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Feb. 20, 2005

CHICAGO – The No. 9 ranked Virginia men’s tennis team suffered its first loss of the season, falling to No. 1 Baylor 4-1 in the championship match of the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships Sunday afternoon at the Mid-Town Tennis Club. The Cavaliers had defeated three top ten teams to reach the final, but couldn’t snap the Bears’ 34-match winning streak.

“Today’s match was a great college tennis match,” said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. “We came ready to play and just fell short. We are extremely disappointed in today’s outcome but are really pleased with the team’s overall effort.”

Virginia (8-1) fell behind early as Baylor took the doubles point. The team of Doug Stewart (Malibu, Calif.) and Darrin Cohen (Lafayette, Calif.) were defeated by Benjamin Becker and Jon Reckeway at No. 3 doubles. Baylor clinched the point when Benedikt Dorsch and Matija Zgaga topped Rylan Rizza (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) and Nick Meythaler (Owensboro, Ky.) at No. 1 doubles.

The Bears (8-0) added to their lead as Zgaga downed Marko Miklo (Bratislava, Slovakia) in straight sets at No. 4 singles. Baylor made the score 3-0 when Dorsch, a former No. 1 in the ITA singles rankings, topped Stewart 6-3, 6-0 at No. 1 singles. Virginia cut the lead to 3-1 when Cohen concluded a 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 win over Vladimir Portnov at No. 6 singles. Baylor then clinched the match when Michal Kokta held off Treat Huey (Alexandria, Va.) 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 at No. 5 singles. Both remaining matches were abandoned in the third set, including at No. 2 singles where Rizza led Becker, the 2004 NCAA Singles Champion, in the third set.

“I believe each player on this team came ready to play and left it all on the court,” added Boland. “Even though we lost a hard fought doubles point, we still had a chance to win the match down 3-1 with three 3-set matches on the court. I know this team will learn from this loss. We need to keep focusing on improving as we get ready for our ACC opener against a very good Virginia Tech team. I would also like to personally thank all the Cavalier fans that traveled from Virginia and elsewhere to Chicago to support us this week. We really appreciated it.”

The Cavaliers will likely receive the highest ranking in school history when the new rankings come out on Tuesday. Virginia returns home to open the ACC season on Friday night when they host conference newcomer Virginia Tech at the Boar’s Head Sports Club. Time of the match is 6:30 p.m.

No. 1 Baylor 4, No. 9 Virginia 1

1. Dorsch/Zgaga (Bay) def. #19 Rizza/Meythaler (UVa) 8-6
2. Devvarman/Huey (UVa) vs. Poerschke/Kokta (Bay) 7-7 DNF
3. Becker/Reckeway (Bay) def. Stewart/Cohen (UVa) 8-3

1. Benedikt Dorsch (Bay) def. #19 Doug Stewart (UVa) 6-3, 6-0
2. #36 Rylan Rizza (UVa) led Benjamin Becker (Bay) 6-4, 1-6, 4-3 DNF
3. #11 Lars Poerschke (Bay) led #22 Somdev Devvarman (UVa) 6-3, 3-6, 4-3 DNF
4. #45 Matija Zgaga (Bay) def. #63 Marko Miklo (UVa) 6-4, 6-2
5. Michal Kokta (Bay) def. #104 Treat Huey (UVa) 6-4, 2-6, 7-5
6. Darrin Cohen (UVa) def. Vladimir Portnov (Bay) 4-6, 6-0, 6-2

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