The 11th-ranked Baylor men's tennis team will look to stay undefeated in Big 12 play as the Bears travel to battle No. 39 Nebraska on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Vine Street Courts in Lincoln, Neb.
In its last match out, Baylor (12-3) opened its 15th-season of Big 12 play with a victory at No. 17 Texas Tech on Sunday. The win was Baylor's 10th victory in its last 11 contests. Nebraska (14-6) will be playing its first conference match against Baylor.
The match is the second contest of a three-match road trip for Baylor with a match against Texas to come on Wednesday. This season on the road the Bears are 2-1 with a loss at No. 9 Florida and wins against No. 71 SMU and Texas Tech.
All-time in Big 12 Conference play, Baylor is 87-15 and the Bears are 44-7 in league play on the road.
Live scoring for Saturday's match will be available on Huskers.com.
RANKED BEARS: In the latest ITA team rankings released on March 22, the Bears jumped five more places from No. 16 to No. 11, after defeating No. 8 Stanford and No. 17 Texas Tech. Baylor has been ranked as high as No. 7 to start the season and as low as No. 31 on March 15. Individually, Baylor has four singles players ranked in the ITA top 125 as senior John Peers is ranked No. 18 with a 12-3 record in dual-match play. Freshman Dennis Lengsfeld broke into the rankings for the first time at No. 81, while sophomore Roberto Maytin, who has a 11-2 mark in dual-match play, is ranked 83rd and junior Kike Grangeiro (12-2) is now ranked No. 88. The Bears also have two doubles team listed in the rankings with Peers and Maytin partnering together to be ranked seventh, after posting a 11-2 record to start the season. Sergio Ramirez and Jordan Rux, who are 9-3 on the season are ranked No. 83.
BAYLOR AGAINST BIG 12 CONFERENCE COMPETITION: Since the founding of the Big 12 Conference in 1996, the Bears have produced an 87-15 mark in league play, including a 57-4 record over the last nine years. In the 14 years of league play, Baylor has won nine Big 12 regular season titles and seven Big 12 Championship titles. During that span, the Bears have finished with a perfect league record seven times. In the five times that they did not win the conference regular season crown, the Bears finished second three times, third once and eighth once.
BAYLOR IN BIG 12 ROAD MATCHES: In 14-plus years of Big 12 play, the Bears have gone 44-7 on the road. The Bears have gone undefeated on the road during a season of conference play nine times and over the last 11-plus seasons the Bears are 35-2 away from Waco in Big 12 competition.
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 73 percent of road matches. Knoll has led the Bears to an 91-34 record on the road with their best season of travel in 2005 (9-0). This season BU is 2-1 on the road.
BAYLOR VS RANKED OPPONENTS: During Knoll's time in Waco, Baylor has played 338 ranked opponents with the Bears going 254-84 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 ITA preseason top 10. Last season, the Bears were 16-7 against teams in the ITA's rankings of the top 75 college teams, so far this season they are 7-3 in such matches.
SINGLES STREAKS & TRENDS: Senior John Peers won his second straight match against a top-20 opponent by downing No. 18 Gonzalo Escobar in his last match out. Now Peers is 12-3 in 14 matches at No. 1 and one match at No. 2. The rest of Baylor's singles lineup has been influx throughout the year. As part of the changes Roberto Maytin has played at three different positions, but has recorded a 11-2 mark with nine wins in his last 10 matches. Kike Grangeiro has also played well for the Bears with an 12-2 record competing at the five and six spots.
DOUBLES STREAKS & TRENDS: BU has gotten consistent play throughout the dual-match season from all three of its doubles teams. At the top of the lineup, Roberto Maytin and John Peers are 11-2, at the No. 2 spot Sergio Ramirez and Jordan Rux are 9-3, while at the bottom of the lineup Julian Bley and Kike Grangeiro have a 13-1 mark. Overall, Baylor has won 13 straight doubles points and has swept doubles eight times this year.
LAST TIME OUT: Baylor opened conference play with a 4-3 win at No. 17 Texas Tech on Sunday. The Bears won all three doubles matches for the eighth time this season and then John Peers, Roberto Maytin and Kike Grangeiro all claimed singles wins to capture the victory for BU. The Bears are now 17-0 against Texas Tech in the Big 12 era.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Bears will close out their three-match road trip with a match at No. 7 Texas on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The match will be Baylor's final road match of the season. The Bears trail Texas 41-15 in the all-time series, but in the Big 12 era BU holds a 15-9 edge.
SCOUTING NEBRASKA: The 39th-ranked Cornhuskers enter Saturday's match with a 14-6 record and a 5-1 mark at home this season. Saturday's match will be Nebraska's final Big 12 conference opener as the Huskers will move to the Big Ten next season. Nebraska hasn't played at home since March 12 as the Huskers have been on a five-match road trip on which they went 3-2. In their last match out the Huskers blanked No. 51 Fresno State, 7-0 on March 26. Nebraska is coached by 30th year head coach Kerry McDermott, who has a roster that features two seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and three freshman.
RANKED HUSKERS: Nebraska has one ranked singles player in junior Christopher Aumueller at No. 69. The senior has a 11-6 dual-match record and a 6-5 at the No. 1 spot. Aumueller is also ranked in doubles with partner Benedikt Lindheim at No. 41. The pair is 14-4 in dual-match play.
SERIES HISTORY:The Bears hold a 21-3 all-time record over Nebraska and have won 21 straight matches in the series. Matt Knoll has never lost to the Huskers, going 21-0 against them in his 14 years at Baylor.
LAST TIME AGAINST NEBRASKA: A seventh-ranked Baylor squad blanked the 40th-ranked Cornhuskers, 4-0, in the opening round of last season's Big 12 Championships on April 30 in Austin. The Bears won the doubles point and then Denes Lukacs, Dominik Mueller and Roberto Maytin all got straight set singles wins to complete the shutout. With the win Mueller became BU's all-time dual-match wins leader.
Quotes - Head Coach Matt Knoll
On the match:
"I think again it is going to be a big challenge for us. They have had a good season up there and we know we have had some tough matches with them in the past. It is going to be a little colder up there than what we are use to, so we are going to have to go up there and be ready."
On his doubles lineup:
"I am really pleased with our doubles play. We are looking for four points and doubles has been a pretty good point for us, so we are hoping to keep that going. All three teams seem to have found their stride, so I hope that will continue for us."
On having seven competitive guys for his singles lineup:
"It is great. It has really created some healthy competition among the guys. They know there is somebody else out there to pick them up if they don't have a good day. We are starting to build some confidence and there is a lot of belief among our team that we can do well."