|No. 8 Baylor (3-2) at No. 71 SMU (2-2)
Feb. 20, 2011 | 12 p.m. CST | Dallas, Texas | Dallas Country Club
In its final road match of the non-conference season, the eighth-ranked Baylor men's tennis team will travel to Dallas to face 73rd-ranked SMU on Sunday at 12 p.m. at the Dallas Country Club.
Baylor (3-2) is coming off a 6-1 win against No. 52 TCU on Sat., Feb. 12 in Waco. Against SMU (2-2) the Bears will be looking for their first road win of the season, after falling to No. 9 Florida, 5-2, in their last road contest. Baylor has dominated the series recently against SMU winning the last 14 matches between the two schools, but BU still trails in the overall series 28-17.
The match will also be Baylor's second indoor match of the season, after the Bears toppled Louisiana Lafayette, 6-1, in the season opener at the Lion Tennis Center in Ennis, Texas.
No live scoring will be available for Sunday's match, but a full recap will be available on BaylorBears.com following the conclusion of the match.
LAST TIME OUT: Baylor handled No. 52 TCU 6-1 on Saturday, Feb. 12 at the Baylor Tennis Center. The Bears swept all three doubles matches and then won at singles spots one through five to run away from the Horned Frogs. The win was the 11th in a row for Baylor over its former Southwest Conference rival and the win marked BU's first of the season over a ranked foe.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Bears will return from their trip to Dallas and open up a nine match homestand to close out the first portion of their nonconference slate. Baylor will open the stretch at the Baylor Tennis Center by facing 33rd-ranked Mississippi State on Feb. 27 at 1 p.m. BU leads the all-time series versus the Bulldogs 4-1.
RANKED BEARS: For the first time this year Baylor has two singles players ranked in the ITA top 125 as sophomore Roberto Maytin now joins senior John Peers (No. 27) to be ranked 110th. Baylor also has two doubles teams listed in the rankings with Peers and Maytin partnering together to be ranked seventh in the nation. The other ranked Bear tandem is Julian Bley and Kike Grangeiro at No. 32.
SCOUTING SMU: The 73rd-ranked Mustangs opened the season with two wins, but have since lost their last two matches. In the last match out, SMU fell to No. 31 Alabama on Feb. 12, 6-1, in Dallas. This season the Mustangs have beat Texas Pan American and UNLV and also lost to Arkansas. In his 15th season as the head of the SMU tennis program, Carl Neufeld has assembled a roster that features four seniors, four juniors, five sophomores and five freshmen.
MUSTANGS TO WATCH: Senior Artem Baradach, who is 4-0 in the dual match season, leads the Mustangs at the No. 1 position. Currently he is ranked No. 36 in the ITA singles rankings. Fellow senior David Costa plays at the No. 2 spot, but only has one win in four matches. The Mustangs' top doubles duo is the tandem of Baradach and El-Effendi, who are 1-2 at the No. 1 spot.
SERIES HISTORY: The Mustangs hold a 28-17 overall record against the Bears with only 18 of those matches coming in the Matt Knoll era. Since his arrival at Baylor, the Bears are 15-3 versus the Mustangs and the Bears have won 14 straight matches over SMU. Since 1997, the Bears are 7-1 at home versus SMU, 7-2 on the road against the Mustangs and 1-0 in neutral site contests.
LAST TIME AGAINST SMU: Baylor cruised past No. 73 SMU, 6-1, in Waco last season on Feb. 26 to help the Bears improve to 9-2 on the season. BU won No. 2 and No. 3 doubles and then captured five of the six singles matches with all five wins coming in straight sets to earn the victory.
BAYLOR ON THE ROAD: Baylor has racked up a very impressive road record in the last 14 years as the Bears have come out victorious in 72 percent of road matches. Knoll has led the Bears to an 89-34 record on the road with the best season of travel coming in 2005 when BU went 9-0.
BAYLOR VS. CURRENT CONFERENCE USA MEMBERS: Besides its 7-0 record versus SMU since the Mustangs joined CUSA in 2005, Baylor has owned the other members of the conference during their time in the league sporting a 7-2 combined record versus Rice, Southern Mississippi, Tulane, Tulsa and UTEP.
OWNING NON-CONFERENCE OPPOSITION: The Knoll era has brought much success in non-conference play with Baylor enjoying a 253-66 mark in non-league play over the last 14 years. Last season the Bears held a 20-4 record in such matches and so far this season they are 3-2.
WINNING AGAINST THE BEST: During Knoll's time in Waco, Baylor has played 331 ranked opponents with the Bears going 248-83 in those matches. This season the Bears have played or are currently scheduled to play 15 ranked teams and seven of the other nine schools inside the top 10. Last season, the Bears were 16-7 against teams in the ITA's rankings of the top 75 college teams. Baylor's best year against ranked foes came in 2005 when they went 29-1 against the nation's elite with the only loss coming to No. 6 in the NCAA Tournament finals.
Quotes - Head Coach Matt Knoll
"The thing about SMU is they are incredibly well coached. Carl (Neufeld) is a very, very good tennis coach. That shows itself more than any place else in the doubles. They are going to pose some challenges for us that are going to be valuable for us to see. They lob returns which almost no one in college does, for example. They get forward better and more aggressively than a lot of people in college. Their No.1 player is also very highly ranked, so that will be a great match for John (Peers) and a great opportunity for him."
On playing the match indoors at the Dallas Country Club:
"It is something their coach wanted to do as a way to promote the match. From our perspective, we are certainly not an indoor team, but at the NCAA Championship there is always a chance you are going to get moved indoors due to inclement weather, so I thought it would be good to play in an indoor facility that is kind of foreign to us."
On his singles lineup:
"Clearly, getting Dennis in the last match was a big deal and getting him a clean, comfortable result. He is going to stay in there and we are maybe going to make some other adjustments throughout the order. I think we will continue to move guys a spot or two based on how they are playing that week and how things are going."
On Julian Bley and Kike Grangeiro being ranked this week:
"That is neat for them. They have got a great chemistry together. They have really brought out the best in each other and we are excited about them getting a little recognition for that. We're lucky - we have three doubles teams that have proven they can be really competitive at their positions."