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March 6, 2005

WACO & ENNIS, Texas – In a match that ended nearly nine hours after it was supposed to start and changed venue 80 miles midway through the match, the No. 1 Baylor men’s tennis team held off No. 2 Virginia 4-3 in a battle of the nation’s top two teams. The win extends Baylor’s win streak to 36 matches (12-0 this season), while the Cavaliers fall to 11-2, with both losses coming to Baylor. The Bears defeated the Cavaliers 4-1 two weeks earlier in the finals of the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Chicago.

The match began with singles play after the start of the match was delayed almost three hours due to rain. After the delay, the Bears got on the board first, as Michal Kokta defeated Marko Miklo (Bratislava, Slovakia) 6-1, 6-3 at No. 4 singles.

Shortly after that, with the other five matches late in the second set, the rain struck again. Officials decided the match could not continue at the Baylor Tennis Center due to the precipitation. The match was moved indoors, however the nearest indoor courts to the Baylor campus are at the Ennis Colonial Racquet and Fitness Club in Ennis, Texas, approximately a 90 minute drive away.

After the delay, three matches finished quickly, which gave Baylor a 3-1 lead. Darrin Cohen (Lafayette, Calif.) capped a 6-1, 7-5 win over Vladimir Portnov at No. 6 singles to get the Cavaliers on the board. However, Baylor captured wins at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, where No. 9 ranked Benedikt Dorsch downed No. 7 Doug Stewart (Malibu, Calif.) 6-3, 6-4 and No. 44 Benjamin Becker topped No. 38 Rylan Rizza (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) 7-6, 6-4. The Cavaliers needed to win the final two matches to stay alive in the match, and two first-years came through. No. 13 ranked Somdev Devvarman (Chennai, India) downed No. 19 Lars Poerschke 6-3, 7-6 at No. 3 singles to bring Virginia to 3-2. Then, with the match on the line, Treat Huey (Alexandria, Va.) topped No. 93 Matija Zgaga at No. 5 singles, 6-2, 6-7, 7-6 to tie the match at 3-3.

With the dual match tied at 3-3, the doubles point would be played to decide the winner. The Bears swept all three doubles matches to win the point and the dual match. The No. 44 ranked team of Dorsch and Zgaga downed Rizza and Nick Meythaler (Owensboro, Ky.) 8-6 at No. 1 doubles. No. 43 ranked Kokta and Poerschke defeated No. 23 ranked Devvarman and Huey 8-6 at No. 2 doubles. Becker and Jon Reckeway topped Cohen and Stewart 8-5 at No. 3 doubles.

“This was a great college tennis match,” said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. “Both teams had to battle the adversity of the delays, moving outdoors to indoors, and driving an hour and a half to do so. I am disappointed that we couldn’t pull out a win. Give Baylor credit, they played a great match. We are capable of playing better than we did today and hopefully we will learn some things from this match that will help us get better.”

The Cavaliers will return to action on Tuesday, March 8 as they continue their four-match Texas swing with a match at No. 20 Texas. Virginia concludes the tour on March 11, as they visit No. 11 Texas A&M.

No. 1 Baylor 4, No. 2 Virginia 3,

1. #44 Dorsch/Zgaga (BU) def. Rizza/Meythaler (UVa) 8-6
2. #43 Kokta/Poerschke (BU) def. #23 Devvarman/Huey (UVa) 8-6
3. Becker/Reckeway (BU) def. Cohen/Stewart (UVa) 8-5

1. #9 Benedikt Dorsch (BU) def. #7 Doug Stewart (UVa) 6-3, 6-4
2. #44 Benjamin Becker (BU) def. #38 Rylan Rizza (UVa) 7-6, 6-4
3. #13 Somdev Devvarman (UVa) def. #19 Lars Poerschke (BU) 6-3, 7-6
4. Michal Kokta (BU) def. #85 Marko Miklo (UVa) 6-1, 6-3
5. Treat Huey (UVa) def. #93 Matija Zgaga (BU) 6-2, 6-7, 7-6
6. #36 Darrin Cohen (UVa) def. Vladimir Portnov (BU) 6-1, 7-5

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