April 18, 2001
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#31 Baylor (9-9, 5-1) vs. #6 Texas A&M (19-3, 6-0)
Thursday, April 19, 2001, 2:30 p.m., Waco, Texas
The No. 31 Baylor men's tennis team hosts No. 6 Texas A&M Thursday afternoon in an important Big 12 match as the Bears play their final home regular season match of the spring. Baylor will head to Austin to conclude the regular season against No. 19 Texas Saturday, then return home to prepare for the Big 12 Championships, to be played in Waco April 26-29.
The Aggies come into Thursday's match with a perfect 6-0 record after having swept then-No. 15 Texas Saturday in College Station, 7-0. Texas A&M has won 13 of its last 14 matches en route to a 19-3 record.
A pair of Aggies are included in the ITA singles rankings in No. 19 Shuon Madden and No. 92 Keith From. Texas A&M also features three ranked doubles teams in No. 11 Dimitru Caradima and Madden, No. 33 Tres Davis and Ryan Newport and No. 50 Cody Hubbell and Jarin Skube.
Last season, Baylor beat TAMU 4-3 in Waco during the regular season but lost in the Big 12 Championships finals, 4-0. The Bears are 2-3 against the Aggies under head coach Matt Knoll, including a 1-1 record in Waco.
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 41-14 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 20 of its last 22 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.
(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 18-16 against other top-25 teams. Eight of the Bears' nine losses this season have come against top-20 teams, four of those eight came to top-10 squads. 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.
Baylor is 8-1 this season when winning the doubles point, but the team is 1-8 when the opponent takes the first point. The Bears have swept doubles five times and won all five matches. The team's only loss after winning the first point came April 6 to Notre Dame (4-3).
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.
Knoll-ing Right Along
Head coach Matt Knoll is 90-55 in his sixth season, 82-39 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.
Baylor in the Rankings
The Bears' No. 43 ranking (3/21) was 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).
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 (47) and is tied for fourth in career doubles wins (70) with Pawel Gajdzik, two wins behind third-place Johann Jooste.
* Mark Williams ranks second in the Baylor record books in career singles wins (90), four behind record-holder Johann Jooste. Williams already holds the career record for doubles wins (92).
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.
Four current Bears were named to the Fall 2000 Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll: Reiner Neurohr, Sean O'Connor, Cory Ross, and Mark Williams. Former Bears Pawel Gajdzik, David Hodge, Johann Jooste and Johannes Michalsky also made the list, which honors all varsity athletes who register a semester GPA of 3.0 or better.
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.