April 24, 2010
WACO, Texas - Baylor's ninth-ranked men's tennis team posted its fourth straight Big 12 Conference win by downing the 13th-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders, 6-1, on Saturday evening at the Baylor Tennis Center. The Bears raised their record to 20-5 on the season and 4-2 in Big 12 action while Texas Tech falls to 20-4 overall and 3-3 in league play.
"Texas Tech is good. When you play the No. 13 team in the country you are going to get a fight on all of the courts. They have a very good team and it wasn't hard to see, those guys can play tennis. I was proud of our guys for doing a good job and getting through the matches," said head coach Matt Knoll.
On senior night when the program's three seniors, Attila Bucko, Denes Lukacs and Dominik Mueller, were honored between doubles and singles, Mueller tied former Baylor standout Benjamin Becker's all-time dual match record by posting his 92nd dual match victory.
"Dom has been a solid, steady presence for us ever since he has got here and the thing that is neat is he has improved a lot. We think down the stretch in big matches he is going to be a rock for us and the record represents that. When you look at his record in big matches over the course of his career he has been pretty tough," said Knoll.
For the eighth time this season the Bears won all three doubles matches on the night. Lukacs and Roberto Maytin, ranked No. 41, upset the 15th-ranked tandem of Raony Carvalho and Rafael Garcia at the top spot. The Baylor tandem streaked out to a 3-0 lead and only surrendered three games to the Red Raider duo, winning 8-3. BU's No. 2 doubles team of Bucko and Jordan Rux clinched the doubles point for the Bears winning on court two. With the match knotted at 2-2, the BU duo won four straight games to stretch the lead to 6-2 and never looked back, securing the 8-5 victory over Andre Stabile and Gonzalo Escobar. In the final doubles match, BU's Maros Horny and Sergio Ramirez sprinted out to a 6-3 lead before Texas Tech's Vitor Manzini and David Gonzalez fought back to even the score at 6-6. Baylor, despite falling behind 4-0 to begin the tiebreak, fought back and took the match 8-7 (10-8).
"We made a switch with a couple of doubles teams and it has paid off so far. We have won four doubles points in a row after not having much success at all. To sweep a pretty good team today was a great step in the right direction. I think our confidence is growing. We don't have to win the doubles point all of the time, but we have to feel like we have a chance to win the doubles point all of the time. I think we have that now and that is going to help us a lot in the postseason," said Knoll.
In singles, Mueller, playing at No. 5, dispatched Manzini in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1, while sophomore Julian Bley followed suit by downing Raphael Pfister at No. 6, 6-3, 6-3.
Rux came away as the clincher for the match. After he and his partner clinched the doubles point for the Bears, Rux posted a three-set victory on court two to claim the final point needed to ensure a victory for the Bears. Rux, ranked No. 39, downed 42nd-ranked Escobar, 6-3, 3-6, 6-0.
Despite dropping his first set in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (9-7), BU's Maytin bounced back and downed Stabile at the No. 4 singles spot, 6-2, 6-3, to put the Bears fifth point on the scoreboard. The 16th-ranked Lukacs and Texas Tech's 17th-ranked Carvalho dueled at No. 1 singles. Carvalho took the first set 6-4 but Lukacs gained a 6-3 win in the second set. Since the match had already been decided, the third-set tiebreaker was in order. Carvalho won the first two points, Lukacs came back and won the next four, Carvalho countered with three straight while Lukacs won the next three to make it 7-5. Lukacs would outscore Carvalho 3-2 the rest of the way to claim the tiebreaker 10-7.
The Red Raiders lone victory came when Garcia posted a 6-4, 7-6(3) win over the 115th-ranked Bucko on court three.
With the win, the Bears improve to 16-0 against Texas Tech in the Matt Knoll era. In addition, Baylor clinches the third seed in next week's Big 12 Championships held in Austin, Texas, April 30-May 2.