March 1, 2009
Columbus, Ohio -
The 10th-ranked Baylor's men's tennis team was blanked, 7-0, Sunday by the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes at The Ohio State University Varsity Indoor Tennis Center.
The loss knocks Baylor's record down to 8-4 and stops a three-match win streak. The Buckeyes are now 13-1 and have won 80 straight home matches.
"You got to give Ohio State a lot of credit. They just kind of beat us up and down the courts," Baylor head coach Matt Knoll. "They just kind of wore us out. To be honest they just outcompeted us down the stretch."
Before this loss the Bears had defeated two straight top-10 ranked opponents (No. 6 UCLA 4-3 on Feb. 22 and No. 9 Mississippi on Feb. 27). Baylor is now 2-3 on the spring season against top-10 ranked opponents with losses to No. 10 Florida on Jan. 25, 7-0, No. 7 Tennessee, 4-0, on Feb. 13 and No. 3 Ohio State, 7-0, on March 1.
"It is tough to be on the road in a hostile environment. They have won 80 matches in a row here," Knoll said. "They have great players. We just have to learn from it and come back and do better next Wednesday."
Baylor is now 1-3 against the Buckeyes all-time and has lost the last three matches to Ohio State.
The match was played indoors and with the loss the Bears now have a 1-3 record in indoor matches this spring season.
"We just don't get a chance to practice indoors. It is just a faster environment," Knoll said. "You can't get adjusted to the speed of play. We are not an indoor team and we are sort of proving that."
It was the third time this season Baylor has failed to win a single point in a match along with the 7-0 sweep at No. 10 Florida, the 4-0 blanking at the ITA Indoors Championship to No. 7 Tennessee.
Knoll made adjustments in both his singles and doubles lineups entering the match.
In doubles, he moved Denes Lukacs and Maros Horny up to play at the No. 2 spot, while dropping Marc Bruche and Attila Bucko down to the No. 3 slot. The No. 1 doubles team of Jordan Rux and David Galic remained stable.
"We shook our doubles up a little bit, because we felt like Maros (Horny) and Denes (Lukacs) are playing pretty well," Knoll said. "They were the only team to win against Mississippi, so we thought we would give them a crack at playing a little higher in the lineup."
However, the moves did not pay off as the Bears lost the doubles point for the second straight match. OSU got out to an early 1-0 lead in the point as Bryan Koniecko and Shuhei Uzawa quickly dispatched Bucko and Bruche, 8-2. From there Justin Kronauge and Steven Moneke took out Galic and Rux, 9-7, after the match was tied at six points apiece. With the point decided Baylor would also lose at the second spot, as Matt Allare and Balazs Novak defeated Lukacs and Horny, 9-7.
The Bears are now 16-17 in doubles matches this season. It was the first loss for Lukacs and Horny as a duo. They were 3-0 coming into the match.
In singles, Knoll dropped his freshman, No. 121 Julian Bley, who had played at the No. 3 position for the Bears in 10 of the 11 matches this spring season. Bley was just 1-5 in his last six matches. With the change Mueller shifted up to fill the void at No. 3, followed by the move up of Bucko to No. 4 and Horny to the fifth posistion. Bruche was inserted in the No. 6 position. Bruche had played in only two previous matches going 1-1.
"Julian (Bley) just wasn't ready to play, so we just needed to take him out," Knoll said. "We still have a dream that we are going to be able to get David (Galic) back in the singles line-up."
The Buckeyes momentum from the doubles win carried right into singles play as they swept through the Bears lineup. No. 23 Kronauge rapidly dismissed Mueller at No. 4 position, 6-1 and 6-0. Then No. 38 Rux fell to fourth-ranked Koniecko 6-3, 6-4, dropping the Baylor sophomore's record to 6-5 overall and 0-4 in indoor's matches.
Next,Horny lost in three sets to Allare. After winning the first set 6-0, Horny dropped the next two 7-6, 6-0. Horny's loss sealed the victory for the Buckeyes, but they would go on to win the final three matches on the court. New insert Bruche met the same fate as Horny, as he won the first set 6-4, before losing the next two sets 6-2 and 6-1. Then No. 22 Moneke got past No. 10 Lukacs, 6-3, 4-6 and 6-2 to stop the Baylor junior's six-match win streak. In the last match on the court No. 63 Novak took down Bucko 7-6, 7-6.
"Two and half hours into the match, I felt like we had a great chance to win the match," Knoll said. "We had some things going on that were very positive and then I think they just kind of wore us out."
The Bears will now open up Big 12 conference play on Wednesday, March 4 at the Baylor Tennis Center as they host Oklahoma at 3 p.m. Later that day Baylor will play Mary-Hardin Baylor at 7 p.m. The double header is the second for the Bears this season after sweeping No. 6 UCLA, 4-3, and St. Edward's, 7-0, on Feb. 22.
"We got a chance to go into the break with a smile on our face if we can win this match coming up on Wednesday," Knoll said. "I don't think it is going to be hard to get pumped up for this Big 12 match."
Live stats for both matches will be available at Baylorbears.com.
#3 Ohio State 7, #10 Baylor 0
Mar 01, 2009 at Ohio State
(OSU Varsity Tennis Center)
1. #22 Steven Moneke (OSU) def. #10 Denes Lukacs (BU) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
2. #4 Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. #38 Jordan Rux (BU) 6-3, 6-4
3. #23 Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. Dominik Mueller (BU) 6-1, 6-0
4. #63 Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Attila Bucko (BU) 7-6 (11-9), 7-6 (7-5)
5. Matt Allare (OSU) def. Maros Horny (BU) 0-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-0
6. #82 Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. Marc Bruche (BU) 4-6, 6-2, 6-1
1. Justin Kronauge/Steven Moneke (OSU) def. David Galic/Jordan Rux (BU) 9-7
2. Matt Allare/Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Denes Lukacs/Maros Horny (BU) 9-7
3. Bryan Koniecko/Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. Attila Bucko/Marc Bruche (BU) 8-2
Baylor 8-4; National ranking #10
Ohio State 13-1; National ranking #3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (3,2,5,6,1,4)
Official: Vince Solomon