Feb. 14, 2009
Rebounding from their second loss of the season, the 10th-ranked Baylor men's tennis team rallied to beat the 20th-ranked and 16th-seeded Pepperdine Waves, 4-3, in second round action of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Chicago.
"It is huge for us, we needed something good to happen," head coach Matt Knoll said. "We haven't done as well as we liked, it was great to get a win."
The Bears are now 5-2 on the season and 16-8 all-time in National Team Indoor play. Baylor will now move on to play No. 13 Illinois on Sunday at 3 p.m. (CT). With the loss, Pepperdine fell to 6-4 on the season.
"I think Dominik (Mueller) really bounced back well from a poor showing yesterday," Knoll said. "Our guys at No. 5 and 6 (singles) both played great."
All of Baylor's wins so far in the spring season have been over ranked opponents. The win was Baylor's second 4-3 victory of the season (at SMU Jan. 22).
Baylor lost the doubles point to give Pepperdine an early 1-0 lead. Baylor's No. 1 doubles team of Denes Lukacs and Jordan Rux fell for the second straight match to even their doubles record at 3-3 in the spring season.
From there Baylor battled back as No. 40 Attila Bucko posted a win at No. 5 singles. The Waves responded as No. 51 Omar Altmann beat 13th-ranked Rux at the two spot, 6-1, 6-2. Pepperdine then took a 3-1 match lead, when Alex Liompart beat Julian Bley 6-2, 6-2. Baylor would then mount a furious come back to win the contest by taking the last three matches on the court. First Maros Horny knocked off Alejandro Moreno 6-3, 6-1. Then to knot the match at 3 points apiece, No. 71 Dominik Mueller took down 57th-ranked Mahmound Kamel, 6-3, 6-4. This put the match in the hands of 21st-ranked Lukacs who responded by beating No. 122 Bassam Beidas 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).
"To have it come down to Denes (Lukacs), he did such a good job when the chips were down," Knoll said. "It was really inspirational for everybody, and I am really excited for him and everybody else."
The win gives Baylor head coach Matt Knoll 299 for his 14-year coaching career one win shy of career win 300.
Baylor is now 7-4 against Pepperdine all-time.
Illinois, the host school for the tournament, defeated No. 12 Tulsa on Saturday, 4-3, to setup the Sunday match with the Bears. The Illini lost on Friday 4-2 to 4th-seeded UCLA. Illinois is 6-3 on the season and ranked 13th in latest ITA team rankings.
The Illini are led by three ranked players, sophomore No. 23 Roy Kalmanovich, freshman No. 41 Dennis Nevolo, and senior Marc Spicijaric ranked No. 101.
"We got to continue to play better," Knoll said. "We came out a little bit better today; we just got to kind of get everybody playing some good tennis, if we are going to have a chance to beat these good teams.
Live stats for the matches at the ITA National Indoor Competition can be found on tournament's Web site.
Baylor University 4, Pepperdine 3
2/14/2009 at Chicago
(Midtown Tennis Club)
1. #21 Denes Lukacs (BU) def. #122 Bassam Beidas (PEP) 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)
2. #51 Omar Altmann (PEP) def. #13 Jordan Rux (BU) 6-1, 6-2
3. Alex Liompart (PEP) def. Julian Bley (BU) 6-2, 6-2
4. #71 Dominik Mueller (BU) def. #57 Mahmoud Kamel (PEP) 6-3, 6-4
5. #40 Attila Bucko (BU) def. Hugh Clarke (PEP) 6-1, 6-4
6. Maros Horny (BU) def. Alejandro Moreno (PEP) 6-3, 6-1
1. #45 Omar Altmann/Bassam Beidas (PEP) def. Denes Lukacs/Jordan Rux (BU) 8-1
2. Alejandro Moreno/Mahmoud Kamel (PEP) vs. Julian Bley/Attila Bucko (BU) DNF
3. Alex Liompart/Hugh Clarke (PEP) def. Dominik Mueller/Maros Horny (BU) 8-5
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (5,2,3,6,4,1)