April 9, 2010
Notes Package #8
WACO, Texas- The ninth-ranked men's tennis returns to the Baylor Tennis Center to host a pair of conference opponents this weekend. The Bears welcome fifth-ranked Texas on Saturday at 6 p.m. and will continue the two-match home stand with a 6 p.m. contest against No. 38 Nebraska on Sunday.
The Bears will look to bounce back from their loss in the conference opener on Wednesday at No. 12 Texas A&M as they enter this weekend's matches with a 16-4 overall record that includes a perfect 12-0 start at home.
Live scoring for both matches will be available on BaylorBears.com.
SCOUTING TEXAS: The Longhorns enter Saturday's match with a 20-2 record and 3-0 mark in conference play. Texas' only losses this season came at the hands of No. 5 Tennessee and No. 1 Virginia. The Longhorns have spent the entire year inside the ITA top-10. Under 10th-year head coach Michael Center, Texas' roster contains four singles starters who led the Longhorns to the NCAA title match in 2008 and to the NCAA semifinals in 2009.
SERIES RECORD: The Longhorns own a 40-15 mark over the Bears in the all-time series, but since the start of the Big 12 Conference Baylor has returned the favor by racking up a 15-8 record against Texas, including a current three-match win streak.
SCOUTING NEBRASKA: The 38th-ranked Cornhuskers will play at No. 14 Texas Tech on Friday night before Sunday's match at Baylor. The Huskers are coming off of their first Big 12 conference victory since 2007, as they beat the No. 49 Oklahoma State Cowboys, 4-3, on Saturday, April 3, at the Nebraska Tennis Center. The Huskers own a 13-7 overall record, and have a 1-1 mark in Big 12 play. The Cornhuskers opened up Big 12 play with a 4-3 loss against No. 12 Texas A&M. Nebraska is coached by 29th- year head coach Kerry McDermott.
SERIES RECORD: The Bears hold an 18-3 all-time series record over Nebraska and have won 18 straight matches in the series. Matt Knoll has never lost to the Huskers going 16-0 against them in his 13+ years at Baylor.
LAST TIME OUT: On Wednesday, the Bears suffered their worst conference loss in almost 12 years as they dropped their Big 12 opener to the No. 12 Texas A&M Aggies, 6-1, at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas. The Bears lone point came at the No. 6 spot as sophomore Julian Bley won in straight sets.
LOOKING AHEAD: After this weekend, the Bears will continue Big 12 play by traveling to the Sooner State to face No. 19 Oklahoma on Friday, April 16 in Norman at 6 p.m. and then they will take on 49th-ranked Oklahoma State at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 18 in Stillwater.
BAYLOR AT 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 126-6 in matches played in Waco. Under Knoll the Bears are 166-21 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 an 18-match win streak at the Baylor Tennis Center and have won 34 out of the last 36 in Waco. In Big 12 conference regular season matches played in Waco, the Bears are 38-8 and over the last eight season the Bears are 25-1 in such matches.
BAYLOR AGAINST BIG 12 CONFERENCE COMPETITION: Since the founding of the Big 12 Conference in 1996, the Bears have produced an 82-14 mark in league play, including a 52-3 record over the last eight years. In the 13 years, 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 four times that they did not win the conference, the Bears finished second three times and eighth once.
BAYLOR IN BIG 12 CONFERENCE HOME OPENERS: In 13 years of Big 12 competition, the Bears are 10-3 in conference home openers. The Bears lost their opening home conference match in both 1997 and 1998, but then reeled off nine straight victories in the match before losing to No. 4 Texas in the 2008 home conference opener, 4-3, on April 16.
CURRENT TEAM STREAKS AND TRENDS:Overall, the Bears have won 31 of 36 matches dating back to last season, including 11 of their last 13. The Bears enter Saturday's match looking to rebound from only their fourth loss of the season. Prior to the loss the Bears owned a three-match win streak, after enjoying streaks of five and eight wins earlier in the year.
DOUBLES POINT STREAKS AND TRENDS: The Bears' doubles teams have been an inconsistent part of their lineup this season. The Bears have lost the doubles point in five of their last eight matches after starting the season 10-2 in that category. In its last match out, Baylor lost the doubles point, by losing at the first and second spots in the lineup. Dominik Mueller returned to the doubles lineup for just the third time this season and partnered with Jordan Rux to give the Bears a win at the three spot. Baylor is 13-0 in matches when winning the doubles point and just 3-4 when losing it.
SINGLES STREAKS AND TRENDS: Attila Bucko and Roberto Maytin each had five-match win streaks snapped in their last match out. The Bears No. 1 player Denes Lukacs lost his first conference match ever in the A&M match after starting his career 18-0 in Big 12 play. The senior has now lost four of his last six matches after starting the dual-match season 11-0. Julian Bley, the Bears' only winner in Wednesday's match, has an 11-2 record and is a perfect 5-0 in his career in Big 12 matches.
SPECIAL MATCH PROMOTIONS: The first 300 fans to the match will receive a Baylor tennis T-shirt and an autograph session with Baylor tennis players will follow the match. Earlier in the day from 4-5:30 p.m. the Baylor men's tennis club team will host a USTA Tennis Clinic that is free and open to all ages. Raquets and balls will be provided, as well as free Fazoli's to all the clinic's participants. Several Baylor tennis players will be on hand at the clinic as well.
Quotes: Head coach Matt Knoll
On if fatigue will be a factor playing two conference matches back-to-back:
"I don't think it will. We scheduled it that way on purpose, because you are going to have to do that at the NCAAs. We need to be ready to play two matches back-to-back. That is something we should be able to handle, so I don't think that is a concern for us."
"We are really familiar with their team, playing them every year, mostly twice a year and then seeing them in a lot of open events and fall tournaments. We are familiar with their personnel, and frankly they have great guys. They have a very, very talented roster of guys. They are going to be tough at every position, singles and doubles. We know we have a huge challenge in front of us. They have been ranked ahead of us all season and deservedly so. They had a great Indoor, went to the semifinals and they are going to be tough."
"A lot of their guys we have seen in the past. They are not sneaking up on anybody this year. They beat Oklahoma State last week and had a great chance against (Texas) A&M up at their place. They were ranked 25th at one point this year. That is a national competitive program and again a match that we are going to have to play well in if we are going to have a chance to win."
On his doubles lineup:
"I think we are going to go with what we went with against A&M and just kind of see how it goes in the short term. We don't want to make too much out the doubles. We won one of the matches down there, so we feel like we should have a chance to be competitive. Doubles is one point and it is difficult to win We will run out there and see if we can't get four points in the singles."
On Denes Lukacs:
"He is not playing well, that is no secret. He has played some good guys. That is part of the deal when you play No. 1 on a top-10 team, the guys you play are good. Denes is certainly capable of performing at that position as he has done in the past. We just need him to keep working hard. We have confidence in him and we feel it won't be long before he gets himself going."
On how his team will rebound from an opening conference loss:
"We just have to play better. We didn't play well down there. I am not sure we did anything well, particularly at the top two spots. We got to challenge ourselves at those positions and be a little tougher and a little better. What is great is we have got a super chance to see where we are Saturday and Sunday and it all starts with that Texas match. Hopefully, we can bounce back and represent ourselves a little bit better. It is just tough when you lose to the No. 12 team in the country on the road and the next thing you know you have the No. 5 team in the country coming to your place."
On the makeup of his team:
"We feel we have a good group of competitors and we are going to have a chance to prove it this weekend."