March 15, 2010
The 16th-ranked men's tennis team will put its seven-match win streak on the line, Wednesday, when it welcomes No. 39 TCU to the Baylor Tennis Center at 6 p.m.
It will be the second meeting between the Bears and the Horned Frogs, after the two teams met on Feb. 1 in Waco with Baylor sweeping TCU, 7-0.
The Bears, who have not lost in Waco since March 21, 2009, will also be looking to protect a 15-match home win streak.
Live results of the match will be available on here.
LAST TIME OUT: The Bears return to the Baylor Tennis Center, after a successful two-match road trip to California. On Thursday, March 11, Baylor took out eighth-ranked UCLA, 4-3, in Los Angeles and then on Saturday, March 13, the Bears got past No. 24 Pepperdine, 5-2, in Malibu, Calif.
CURRENT STREAKS AND TRENDS: Overall, the Bears have won 27 of 30 matches dating back to last season. The current seven match win streak is Baylor's longest of the season after starting the year with a five-match win streak. Baylor is 11-0 when winning the doubles point and 1-2 when losing it. Senior Denes Lukacs has won 30 of his last 34 matches overall, which includes an 11-1 start to this dual match season. Senior Dominik Mueller has won 11 of 13 to start the dual match season. Meanwhile at the No. 2 spot Jordan Rux is 10-1 and has won four straight.
BAYLOR IN THE RANKINGS: New team, singles and doubles rankings will be released by the ITA on Tuesday afternoon. In the current rankingsIn rankings released by the ITA on March 9, Baylor dropped from No. 14 to No. 16 as a team. The Bears have been ranked as high as No. 5 in the country in the Feb. 12 edition of the rankings. Individually, Baylor is represented in the singles rankings by Denes Lukacs at No. 22 and Jordan Rux at No. 28. The Bears have three doubles tandems in the current rankings as Rux partners with Maros Horny to be the 17th-ranked pairing. Horny is also teamed with Lukacs to make up the 59th-ranked duo, while Julian Bley and Attila Buckoare currently ranked 45th.
SCOUTING TCU: Before traveling to Waco for Wednesday's match, the 39th-ranked TCU Horned Frogs will face Columbia on Tuesday in Fort Worth. Currently, the Horned Frogs are 5-3 on the season, but TCU is just 1-1 in true road contests. The day after playing Baylor in Waco, the Horned Frogs return home to face Sacramento State. Last season, TCU, under fourth-year head coach Dave Borelli, advanced to the NCAA Championships for the 18th time in 19 years. This season's squad returns seven players from last year's team that won the Mountain West Conference regular season championship and finished the year No. 39 in the ITA rankings.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Horned Frogs' roster features four players who were regulars in last season's lineup including juniors Emanuel Brighiu, Zach Nichols and Christopher Price and sophomore Slah Mbarek. Mbarek and Nichols both have 6-2 dual match records, while Price is 5-3.
SERIES RECORD: The Bears trail 31-17 in the overall series to the Horned Frogs, but have beaten their former SWC rival nine straight times dating back to 2001. In Matt Knoll's time at Baylor the Bears hold a 12-5 mark against TCU. In the years before Knoll's arrival the Horned Frogs owned a 26-match win streak against Baylor from 1975-1996. Knoll actually lost his first three matches against TCU extending the streak to 29 matches from 1975-1998. The Bears dominated the series in its early years taking the first five match ups from 1970-74.
LAST TIME AGAINST TCU: The Bears and Horned Frogs met in the final of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Waco on Feb. 1, 2010 with the Bears shutting out TCU, 7-0. The Bears won the number two and three doubles matches and swept five of the six singles matches in straight sets. At the No. 2 spot, Jordan Rux was leading his match when TCU's Emanuel Brighiu retired.
WINNING AGAINST THE BEST: The Matt Knoll era has seen Baylor play 325 ranked opponents with the Bears going 239-86 in those matches. This year, Baylor is 7-2 against ranked teams. Last season, the Bears were 20-6 against teams in the ITA's rankings of the top 75 college teams. Baylor's best year against ranked foes came in 2005 when it went 29-1 against the nation's elite with the only loss coming to No. 6 UCLA in the NCAA Tournament finals.
OWNING NON-CONFERENCE OPPOSITION: The Knoll era has brought success in non-conference play with Baylor sporting a 242-65 mark in non-league play over the last 13+ years.
LOOKING AHEAD: After hosting TCU, Baylor will travel to Charlottesville, Va. to face the Virginia Cavaliers. Virginia is currently the nation's No.1 ranked team. The Bears and Cavaliers will square off at 1 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, March 21.
BLEY SPARKS TURNAROUND: Since being inserted in the lineup for the first time this season against No. 19 Alabama on Feb. 14, sophomore Julian Bley has produced seven straight singles victories by winning six times at the No. 6 position and once at the third spot in the lineup. Baylor is also 7-0 in the seven matches that the Veitshoechheim, Germany, native has played singles after going 0-2 in the previous two contests.
LUKACS AND MUELLER CONTINUE MARCH: Two of Baylor's seniors, Denes Lukacs and Dominik Mueller, are moving up the ladder in the Baylor record books with each win. Currently, Lukacs has 125 career singles wins, 81 career dual match singles wins and a .806 winning percentage (125-30). He is second on the career wins list, third on the dual match wins list and in fourth place on the percentage list. Mueller has 108 career singles wins, 84 career dual match singles wins and a .783 (108-30) winning percentage. He is fifth in career wins, second in dual match wins, and fifth in winning percentage.
HOME SWEET HOME: The friendly confines of the Baylor Tennis Center have been very kind to the Bears. Over the eight years of its existence, Baylor is 123-6 in matches played in Waco. Under Knoll the Bears are 163-21 when playing at home including matches played at the Streich Courts, the Baylor Tennis Center and various indoor courts in the area. Currently, the Bears hold a 15-match win streak at the Baylor Tennis Center and have won 31 out of the last 33 in Waco.
SHUTTING OUT THE COMPETITION: In 14 matches this spring, Baylor has blanked its opponent eight times. Six of the wins have been 7-0 victories over Louisiana-Lafayette, No. 58 Iowa, No. 38 TCU, UT-Pan American, Prairie View A&M, UT Arlington and Laredo Community College, while the Bears beat No. 19 Alabama, 4-0. All of last season the Bears only had eight 7-0 wins and blanked only 10 opponents.
Quotes- Head Coach Matt Knoll
On the match:
"We have got to keep building our momentum. We have already played TCU and it is always kind of a challenge to play a team twice. It hasn't been that long ago since we played them. It is another chance to play a good match."
On TCU's lineup:
"I know they have changed their lineup a lot since we played them, so it will be a lot of different match-ups."
On playing at night:
"It is our first night match of the season. We really enjoy playing at night under the lights. It will be a great atmosphere. I think it will be a great chance for our guys to get used to that kind of environment."
On what lies ahead:
"We've got a huge match with Virginia coming up this next Sunday, so we just need to keep trying to get better."
Release Note: All rankings used in this release will not be used for the match on Wednesday. The ITA team, singles and doubles rankings released on Tuesday afternoon will be used in Wednesday's match.