April 12, 2013
WACO, Texas - The 15th-ranked Baylor men's tennis recorded its sixth consecutive win by upsetting No. 12 Oklahoma, 6-1, on Friday at the Hurd Tennis Center.
Baylor (16-4, 2-0) handed Oklahoma (15-6, 2-1) its first Big 12 loss since April 17, 2011. OU was perfect in league action in 2012 to win the Big 12 regular season title and the Sooners were predicted to take the crown again in 2013.
"I think that this team is different from last year's," head coach Matt Knoll said. "When you get wins like this it sort of validates the hard work you have been putting in and the things you have been doing. It is a good sign post for this part of the year that we are heading in the right direction."
Oklahoma got things started with an 8-3 victory by No. 75 pairing of Guillermo Alcorta and Axel Alvarez Llamas over Patrick Pradella and Roberto Maytin in No. 2 doubles.
The Bears quickly rebounded as Julian Lenz and Tony Lupieri recorded an 8-3 win over Lawrence Formentera and Nick Papac on court three.
Attention then turned to court one where Baylor's Mate Zsiga and Diego Galeano were trying to hold off a late surge by the 27th-ranked pairing of Dane Webb and Costin Paval. The BU duo led 7-3, before the OU pair took an 8-7 lead in the match. Zsiga then held serve to tie the contest at eight games apiece and send it into a tiebreaker. The Bears pulled away in that tiebreaker to clinch the doubles point with a 9-8(3) victory.
Baylor maintained the momentum going into singles action taking the first point with a 6-1, 6-1 Galeano win in the No. 5 spot over OU's Papac to give the Bears a 2-0 lead.
Oklahoma struck back as No. 23 Paval got past Pradella 6-3, 6-3 on court one, before No. 55 Lenz downed No. 53 Webb 6-2, 6-4 on court three.
Baylor clinched the match on court six when Maytin topped Leonard Stakhovsky 6-4, 7-5.
From there the 74th-ranked Lupieri was the next Bear to come off court with a 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Axel Alvarez Llamas at the No. 4 spot. Lupieri's win improves his unbeaten streak to eight matches.
In the last match on, the 91st-ranked Zsiga fought back to win a three-set match with No. 38 Guillermo Alcorta 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-4) to give the Bears the 6-1 victory.
The win also snapped a three-match losing to OU and upped BU's all-time record vs. the Sooners to 19-17. Matt Knoll is now 18-4 against Oklahoma as Baylor improved to 97-17 in Big 12 matches under him.
The Bears are now 12-2 at home and 8-4 against nationally ranked opponents.
Baylor will be back in action on Sunday when they host Oklahoma State at the Hurd Tennis Center at 1 p.m.
"It is going to be another challenge," Knoll said. "I am thrilled by the way our guys have taken on what has been put in front of them so far and I think their confidence is really building. I think we are going to continue to get better and better."
To stay up to date with the team all season follow @BaylorMTennis on Twitter.