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Match Preview: Men's Tennis vs. Oklahoma State

The Baylor men's tennis team hosts Oklahoma State Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Baylor men's tennis team hosts Oklahoma State Sunday at 1 p.m.

March 24, 2001

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#43 Baylor (7-5, 4-1) vs. #36 Oklahoma State (7-4, 1-0)
Sunday, March 25, 2001, 1 p.m. , Waco, Texas

Coming off an upset loss to Kansas on Friday, the No. 43 Baylor men's tennis team will look to get up off the mat and rebound with a win against No. 36 Oklahoma State on Sunday. The match begins at 1 p.m. at the Streich Tennis Courts.

The Bears, who began March with a win that pushed their home winning streak to 22 consecutive matches, have now lost two of their last three in Waco. They will have their work cut out for them, hosting a Cowboy team that beat then-No. 2 Tennessee 4-2 at the National Team Indoor in February.

The Cowboys are led by junior Matt Prentice, ranked No. 40 in the nation in singles, and senior Chris Bates, ranked No. 99 in singles. OSU's top doubles team of Prentice and Eru Lyndon is ranked 26th in doubles.

Last season, the Bears beat the Cowboys 7-2 in Stillwater to clinch the 2000 Big 12 Conference title. Baylor is just 2-2 against OSU since the creation of the Big 12, but the Bears have taken each of the last two meetings between the schools.

A Little Home Cooking Goes A Long Way
Since moving to the Streich Courts for good prior to the 1996-1997 season, the Bears are 40-12 at home.

The Bears saw a 22-match home win streak come to an end with a 7-0 loss to then-No. 3 Duke (3/15). Before that, the Bears' last loss at home came April 17, 1998, when the Bears lost to Texas A&M in the final match of the regular season.

Between April 16, 1999, and March 10, 2001, the Baylor men's and women's tennis teams won a combined 34 straight matches at home (16 by the men, 18 by the women).

Big 12 = Big Success
Baylor has won 19 of its last 21 regular season matches against Big 12 opponents. The stretch includes a 13-match win streak, which ended March 23 at home against Kansas. Prior to that, the Bears' last defeat by a conference opponent was a a 4-3 loss April 22, 1999, on the road against then-No. 7 Texas.

Streaking
Zoltan Papp won his first five singles matches and his first six doubles matches of the spring after returning from injury.

Freshman Matias Marin won his first seven singles matches to begin his collegiate career before losing to Duke's Joel Spicher (3/15). The seven-match win streak is the team's longest this season.

The doubles team of Csongor Bibza and Cory Ross won five in a row, lost once, then won their next six in a row. The six-match win streak is the team's longest doubles streak this season.

(Facing) Simply the Best
The Bears have 12 teams on their 2001 spring schedule which qualified for the 2000 NCAA Tournament and nine teams that began the spring ranked among the top 25.

Since entering the top 25 in Dec. 1998, Baylor is 17-12 against other top-25 teams. Four of the Bears' five losses this season have come against top-20 teams. Baylor has only lost twice to a team not ranked among the top 20 since the start of the 1999 season.

The Bears are 28-2 against unranked teams under head coach Matt Knoll.

Double(s) Trouble
Baylor is a perfect 7-0 this season when winning the doubles point, but the team is 0-5 when the opponent takes the first point. The Bears have swept doubles four times and won all four matches.

Baylor in the Rankings
The Bears' current No. 43 ranking is the team's lowest at any point since Baylor entered the polls for the first time ever in December 1997 at No. 68.

The Baylor men's and women's tennis teams were both in the top 25 for 53 straight weeks, a streak which ended March 21 when the men fell to No. 43. The stretch began March 15, 2000, when the women moved up to No. 18.

Senior Mark Williams earned his first-ever career singles ranking in September (No. 68), and freshman Reiner Neurohr earned his first career singles ranking in December (No. 91).

The doubles team of Neurohr and Williams earned a ranking of No. 20 before even playing a match together. The pair moved as high as No. 4 in the nation(Dec. 2000).

Knoll-ing Right Along
Head coach Matt Knoll is 88-51 in his sixth season, 80-35 at Baylor (in his fifth season)... His 75th win at Baylor came on the road against Tulane (2/11)... Knoll was named to the Region VI Advisory Committee for the 2001 NCAA Men's Tennis Championships.

Climbing the Ladder
Several current Baylor players are making their way up the career leader charts:
* Csongor Bibza ranks fifth in school history in career singles wins (45) and sixth in career doubles wins (67), one behind fifth-place Johannes Michalsky.
* Mark Williams ranks second in the Baylor record books in career singles wins (86), eight behind record-holder Johann Jooste. Williams already holds the career record for doubles wins (91).

Preseason Honors
The Baylor men earned two singles nominations and one doubles selection on the preseason all-Big 12 team. Senior all-American Mark Williams and 2000 Big 12 Freshman of the Year Zoltan Papp were named to the singles all-conference team, while the team of Williams and freshman Reiner Neurohr represented Baylor on the doubles listing.

Injury Troubles
The Bears lost 2000 Big 12 Freshman of the Year Zoltan Papp to an ACL tear suffered during the summer which forced him to miss the entire fall season.

Senior Mark Williams suffered an abdominal injury against Mississippi State (1/27) which forced him to miss one match and continues to bother him.

Live Updates
Each of the Bears' last six matches this season will be "webcast" at GoBaylorBears.com. Click on the "Live Updates" link in the Live Coverage box on the front page of the site for scores.

 

 

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