April 16, 2010
NORMAN, Oklahoma - The 11th-ranked Baylor men's tennis pulled out its 16th-straight win over the 20th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners with a 5-2 win at the Gregg Wadley Indoor Tennis Facility on Friday night.
"We were much improved," head coach Matt Knoll said. "We talked a lot about staying the course and getting a little bit better and we played a better match today without a doubt. I think there is a lot of good stuff to be drawn out of this match. We are really pleased."
Baylor (18-5, 2-2) improves to 4-2 on the road this season and beat its seventh top-25 opponent of the year. For Oklahoma (15-5, 1-3) the loss snaps a three-match winning streak and gives the Sooners their first loss at home in eight matches.
The match was scheduled to take place outdoors at the Headington Family Tennis Center, but because of inclement weather in the area the match was moved indoors. With the win the Bears improved to 2-2 indoors this season, after going 1-2 earlier in the year at the National Team Indoor Championship in Charlottesville, Va.
The Bears opened the match with a win at No. 3 doubles by the team of Maros Horny and Sergio over Blake Boswell and Lawrence Formentera, 8-5. The Baylor tandem is now 2-0, after also earning a victory in the Bears' Sunday win against Nebraska. The Sooners then took the doubles match at the one spot as 16th-ranked Andrei Daescu and Costin Paval beat No.34 Denes Lukacs and Roberto Maytin, 8-6. The Baylor duo falls to 10-5 on the season and 1-3 in conference play, after dropping its second straight match.
"Obviously doubles was improved," Knoll said. "I thought we really played well, probably the best we have played all season. I think our team at three is more athletic and I think that really helped us. We just have a little more power and athleticism out there."
When the match at No. 1 wrapped, Jordan Rux and Attila Bucko were locked in a 6-6 tie with David Pultr and Ionut Beleleu at the No. 2 position. The pairs then traded games to push the match to an 8-8 tie, before Rux and Bucko closed out the match, 9-8, by winning a tiebreaker 11-9. It was the first match that Bucko and Rux had partnered together, since March 30 at Stanford and the duo improved to 3-2 on the season.
"The match at two was a really good match," Knoll said. "It is hard to break serve indoors and both teams played some good tennis. The tiebreaker was high quality. We were just fortunate to get it at the end."
Baylor picked up its second straight doubles win, after dropping its previous three. The Bears improve to 15-0 in matches win it wins the doubles match.
In singles, Dominik Mueller won his third straight match to give the Bears a 2-0 lead in the match as he dispatched of Formentera, 6-1, 6-1. Mueller is now 3-1 in conference play and 17-4 overall.
"Dominik really came out and grabbed a hold on that match," Knoll said. "Today we talked a lot about trying to stay focused from beginning to end and he did a lot better job of that today."
Oklahoma would next get its first point of the match as Pultr beat Maytin 7-5, 6-3. However, the Bears would claim the next two matches to seal the victory.
First, Julian Bley beat George Chanturia 6-4, 6-4 at the sixth spot to move his record to 14-3 overall and 3-1 in conference play.
Then Bucko got his first win of Big 12 play to clinch the match for the Bears with a 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-2 win over 68th-ranked Paval at the three spot. With the win Bucko snapped a three-match losing streak and upped his record to 13-5.
"I thought Attila defended better," Knoll said. "I thought he moved better and served better. It was just a way better performance from him. I thought Attila just managed the whole match very well."
With the match in hand Oklahoma would get its second point as No. 29 Daescu beat 39th-ranked Rux 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 to give the junior his fourth straight loss. It is the first time in his career at Baylor that Rux has lost four straight matches.
In the final match on the court, 16th-ranked Lukacs beat No. 72 Beleleu 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4 to move the senior's all-time Big 12 record to 21-1. It was the third straight win for Lukacs and it raised his season record to 16-4.
Baylor now leads the all-time series 17-14 and holds a 16-1 mark over the Sooners since the formation of the Big 12 Conference. The Bears have not lost in Norman to Oklahoma since March 26, 1990.
The Bears will conclude their Oklahoma road trip by traveling to Stillwater to battle No. 54 Oklahoma State (8-11, 0-5) at 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Jack DeBois Tennis Complex.
"We have a great opportunity against a competitive team again," Knoll said. "We know Oklahoma State is going to play well against us. We just got to come out and build on what happened here."
Match Notes: Baylor improves to 330-81 all-time and 84-15 in Big 12 play under Matt Knoll. Over the last eight seasons Baylor is 54-4 in Big 12 competition and since the formation of the Big 12 the Bears are now 42-7 in Big 12 road play. The Bears are now 14-2 in the state of Oklahoma. Senior Dominik Mueller won the 90th dual match of his career and now only needs two wins to tie Baylor great Benjamin Becker for the most dual match singles wins in program history.