Jan. 31, 1998

Men's Tennis Opens Dual Match Season with Win

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The University of Virginia men's tennis team opened its 1998 spring dual match schedule with a 6-1 win over Ball State late Saturday night (Jan. 31) in Ann Arbor, Mich. This marked the first meeting ever between the two schools. The loss was Ball State's first of the season.

The Cavaliers jumped to an early lead by capturing two of three doubles matches to win the doubles point. Virginia's highly-touted freshman tandem of Huntley Montgomery and Brian Vahaly recorded a relatively easy 8-0 win over Ryan Baxter and Kevin Donovan at #2, while Bear Schofield and Hyon Yoo defeated Juan Fernandez and J.D. Hall 8-4 at #3 to win the doubles point. Ball State got its only doubles win at #1 as the nation's 41st-ranked doubles team of Bryan Smith and Patrick Vizzone downed Virginia's Justin Smith and John Winter 9-8 in a hard-fought match.

Virginia head coach Thomas Johnston used a newly formulated singles line-up to great effectiveness as the Cavaliers claimed the victory with straight-set wins in five of six singles matches.

Montgomery and Winter got things going early for the Cavaliers with quick wins over their opponents. Montgomery downed Vizzone 6-1, 6-1 at #3, while Winter defeated Hall 6-1, 6-0 at #6.

Yoo, Virginia's only nationally ranked player (84th), defeated Baxter 6-3, 6-3 at #2, while Justin Smith dispatched Fernandez 7-6, 6-3 at #5.

Vahaly, one of the top recruits in the nation this season, is slowly returning to form after an injury-plagued fall season. He began the spring season with a nifty 6-2, 6-1 win over Donovan at #4.

Ball State's Bryan Smith was the only Cardinal to gain a win. The nation's 26th ranked singles player defeated senior Bear Schofield 7-5, 6-3 in the closest singles match of the evening.