May 18, 2017
ATHENS, Ga. -- The seventh-ranked and seventh-seeded Baylor men's tennis team was knocked out of the NCAA Championships in the round of 16 with a 4-1 loss to No. 10 Texas Thursday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The loss concludes Baylor's dual-match season at 23-8. It was BU's 15th appearance in the round of 16 in the last 16 seasons and the 17th overall in program history. Meanwhile, Texas improves to 22-8 and advances to the NCAA Championships quarterfinals.
However, Baylor stormed back to take the next two matches and the opening point. Bjoern Petersen and Max Tchoutakian carded a 6-3 triumph at the No. 3 spot over Yuya Ito and Harrison Scott. The BU duo won the final three games of the match to earn the victory.
With the doubles point now tied at one match apiece, the 22nd-ranked duo of Juan Benitez and Will Little held a 5-3 advantage on court one. After a Texas hold, Benitez held at love to seal the match, 6-4, over No. 76 George Goldhoff and Leonardo Telles and grab the first point.
Baylor was unable to carry the momentum of the doubles triumph over to singles as Texas raced out to wins in five of six first sets.
The score was quickly tied 1-1 with Petersen's 6-0, 6-2 loss at the No. 4 spot to Goldhoff. Next, Little suffered a 6-1, 6-4 setback to Telles to put the Bears behind 2-1. On court two, the Bears were pushed to the brink of elimination as the 50th-ranked Tchoutakian fell to No. 36 Scott, 6-4, 7-5.
At that point, the Bears were faced with winning all three remaining matches to advance and for a moment that seemed like a possibility.
Bendeck had been the lone Bear to win his first set on court six against Rodrigo Banzer, 7-5, and he was working to close out the second set. Schretter had used a pair of breaks when he was trailing 5-4 and 6-5 in his second set against 55th-ranked Ito to force that set into a tiebreaker, which the BU sophomore went on to win 7-1 to push the No. 3 singles contest to a third set.
However, Baylor's rally was short lived, after Benitez suffered a 7-6(4), 6-3 loss to No. 25 Sigsgaard on court one to close out the match.
Baylor is now 55-19 (.743) all-time in NCAA Championships play.
BU falls to 12-5 in the NCAA round of 16 and 20-16 at the NCAA final site.
The Bears are 13-8 versus ranked opponents and 3-4 against top-10 opponents in 2017.
Baylor is 7-9 all-time in NCAA matches in Athens, Ga.
The Bears are 22-41 all-time against Texas, but still have won 10 of the last 12 and 19 of the last 23 matches from UT.
The loss snapped a seven-match win streak for the Bears against the Longhorns.
BU is 1-1 vs. the Longhorns in NCAA Championships action.
TOP QUOTE #1
"I am proud of our doubles. We might have been a little bit over-juiced after the doubles. You know it's one point and I feel like we put a lot into it and did well, but then didn't really get off to a good start in singles. Their guys our good. We knew that coming in" - head coach Matt Knoll on the loss and doubles point
TOP QUOTE #2
"The guys just didn't settle in early, but some of them got back in there and had some chances, but again they were just too good. In a lot of areas we weren't very poised. That is part of going through the process of becoming a championship team." - Knoll on singles action
TOP QUOTE #3
"I am really proud of the guys. What a great season we had. We started off ranked low and we worked our way up. We got better and better and I think it sets a great foundation for next year with all of these guys coming back. We are going to try and be better." - Knoll on the team's season and moving forward
The loss concludes the team portion of Baylor's season at 23-8. Three singles players, Benitez, Schretter and Tchoutakian will take part in the NCAA Singles Championship, which starts Wednesday in Athens, Ga. Benitez will team with Little to be part of the NCAA Doubles Championship as well.
To stay current on all things Baylor Tennis, follow the team on Twitter: @BaylorMTennis.