Men's Tennis Newsletter
Dec. 11, 2002
The fall season concluded with the Regional Championships in Chapel Hill, NC. Overall, the Cavaliers participated in seven separate tournaments. Every player on the team saw some playing time in singles and doubles competition. Individual members won six tournament titles and had some excellent results, including wins over several nationally ranked players.In addition to traveling to many tournaments, the men’s tennis program hosted the UVa Fall Invitational. The tournament featured 13 teams from major schools across the nation, including Alabama, Rice, Nebraska, Iowa and Wake Forest. The Cavaliers had some great results among some very tough competition. Second-year Chris Gonyer advanced to the semifinals, losing a hard-fought match to eventual champion Robert Searle of Rice before placing third.With nine new players, including eight first-years, the Cavaliers gained a lot of experience this semester. Now, the team continues its training and conditioning schedule before preparing for finals.
The team is set to play a demanding schedule that should be extremely challenging. Several lengthy trips include journeys to California, Hawaii and Florida where the Cavaliers expect tough competition from the likes of UCLA, Hawaii and Florida State. The Cavaliers then conclude the season with a challenging Atlantic Coast Conference schedule featuring four teams that saw time in the Top 25 last year.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity our schedule will afford us this season. We play several teams that were ranked very highly last year, as well as some tough ACC squads. With big trips to California and Florida, as well as some potent perennial rivals like VCU from within Virginia, the guys will have the chance to play some strong competition and prepare for the NCAA tournament. Our schedule is tough but I think the guys are up for the challenge,” says Assistant Coach Tony Bresky.
With the Atlantic Coast Conference consistently ranked as one of the nation’s best men’s tennis conferences, the Cavaliers will have their work cut out for them in competing for the ACC Championship. Due to the revolving conference schedule, Virginia will only play three ACC home matches this season – Georgia Tech, Maryland and Clemson. The remaining five conference matches – against North Carolina, Duke, NC State, Wake Forest and Florida State – will all be played on the road.
“The Conference schedule is always the time of the year when we would like to peak. This year will be particularly difficult as we play the bulk of our ACC matches on the road. However, our preparation before the ACC schedule begins will give us valuable experience in handling hostile crowds and rowdy environments. The ACC Championships are very grueling, so it’s very important for us to have a good regular season so we can gain a high seed in the tournament. It will certainly be a difficult challenge, but the guys are looking forward to the opportunity,” says Coach Brian Boland.
The Cavaliers have high expectations for the coming season. Although the team is very young, no one should underestimate the fight and desire of the squad. It should be an exciting season, one that will undoubtedly lay the foundation for future Cavalier men’s tennis success for years to come.
Boland has high expectations. “Our primary goal is to win the ACC Championship and compete for the NCAA Championship year after year. We’re young, but very talented which should make for an exciting season. If we can stay healthy and continue to work hard we should have great year.”It’s easy to say the future looks bright for men’s tennis at Virginia. However, with key returning players all healthy and hungry and an outstanding recruiting class, the Cavaliers’ future may actually be here!
Events Past and Future
The Events Team volunteers have been busy producing a variety of events to promote the men’s tennis program. The first annual Meet and Greet the Team Week was kicked off with a Meet the Team BBQ at the Snyder Courts on a lovely August evening. About 80 people enjoyed delicious Jinx’s Pit Stop BBQ and watched some great tennis.
The next day, Glenmore Country Club hosted the first annual Prince Cup fundraiser for the team. Thirty club members each donated $150 to play in a round robin with team members. Everyone had a terrific time. Later in the week, the team played an exhibition at Farmington Country Club.At the end of the week, over 60 kids took advantage of a free kid’s clinic offered by the team. The players, the kids and the parents had a great time!
Plans are already under way for next year’s Meet and Greet event.
As events play such an important role in fostering community support for the tennis program, the Events Team is planning more fun for the spring season. The Kickoff-the-Season Party will be on January 24, 2003, the night before the opening matches against Richmond and George Washington. The party will be the start of our first-ever Men’s Tennis Media Weekend. We’re inviting newspaper, radio and TV sports reporters from all over Virginia, as well as parents, alums and Friends of Men’s Tennis, to join in the festivities.To add another fun dimension for tennis we’ll have themes for the matches: Club Day, Community Day, Team Spirit Day, Greek Day and Adidas Day. You’ll wish you were a kid again when you find out we’re going to have the Pep Band, cheerleaders and the Cavalier for Team Spirit Day. Or come back and rekindle your fraternity spirit on Greek Day.
By Dillon Walker, Second-Year
Overall, we made great strides this fall in establishing ourselves as a contender for the ACC Championship this year. We had a good showing at our first tournament of the year hosted by William & Mary. It was good for our first-years to gain college match experience and they will continue to improve. The team had notable wins against schools like Minnesota, Notre Dame and William & Mary.
The UVa Invitational was the first time UVa has hosted a college tournament. The team was really excited to play in front of our home crowd. Support from students, alumni and many local Charlottesville-Albemarle residents played a big role in our success.
The Invitational included some big-name schools and top collegiate programs such as Alabama, Rice, Iowa and Wake Forest. We’re looking forward to next year’s Invitational, which should be even better than this year’s.
We also traveled to the Tidewater Virginia area to play in the East Coast Championships at ODU. Great hospitality from the Montandons and the Downings made the tournament more relaxing and enjoyable. That same weekend other team members traveled to Columbia, SC to play in the South Carolina Fall Invitational. The Cavs won five titles between the two tournaments. Darrin Cohen, Dillon Walker, Nick Meythaler and Chris Gonyer all won their respective singles flights, and Walker teamed with Travis Triplett to win their doubles flight.
I’m extremely happy with the guys we have on the team. I can already see how much closer the team has become since the beginning of the year. I look forward to the dual-match season and competing for an ACC Championship. It’s going to be a great spring for the Cavs!
Cavs on the Tour
HOOray for Brian . . .
Brian Vahaly, ranked #111 in the world at the time, lost a very close four-set match in Arthur Ashe Stadium at the U.S. Open against James Blake, ranked #25 in the world. The final score was 6-7, 6-3, 6-3, 7-6. The match was the feature match of the first round on Monday. Commentator John McEnroe made many favorable comments about Brian and UVa during the match.Brian has had some great results recently and has cracked to Top 100 in the rankings reaching a career best of 97. Brian will now take a few weeks off and then will prepare for the 2003 season beginning with a trip Down Under for the Australian Open.You can follow Brian’s career at his new website: www.brianvahaly.com. Brian wishes to give special thanks to current UVa player Dillon Walker’s father, Danny, for spearheading and financing the establishment of Brian’s website. That’s UVa spirit in action!
. . . and Huntley Too!
Huntley Montgomery is also enjoying a successful run in the professional ranks as he competes in Challenger and Futures events. He won five ATP doubles events in a row – the $50K Waco International Challenger, the $50K Mercedes-Benz Center Challenger (Fresno CA), the $15K Futures (Tyler TX), the $15K Futures (Lubbock TX), and the $15K Futures (Hammond, LA).
At one point Huntley had an amazing 21-match doubles winning streak. He has improved his doubles ranking to #140 in the world. Huntley also competes in singles and aspires to move into the Top 400 in the coming months.
By Brian Boland, Head Coach
We are making some great strides in a positive direction in several areas. The guys on the team have worked very hard on both their tennis and conditioning, and everyone is optimistic and excited about the upcoming dual match season.
Recruiting has again gone very well. Although we won’t know the results of our recruiting efforts until April, UVa tennis is in the center of the college scene. If we continue to work hard and stay healthy, we will compete for an ACC Championship this season.
I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the UVa Men’s Tennis Program. A key element of any championship program is the generosity of alumni, family and friends. Achieving our goals requires significant financial support. The UVa administration fully supports our efforts, and we hope we can count on the same support from you.
I also want to make sure you know of some major changes in the Virginia Athletics Foundation (formerly VSAF). Along with a new name, VAF has also announced that effective immediately donors may invest in any sport, such as men’s tennis, and receive full credit toward priority points for football and basketball events. See page 6 for more on priority points, including an example.
So now is a great time to give to the sport you love and believe in. We need your financial support to continue to pursue our goals of winning ACC and national championships. Please consider making a gift for the benefit of men’s tennis at this time – check, credit card, pledge, marketable securities, etc. Please designate your contribution for Friends of Men’s Tennis and mail to:
Virginia Athletics FoundationP.O. Box 400833Charlottesville, VA 22904-4833