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April 18, 2004

RALEIGH, NC – The No. 10 ranked Virginia men’s tennis team won its first ever ACC Championship Sunday, defeating Clemson 4-3 at in the ACC Final at the Millbrook Exchange Tennis Center. The Cavaliers, who won a share of the regular season title, improve to 22-3 on the season.

The Cavaliers (22-3) took the early lead by winning the doubles point. The No. 31 ranked team of Rylan Rizza (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) and Nick Meythaler (Owensboro, Ky.) cruised past No. 32 ranked Nathan Thompson and Jarmaine Jenkins at No. 1, 8-1. Then Darrin Cohen (Lafayette, Calif.) and Doug Stewart (Malibu, Calif.) clinched the point with an 8-4 win over Damiisa Robinson and John Boetsch at No. 2.

Clemson (23-11) rallied early in singles to tie the match at 1-1 when Boetsch posted a win at No. 4. Virginia would answer with a pair of wins that made the lead 3-1. Cohen gave Virginia the lead with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Young at No. 6. Less than a minute later, the lead became 3-1 as Stewart topped Thompson 6-3, 6-4 at No. 1. The Tigers would cut that lead in half when Robinson won at No. 5. The final two matches went to three sets, with the Cavaliers needing to win one of them to clinch the match. Clemson would tie the match when Goran Sterijovski defeated Rizza 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 at No. 2. With the dual match riding on the match at No. 3, Marko Miklo (Bratislava, Slovakia) defeated Jenkins 6-1, 1-6, 6-0 to clinch the championship for the Cavaliers. Miklo was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

“I could not be more proud of this team,” said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. “This is a great reward for all of their hard work this season. Doubles play was once again instrumental to our success, just as it has over the last few weeks. Clemson played a great match with tremendous sportsmanship on each side. It was a championship match worthy of the caliber of tennis played in the ACC.”

The Cavaliers earn ACC’s automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament. The pairings will be announced on ESPNews on May 5. First round play begins the weekend of May 14-16.

No. 10 Virginia 4, No. 45 Clemson 3

1. No. 21 Doug Stewart (UVa) def. Nathan Thompson (Clem) 6-3, 6-4
2. Goran Sterijovski (Clem) def. Rylan Rizza (UVa) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
3. Marko Miklo (UVa) def. Jarmaine Jenkins (Clem) 6-1, 1-6, 6-0
4. John Boetsch (Clem) def. Stephen Rozek (UVa) 6-1, 6-4
5. Damiisa Robinson (Clem) def. Nick Meythaler (UVa) 6-3, 6-4
6. Darrin Cohen (UVa) def. Ryan Young (Clem) 6-3, 6-2

1. No. 31 Rizza/Meythaler (UVa) def. No. 32 Thompson/Jenkins (Clem) 8-1
2. Cohen/Stewart (UVa) def. Robinson/Boetsch (Clem) 8-4
3. Rozek/Miklo (UVa) vs. Twente/Young (Clem) 5-5 DNF

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