Daniel Anderson, won their matches, creating an all-Virginia Commonwealth final at 9 a.m. in the T. Rowe Price National Intercollegiate Clay Court Championships at Suburban Club of Baltimore County.
Not to be outdone, the women will have finalists from the same school too, as the University of San Diego's Zuzana Lesenarova and Katarina Valkyova meet at 11 a.m.
"It is unbelievable really," Kostin said. "I've been coaching 18 years. Last eight years, we've been in the top 25 and winning the conference. This is big, not only for the school but for our program."
Moser had no problem with the No. 1 seed, Notre Dame's Ryan Sachire, disposing of him, 6-2, 6-0. Anderson struggled early before taking control, winning, 6-7 (1-7), 6-4, 6-1, over New Mexico qualifier Matt Amgwerd, who seemed to fade in the deciding set.
Unlike his teammate Moser, who grew up playing on clay in Germany, Anderson had no clay-court edge in his match against Amgwerd.
Up 6-5 in the first set, Anderson eventually lost his serve and the game on an overhead slam by Amgwerd, forcing a tiebreak.
Anderson then lost six straight points in the tiebreak. The two exchanged breaks in the second set before Anderson broke Amgwerd at love to win it 6-4.
"I think he got tired," Anderson said of Amgwerd. "He came as a qualifier so he played two more matches than I did."
The women teammates are approaching their showdown a little differently than the men, who have not faced each other in a tournament before, nor played a competitive match against one another. The women faced each other in the quarterfinals of last year's NCAA championships, with Lesenarova winning in three sets, making it a little more of a rivalry.
Lesenarova beat Mississippi's Celeste Frey, 6-2, 6-4, and Valkyova beat Mississippi's Ivona Mihailova, 6-4, 6-1, to advance.
They said they will not talk about tennis tonight, although that might be a little tough since they also advanced to the doubles finals today against South Alabama's Martina Ondrejkova and Iva Puflerova. Lesenarova/Valkyova beat LSU's Bruna Colosio and Ana Paula Mores, 6-4, 6-2, yesterday.