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February 3, 1999

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – University of Virginia men’s tennis player Brian Vahaly is among the top college tennis players competing in the 22nd Annual Rolex National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships beginning tomorrow and running through Sunday (Feb. 4-7). The tournament is the third leg of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Collegiate Grand Slam hosted by Southern Methodist University at the Brookhaven Country Club in Dallas, Texas.

The second-seeded Vahaly faces Stanford freshman K.J. Hippensteel, from Roanoke, Va., in a first round match Thursday at 10:30 a.m. Hippensteel is ranked 17th nationally.

Vahaly, a sophomore from Atlanta, Ga., qualified in singles for the tournament by virtue of his co-championship (with Duke’s Ramsey Smith) at the ITA South Atlantic Region Championships in Chapel Hill, N.C., in November.

Vahaly is second in the current ITA rankings, the highest rank ever for a UVa tennis player. The Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year last season, Vahaly is 14-2 overall this season. Interestingly, the nation’s top-ranked player, James Blake of Harvard, was a doubles partner with Vahaly in junior tennis. They competed in the U.S. Open Junior Championships in 1997.

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