March 21, 2010
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The eighth-ranked men's tennis team came up short in its bid to upset No. 1 ranked Virginia on Sunday afternoon at the Sheridan Snyder Tennis Center losing 5-2 to the top-ranked Cavaliers in Charlottesville, Va.
The victory by the 19-1 Cavaliers moves Baylor's record to 13-3 and snaps an eight-match win streak by the Bears.
"We feel like we did some good things today and had some nice things happen, but, obviously, we are not quite where we want to be," head coach Matt Knoll said. "The good news for us is it is March 21. We've got a couple months to get this thing going and we have a lot of belief that we can do that."
The Bears lost the doubles point for the third time in four matches, after starting the year 10-2 in that category. The Bears' No. 3 team of Attila Bucko and Julian Bley began the afternoon by falling, 8-3, to the 41st-ranked Cavalier duo of Jarmere Jenkins and Lee Singer. The Baylor tandem is now 8-3 on the season.
Next, Baylor's No. 1 doubles team of Maros Horny and Jordan Rux lost their fourth consecutive match to give Virginia the doubles point. The 33rd-ranked Baylor pair is now 4-5 on the season with the 8-5 loss to 17th-ranked Drew Courtney and Michael Shabaz.
Virginia's No. 19 ranked team of Houston Barrick and Sanam Singh then finished out doubles with an 8-7(4) victory over Denes Lukacs and Roberto Maytin, who fall to 6-2 in the spring with their second straight loss.
"Honestly, I thought there was a lot to be encouraged about today," Knoll said. "I thought that our doubles was better."
Virginia would push its lead to 2-0 in singles as the fourth-ranked Shabaz dispatched of No. 16 Lukacs, 6-3, 6-2, at the No. 1 spot. The loss is only the second of the season for the Baylor senior and drops his spring record to 12-2.
At the No. 5 position, Maytin would continue his solid play for Baylor to upset the 87th-ranked Barrick, 6-3, 6-4. The Bears' freshman has now won three straight matches to improve to 8-3 this spring.
"Roberto was real solid the whole time," Knoll said. "He fought hard and did a pretty good job. I was very pleased."
However, the Cavaliers would take the next three matches at the two, four and six spots to put the match away. First, the 28th-ranked Rux fell, 6-3, 6-2, to the third-ranked Singh. Then Virginia's 53rd-ranked Courtney dropped Dominik Mueller 6-4, 6-4 and No. 68 Singer got past Bley 6-3, 6-4. Rux falls to 11-2, while Mueller is now 12-3 in the spring. For Bley it was his first loss in nine starts this season.
"Virginia is No. 1 in the country for a reason," Knoll said. "Playing at their place is a heck of a challenge. We are pleased we got a chance to do it and I think we learned a ton about ourselves that will help us down the road."
Baylor's final point came at the No. 3 position as Bucko rebounded to upset the 33rd-ranked Jenkins 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3). Bucko has also won three matches in a row and sits at 10-2 for this dual match campaign.
"I saw Attila finish his match," Knoll said. "He, obviously, beat a good player and did a great job."
Mueller and Lukacs both lost in straight sets for the second time in three matches, after also doing so on March 14 against No. 24 Pepperdine.
"We are not in a panic situation," Knoll said of his two seniors. "We are not overly concerned by any means, but at the same time you have to take that feedback. Any time you lose two out of three you have to recognize things are not going exactly how you want and you have to make some improvements. We know they are going to be superstars for us down the stretch. This is a great chance for them to show their great character and work ethic and bounce back."
The Bears fall to 0-3 all-time against Virginia in Charlottesville and 3-4 overall in the all-time series. The loss drops Matt Knoll's record at Baylor to 0-5 versus No. 1 ranked teams.
The Bears will next be in action on Saturday, March 27 when they host a doubleheader. Abilene Christian comes to town at 1 p.m. and the Bears will face St. Edwards at 6 p.m. at the Baylor Tennis Center.