March 27, 2009
On a downright blustery Friday afternoon, the 10th-ranked men's tennis team made short work of No. 50 Virginia Commonwealth, 7-0 at the Baylor Tennis Center. The 7-0 decision was the sixth time this season the Bears have blanked an opponent.
"I think, generally speaking we did enough to win," Baylor head coach Matt Knoll said. "We didn't manage the circumstances as well as maybe we should have. Everybody did enough to give themselves a chance and then fought hard when they needed to. Anytime you win a match, 7-0, you got to feel good about it."
The Bears own a 15-5 dual match record and are 13-1 at the Baylor Tennis Center this season, after winning nine of their last 11 matches. Baylor will close out a season long nine match home stand on Sunday against No. 18 Pepperdine that has seen the Bears go 7-1. Currently, Baylor is on a four-match win streak.
Baylor got off to a good start in doubles' play as the Bears earned a win in two of the three matches to secure the point. First off the court was the No. 2 doubles team of Denes Lukacs and Maros Horny, who took down Thibaut Charron and Bob Delemark, 8-1. Lukacs and Horny are 8-3 this fall. Jordan Rux and David Galic, the No. 1 doubles team, clinched the point for the Bears with an 8-5 victory over the 40th-ranked team of Benjamin Bouhana and Emil Lindgren. Galic and Rux are 6-3 when paired together. The No. 3 team of Julian Bley and Dominik Mueller would end up falling to Nicolas Vinel and Martin Schulhauser 8-7 in a 7-5 tiebreak. The duo is now 5-2 when partnered together.
"It was a little bit of a challenge in that our last match was against a highly ranked team with TV cameras and a crowd and today was potentially a little bit of a let down," Knoll said. "It wasn't easy for the guys to come and get ready to play today, which is inexcusable."
The Bears kept their momentum up from the doubles win by sweeping through the singles matches. In the first match off senior Galic beat Vinel 6-2, 7-5. Bley then followed with a three set win over Bouhana 4-6, 6-2, and 6-1. Then No. 6 Lukacs clinched the match for the Bears by dispatching Thibaut Charron 6-2, 6-3. The junior is 13-3 and riding a six match win streak with all of his matches coming at the No. 1 singles slot. Mueller was next to win with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Bob Delemark. Horny then won at No. 6 over Filip Svensson in straight sets 6-2, 7-5. Horny is 14-4 on the season. After sitting out for three matches, Jordan Rux returned to the Baylor lineup and won in three sets, 6-7(2-7), 6-4, and 10-3 in a third set super tiebreaker.
"It was a little breezy, the conditions weren't perfect," Knoll said. "The wind is a great equalizer. I thought in a couple of matches it made a big difference, it made it tougher on us then it would have been otherwise, but everybody did a good job and came through."
The VCU Rams fall to an 11-7 spring record, and are only 6-7 in their last 13 matches.
The Bears have never lost to VCU, holding a 6-0 record over the Rams with match wins in each of the last six years.
Next the Bears will face the No. 18 Pepperdine Waves for the second time this season when Pepperdine comes to town on Sunday at 1 p.m.
"They are very good," Knoll said. "We know they are going to be very good. We have had a lot of good matches with them over the years. This match will be no exception so we just got to play better. It is just a great opportunity for us to keep improving."
The Waves hold a 13-8 record and have won six out of their last eight matches.
In their last time out the Waves beat No. 33 Rice, 4-3 on Friday, March 27.
The Bears are 7-4 all-time versus Pepperdine, after beating the Waves, 4-3, earlier this year at the ITA National Indoors Championship in Chicago. In that second round match Baylor came from behind, after losing the doubles point and falling in two of the first three singles matches, to win the final three matches on the court and walk away with the victory.
In singles the Waves are led by 27th-ranked Bassam Beidas, a junior, and senior No. 39 Omar Altmann. Beidas and Altmann also pair together to form the 14th-ranked doubles team in the country.
After the Pepperdine match the team will host a public watch part to view its 2009 HP Cup victory over No. 4 Stanford last Tuesday. At the conclusion match the team will gather in the lobby of the Baylor Tennis Center to watch a DVD copy of the match. The viewing is open to the public and drinks and refreshments will be provided.