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March 22, 2006

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia men’s tennis team captured its fourth consecutive victory as it downed Virginia Tech 4-3 Wednesday afternoon at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center in Blacksburg. Doug Stewart (Malibu, Calif.) clinched the win for the Cavaliers, as he topped Arvid Puranen in a third set tiebreaker in the last match on the courts. With the win, the Cavaliers improve to 11-5 on the season, 2-0 in the ACC.

The win by the Cavaliers also gave Virginia a point in the Commonwealth Challenge, presented by Adelphia. The point earned by men’s tennis clinches the inaugural all-sports competition between the schools for Virginia, who now leads the challenge 12-6 with four points remaining.

The Cavaliers opened the match by taking the doubles point for a 1-0 lead. The No. 55 ranked team of Nick Meythaler (Owensboro, Ky.) and Rylan Rizza (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) scored an 8-6 win over Brent Wilkins and Christian Guevara at No. 1 doubles. After the Hokies drew even by winning at No. 3 doubles, the Cavaliers clinched the opening point when No. 18 ranked Treat Huey (Alexandria, Va.) and Somdev Devvarman (Chennai, India) downed Alexei Sergeev and David Rosenfeld at No. 2 doubles.

In singles, the Hokies (11-6, 2-1) drew even when Albert Larragola upset No. 44 ranked Rizza at the No. 3 position. Virginia retook the lead at 2-1 when No. 45 ranked Huey completed a straight set win over Rosenfeld at No. 4 singles. The Hokies retied the match at 2-2 when Wilkins defeated Meythaler at No. 6 singles. Seconds later, the Cavaliers retook the lead when No. 9 ranked Devvarman downed Sergeev at No. 2 singles. Virginia Tech once again tied the match when Nicolas Delgado topped Marko Miklo (Bratislava, Slovakia). That left the match at No. 1 singles between No. 77 Stewart and No. 105 Puranen to decide the match. Stewart went up an early break in the third set, but Puranen rallied to tie it at 3-3. The two players each held serve for the next six games to force a tiebreaker to decide the match. In the tiebreaker, Stewart went up a mini-break at 4-1 and held his serve to take the tiebreaker 7-4.

The win extends the Cavaliers’ conference winning streak to 13 consecutive ACC regular season matches and 19 ACC matches overall. The win was also Virginia’s eighth consecutive ACC road win.

“Give Virginia Tech a lot of credit, they competed hard and played a great match,” said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. “We hadn’t played a match in a month, so it took a little while to get used to competing again. We need to look forward and continue to get better as a team. There were a lot of positives we can get from this match.”

The Cavaliers will return home on Friday as they host No. 31 Wake Forest. The match is scheduled for the Snyder Tennis Center and is to begin at 3:00 p.m.

No. 11 Virginia 4, No. 56 Virginia Tech 3

1) #55 Rizza/Meythaler (UVa) def. Wilkins/Guevara (VT) 8-6
2) #18 Huey/Devvarman (UVa) def. Sergeev/Rosenfeld (VT) 9-7
3. Larregola/Delgado (VT) def. Miklo/Rozek (UVa) 8-5

1. #77 Doug Stewart (UVa) def. #105 Arvid Puranen (VT) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6
2. #9 Somdev Devvarman (UVa) def. Alexei Sergeev (VT) 6-4, 6-4
3. Albert Larregola (VT) def. #44 Rylan Rizza (UVa) 6-4, 6-4
4. #45 Treat Huey (UVa) def. David Rosenfeld (VT) 6-4, 6-3
5. Nicolas Delgado (VT) def. Marko Miklo (UVa) 7-5, 6-0
6. Brent Wilkins (VT) def. Nick Meythaler (UVa) 7-6, 6-3

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