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March 20, 1999

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Sophomore Brian Vahaly led the the University of Virginia men’s tennis team to a 4-1 win over Harvard Friday in the quarterfinals of the Big 10 National Tires Blue-Gray Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala.

Vahaly, who has been hampered with a bout with the flu recently and is only now returning to top strength, paced the Cavaliers in both singles and doubles. He teammed with classmate Huntley Montgomery to down the nation’s second-ranked team of James Blake and Kunj Majmudar 8-3 at #1. Brian Hunter and Hyon Yoo defeated John Doran and Cilli Swart 8-6 at #3 to give the Cavaliers the doubles point.

The Cavaliers quickly added to their lead with straight set wins by Yoo at #4 and Tommy Croker at #5. Croker was forced to a second set tiebreaker before finally besting Joe Green 6-2, 7-6(3).

Harvard averted a shutout as John Doran staged a comeback 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-1 win over John Winter at #3.

The pivotal match was at #1 singles where Vahaly squared off against Blake, the nation’s top-ranked player. The pair have a history between them as they are former junior tennis rivals and sometime doubles partners in junior tennis. They split the first two sets. Blake went up a break in the third and it looked as if the match was within his grasp but he was unable to capitalize on two match point opportunities. Blake tried to fight through cramps but Vahaly was not to be denied and earned the final victory for Virginia with a 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 upset win.

#31 Virginia 4, #16 Harvard 1

1-Brian Vahaly (V) def. #1 James Blake 6-2, 3-6, 7-5
2-Huntley Montgomery (V) vs. #47 Kunj Majmudar (H), did not finish, match clinched
3-John Doran (H) def. John Winter 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-1
4-Hyon Yoo (V) def. Mike Passarella 6-3, 6-3
5-Tommy Croker (V) def. Joe Green 6-2, 7-6(3)
6-Brian Hunter (V) vs. Scott Clark (H), did not finish, match clinched

1-#49 Montgomery/Vahaly (V) def. #2 Majmudar/Blake 8-3
2-Croker/Winter (V) vs. #38 Passarella/Clark (H), did not finish, match clinched
3-Hunter/Yoo (V) def. Doran/Cilli Swart 8-6

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