Jan. 28, 2011
WACO, Texas - The ninth-ranked Baylor men's tennis team kicked off a three match home stand with a 7-0 blanking of Texas A&M Corpus Christi (1-4) on Friday afternoon at the Baylor Tennis Center.
"It is good to have a good taste in your mouth," head coach Matt Knoll said. "I thought the guys came out and really focused and did a great job of getting after it. It is something we need to build on."
The win moved the Bears to 2-1 on the season, while improving their record against the Islanders to 9-0 over the last 10 years. The victory was also Baylor's first win at its home facility this year.
Looking to rebound from a loss to Florida in the last match out, Knoll made changes to both his singles and doubles lineups as he inserted freshman Dennis Lengsfeld into the No. 2 doubles team and at the No. 3 singles spot.
In doubles, Baylor's No. 3 pairing of Julian Bley and Kike Grangeiro got the Bears off to a fast start as the duo swept Andrew Maingot and Alex Pavlov, 8-0. The match win kept the BU tandem perfect on the season with a 3-0 record. The fourth-ranked pair of John Peers and Roberto Maytin would claim the doubles point for Baylor as they got past Laurent Montoisy and James Langford, 8-3. At the No. 2 position, Lengsfeld made his Baylor dual match debut with partner Jordan Rux. Down 3-2 in their match against Nathan Robinson and Robert Raguz, the BU tandem claimed three straight games and never looked back to win 8-6.
"As I have said, I think our doubles is going to be a strength for us," Knoll said. "We have practiced incredibly well and our No. 3 team played exceptional today. They got hot and played really played well for us. For Jordan and Dennis, I think it was their first real match together. They were a little disjointed at times, but they did a great job of finishing."
It is the second time in Baylor's first three matches that the Bears have won all three doubles contests.
Baylor kept the momentum rolling into singles as the 22nd-ranked Peers was first off the court. The Baylor senior raced out to a 6-1 first set win, before his opponent Mointoisy retired from the contest giving the Bears a 2-0 lead in the match. The victory moves Peers to 3-0 on the season.
Rux followed with his first win of the dual match season as he dispatched of Langford, 6-2, 6-1 to move Baylor within a point of victory.
"Jordan made a good step," Knoll said. "I think this week has been a good week for him in practice. As we know he took the fall off and didn't compete and I think just getting a chance to get on the court and compete and get his rhythm is big for him."
The next three matches off finished within five minutes of each other as Grangeiro at the No. 6 spot claimed the match for BU with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Matt Westmoreland. The triumph pushes the Baylor junior's dual match record to 3-0.
Maytin followed at the No. 5 spot with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Gergo Weidinger and then senior Sergio Ramirez took down Aurelien Tave 6-4, 6-0 at the No. 4 spot.
The wins boosted the Baylor lead to 6-0 and set the stage for Lengsfeld to get his first singles win.
As the other singles matches had wrapped, Lengsfeld was pushed to a third set, after winning the first 6-4 and losing the second to Raguz, 6-1. The freshman from Alterkuelz, Germany responded by taking the third set, 7-5. Lengsfeld fell behind 3-1 in the deciding set, before storming back to earn the victory.
"I think Dennis is a very good tennis player," Knoll said. "Today was tough for him, because he hasn't been in this environment, so he was incredibly nervous, which is expected. It was good that he was able to fight and get a couple of wins. I think that will settle him down and make him a little more ready when we play our next match."
Baylor now holds a 9-6 series advantage over Texas A&M Corpus Christi and is 9-1 versus the Islanders in Waco.
The Bears will continue their home stand as they host sixth-ranked UCLA on Sunday, Feb. 6 at 12 p.m.
"The next test is going to be really, really tough with UCLA coming in here," Knoll said. "We are excited about it and I think we can't wait to get back out here on Sunday."
Admission to the match is free. Live scoring and a live blog will be available at BaylorBears.com.
Match Notes: Baylor is now 91-2 against unranked opponents in the Matt Knoll era with a current 67-match win streak in such matches. The Bears improved their all-time record at the Baylor Tennis Center to 131-7, while upping their mark against non-conference opposition to 252-65 over the last 14 years.